Kifumi no Otomo (黄書大伴)

KIFUMI no Otomo (year of birth unknown - November 9, 710) lived in the Asuka period in Japan. His hereditary title was Miyatsuko (third highest title under Yamato dynasty), later granted Muraji (second highest title under Yamato dynasty). His clan Kifumi (黄書) is also written 黄文. He served Oama no Miko (Emperor Tenmu) in the Jinshin War in 672 and served three emperors, Tenmu, Jito and Monmu. Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) awarded.

His achievement in the Jinshin War.

The Kifumi clan was immigrants to ancient Japan. It is supposed that KIFUMI no Otomo served Prince Oama as a toneri (palace servant) when the Jinshin war started. He had a child named KIFUMI no Uruchimaro (粳麻呂).

Prince Oama sent envoys to TAKASAKA no Okimi, a Rusutsukasa (a guard of the City) in Asuka, Yamato (Yamato Province) to demand the handover of an ekirei (a bell needed for the exercise of imperial power) at the time he took up army in Yoshino on July 24th. Three envoys were selected: OITA no Esaka, KIFUMI no Otomo and AU no Shima. The prince ordered "if you fail to get the bell, Shima must return immediately and report it. Esaka must head to Omi province (Omi no miya) and bring the Prince Takechi and the Prince Otsu out to Ise Province to meet me." The three envoys demanded TAKASAKA no Okimi to give them the bell, but were refused. In accordance with the prince's order, OITA no Esaka headed to Omi province, AU Shima returned to Prince Oama, but there is no description in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) about KIFUMI no Otomo's afterward action.

It is believed that KIFUMI no Otomo informed Otomo brothers, OTOMO no Makuta and Fukei about taking up arms. Otomo brothers decided to serve for the Prince Oama, and then Fukei joined the war over Yamato and Makuta followed the Prince Oama. KIFUMI no Otomo ran after the Prince and his party with Makuta from Yoshino no miya and joined them on the same day at Aki in Toda (Uda-gun, Yamato Province). No record was found about KIFUMI no Otomo's acts afterwards.

Meritorious retainers' later life

According to "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), on December 28, the number of cap ranks were increased to grant a shosen (cap rank) or upper rank to those who were selected for their deeds of valor. Therefore, KIFUMI no Otomo would be granted the same or upper rank. July 21 (August 29 in new calendar), 701 of "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued) describes that KIFUMI no Otomo was allotted 100 households.

On October 18, 683, Kifumi no Miyatsuko was granted the title Muraji.

On September 2, 686, the Emperor Tenmu passed away. On September 21, FUJIWARA no Oshima ranked Jikidaishi (the fifteenth grade of jikiodai rank for vassals of the forty-eight grades of cap rank), the same rank as KIFUMI no Otomo, brought high priests up in Asuka-ji temple and gave a set of Kesa (Buddhist stole) to a priest. This was ordered by the Empress Jito and Kesa given to the priest was made by the Emperor Tenmu's garment.

In 701, his great achievement during the Jinshin War was appreciated as 中第, he was allowed to leave a quarter out of 100 previously awarded households to his child.

On August 21, 703, KIFUMI no Otomo who was Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) was appointed as the governor of Yamashiro Province. Yamashiro province (山背国) later became the Province of Yamashiro (山城国).

On November 9, 710, he died when he was Shorokuinojo (Senior Sixth Rank, Upper Grade). He was granted Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) for his achievement during the Jinshin War.

On May 3, 716, KIFUMI no Uruchimaro received a rice field as a result of his father's achievements.

[Original Japanese]