Miwa no Takechimaro (三輪高市麻呂)

MIWA no Takechimaro (year of birth unknown - February 3rd, 706) was a person of the Asuka Period in Japan.
His clan was also known as Omiwa, which could either be written as '大三輪' or '大神'in Chinese characters, and by the modern kana usage (as laid out by the Japanese government in 1946) it becomes 'Omiwa,' and with the old Japanese syllabary charaters, it is read 'Ohomiwa.'
His kabane (hereditary title) was Kimi, later to become Ason (second highest of the eight hereditary titles). He was the son of MIWA no Toshikane.

In 672, he fought on the side of Prince Oama (Emperor Tenmu) and contributed to the Oama forces' victory by demonstrating his valor in the Battle of Hashinohaka and the Battle of Nakatsu Mitchi Road. Afterwards known for his deeds such as his opposition against Emperor Tenmu's Imperial visit to his agricultural estates by putting his job grade on the line in 692, he ended up serving under the three Emperors of Tenmu, Jito and Monmu, and was promoted to the rank of Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) by securing a post in the Kyoshiki (Legislative Ministry of the Capital City). He was posthumously awarded the rank of Jusani (Junior Third Rank).


Takechimaro was born as the son of OMIWA no Toshikane who belonged to one of the families of the Miwa clan (a well-established clan from the old days) that used the Nara Basin as their base. He had a younger brother called MIWA no Yasumaro.

When the Jinshin War broke out in 672, it is said that Takechimaro observed the war situation from the Wa Province (Yamato Province) as he did not obtain a job grade in the Imperial court. When OTOMO no Hukei attacked Asuka on August 1st and seized the military command authority of Emperor Kobun's forces, MIWA no Kimi Takechimaro joined the forces of Hukei and fought under his command. In July, Takechimaro leads the unit of the right flank with OKISOME no Usagi at the battle against the enemy troops led by INUKAI no Ikimi. First, they defeated the enemy of the front line at Hashinohaka, and then cut off the rear-end of the forces (led by IOI no Kujira) that was closing in on Hukei's headquarters by going around the back of an old path of Yamato where the mid-line force were located, forcing them to retreat.

On December 15th, 684, OMIWA no Kimi and 52 others received the kabane of Ason. During the funeral ceremony of Emperor Tenmu on October 23, 686, Jikitaishi (equivalent to the rank of Jugoi)Takechimaro executed Emperor Jito's nephew for treason.

On March 15th, 692, Vice-Councilor of State (equivalent to Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) Takechimaro, submitted a report and called to cancel the trip by remonstrating against the Emperor's Imperial visit to Ise Province which would have interrupted harvesting.
On March 28th, when it was decided that the purpose of the Imperial visit was to appoint another capital city, Takechimaro took off his insignias and returned them to the Emperor by repeatedly saying that, 'It is not advisable to move the Imperial carriage during the harvest season.'
Not heeding his advice, the Emperor left for Ise on March 31st and returned on April 14th, but instead pardoned the accompanying staff as well as the laborers from paying tax that year.

On February 22nd, 702, Iwatoko was ranked as a Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade), and was appointed as the Director of Nagato Province. On July 27th, 703, he was granted the rank of Sakyo Taifu (Master of the Eastern Capital Office). On March 28th, 706, he passed away holding the Sakyo Taifu Jushiinojo as his highest rank. He was posthumously awarded the rank of Jusani (Junior Third Rank) for his meritorious deeds during the Jinshin War.

The descendants of Takechimaro became the shake (family of Shinto priests serving a shrine on a hereditary basis) of Omiwa-jinja Shrine, and after the Muromachi Period, they have been successively serving the Omiwa-jinja Shrine under the name of Takamiya family.

[Original Japanese]