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Tokomaro or Tokumaro (徳麻呂) was a soldier of 7th-century AD Japan, during the Asuka period. He and four slaves of the Ōi temple served in the Jinshin War of 672 and fought at the Battle of Nakatsu-michi.

Japan Island country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Asuka period historical period of Japan, from 538 to 710 (or 592 to 645), its beginning is said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period. The Yamato polity evolved greatly during this period, named after the Asuka region, ~25 km south of modern city of Nara.

The Asuka period was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710, although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period. The Yamato polity evolved greatly during the Asuka period, which is named after the Asuka region, about 25 km (16 mi) south of the modern city of Nara.

The Jinshin War was a war of succession in Japan during the Asuka period of the Yamato state. It broke out in 672 following the death of Emperor Tenji. The name refers to the jinshin (壬申) or ninth year of the sixty-year Jikkan Jūnishi calendrical cycle, corresponding to the Western year 673.

His name appears in the history book Nihon Shoki at the Battle of Nakatsu-michi of Yamato Province at the beginning of the 7th month of the year 672 (by the Japanese calendar). Yamato had been one of the two major fronts of the war. Ōtomo no Fukei, the commander general of this front for Prince Ōama's (Emperor Tenmu) side, divided his army into three divisions along the Kamitsu-michi ("upper road"), Nakatsu-michi ("middle road") and Shimotsu-michi ("lower road"). Enemy general Inukai no Isokimi dispatched his commander Ioi no Kujira and sent 200 soldiers against the thin center of Fukei. Five slaves of Ōi temple, including Tokomaro, took the lead in the defence and shot arrows, which stopped Ioi's advance. Then Fukei's right division broke Inukai's left at Kamitsu-michi, and rushed to the rear of the enemy, turning the flank. Yamato province was won by Fukei soon after this battle.

<i>Nihon Shoki</i> 720 Book by Prince Toneri and Ō no Yasumaro

The Nihon Shoki (日本書紀), sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is also called the Nihongi. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō.

Yamato Province province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū

This article is about the Yamato province. To read the article about the Yamato people, see Yamato people.

Emperor Tenmu Emperor of Japan

Emperor Tenmu was the 40th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

The Nihon Shoki describes details of the war but merely mentions background of rank-and-file soldiers. "Slaves of Oi temple" is evidence of the broad mobilization effort and an example of the loyalty of slaves in ancient Japan. [1]


  1. Masajirō Takigawa History of Japanese Slave Economy, p.114. Mitsuo Tōyama, Jinshin War, p.234.

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