Kishitsu Shushi (鬼室集斯)

Shushi KISHITSU (date of birth unknown-November 8, 688 [according to the old calendar]? December 5, 688?), who was from a noble family in Baekje in the seventh century, went into exile in Japan after the Battle of Hakusukinoe. He was a relative of Fukushin KISHITSU, who played an important role in the Baekje revival movement, and had a grandchild, 鬼室美成. His official rank was Shokinge (the twelfth grade of the twenty-six level cap and rank system) and Fuminotsukasa (latter-day Daigakuno kami [Director of the Bureau of Education]).

Personal Profile and Biography

According to the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), Shushi KISHITSU was given the rank of Shokinge in February, 665. As it is described that it was an achievement made by Sahei Fukushin, it could be thought that he was a close blood relative of Fukushin KISHITSU, who worked hard to revive Baekje and died in 663, two years before Shushi KISHITSU received the status, but the relation between them is still unknown in detail. Shushi's official rank in Baekje was Dachisochi (the second grade of the sixteen level ranks in Baekje). Following this, as it says that about four hundred men and women from Baekje were immigrated to Kamusaki no gori District, Omi Province (latter-day Kanzaki District [Shiga Prefecture]), it is possible that Shushi were there, too. They were given rice fields in March.

In 669, about seven hundred men and women, including Sahei Yojishin (Sahei is the highest officer in Baekje) and Sahei Shushi KISHITSU, were transplanted to Gamo District, Omi Province.

In January 671, Shushi KISHITSU was given the rank of Shokinge. It was same as the one given in 665 for some reason. He was Fuminotsukasa no kami as well then. Fuminotsukasa is deemed to have been a predecessor of Daigakuno kami under the ritsuryo system. Yukio HISAKI says that Shushi became a director after the establishment of what became a prototype of Daigakuryo (Bureau of Education) in about a little more than one year, from when he moved to Gamo District to the time of his investiture.

In the Edo period, an octagonal prism made of stone was found in a shrine called Nishinomiya-Jinja Shrine in Ono Village, Gamo District, Omi Province (present-day Ono [Shiga Prefecture] Hino-cho, Shiga Prefecture). The surface of the prism on which a sentence, 'A Tomb of Shushi Kishitsu', was inscribed is a front side, and sentences 'He died on November 8, in the third year of Akamidori era' and 'made by Shoson (referring to a grandchild born out of wedlock) 美成' were respectively inscribed on the right and left sides. However, it is after the eleventh century that the gravestone was built though the third year of Akamidori era corresponds to 688 in the Western calendar. Later the shrine, still in existence, was renamed Kishitsu-Jinja Shrine.

In addition, it supports the description of the "Nihonshoki" that tateanajukyo (a pit dwelling house) including the structural remnants of the smoke path of rocks arrangement like a Korean floor heater was excavated from the ruins of Nodamichi (the late seventh century) in 1994 in Oazaterajiri, Hino-cho (Shiga Prefecture), the same town as Kishitsu-Jinja Shrine.

[Original Japanese]