Muraji (連)

Muraji refers to one of kabane (hereditary title to denote rank and political standing) used in the Yamato sovereignty (the ancient Japan sovereignty) and also denoted one of the highest ranked titles among retainers.

Muraji is said to be the kabane granted to some of the influential clans who were under the direct control of the Yamato sovereignty from early times, and they held special official posts or were in charge of managing the occupations. The influential clans who called themselves Muraji included the Otomo clan and the Mononobe clan.

According to the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), many clans who called themselves Muraji could be descendants of the gods other than those of the Imperial Family's.

Unlike the kabane of Omi that were mostly the influential ruling clans in the capital, the clans with the kabane of Muraji were directly connected to the posts of the Imperial Court and it is said that the Otomo and the Mononobe clans were those who were in charge of the military affairs for the Yamato sovereignty from ancient times.

The most influential people among the clans with the kabane of Muraji were called Omuraji (ancient Japan), who were put in charge of the affairs of state along with people called Oomi (ancient Japan), who were the influential people among the clans with the kabane of Omi.

By the Yakusa no Kabane (the eight honorary titles) reform by the Emperor Tenmu, the kabane of Muraji was demoted to the seventh highest, and afterwards Ason (or Asomi) became the kabane title for influential clans.