Tokomaro (徳麻呂)

Tokomaro (date of birth and death unknown) lived during the Asuka period of Japan.
His name was also read as 'Tokumaro.'
The reading is the same in old Japanese syllabary characters. His family name is unknown. He had no kabane (hereditary title). He was Yatsuko (or Yakko, servant) of Oi-dera Temple, and in the Jinshin War of 672, he joined the Army of Oama no Miko (Prince Oama), and guarded the main camp of the OTOMO no Fukei's force at the old road of Yamato.

Tokomaro is mentioned in the scene of the battle at Naka-tsu-michi Road of Yamato (Yamato Province), in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). In the battle, OTOMO no Fukei, who was leading the troops to support Oama no Miko (Prince Oama, later became Emperor Tenmu), directly commanded a troop on Naka-tsu-michi Road which was one of the troops he had deployed in the old roads of Yamato. The five servants of Oi-dera Temple including Tokomaro were in the troop. To capture them, a commander of the enemy's troops, INUKAI no Ikimi gave IOI no Kujira two hundreds of selected warriors and ordered him to attack the Fukei's camp. At that time, Fukei did not prepare many soldiers there, so couldn't repel the attack. The five servants including Tokomaro voluntarily spearheaded the guards and shot the enemy. This prevented the Kujira's troop from charging the camp. Soon after that, the troops of MIWA no Takechimaro and of OKISOME no Usagi who had defeated the enemy's troops at Kami-tsu-michi Road, attacked the Kujira's troop from behind, the Kujira's soldiers ran away.

Although "Nihonshoki" describes the Jinshin War in detail, this is the only scene mentioning identity of a regular soldier. This four characters '大井寺奴' (Oi-dera no Yatsuko [servants of Oi-dera Temple]) recorded in "Nihonshoki" proves that the common people were widely mobilized as soldiers, and this is also an example that Yatsuko (or Yakko, male slave) of ancient Japan fought bravely as soldiers.

[Original Japanese]