Koma no Jakko (高麗若光)

KOMA no Jakko (date of birth and death unknown) was from a family of local rulers during the Nara Period; he was a Zaichokanin (lower ranking official). He was believed to be the same person as Genbu Jakko, the Second Ranking Commander-in-Chief who was sent from Koguryo (Korea), an area allegedly linked to the Koguryo Royal Family that has been mentioned in the Nihonshoki. Furthermore, there is a theory which questions Jakko's lineage back to the Koguryo Royal family, purporting that the origin of the Koma title cannot be traced to Koguryo. In addition, another theory exists where SENA no Fukutoku of the Koguryo Royal Family was the same person as KOMA no Jakko.

Jakko is believed to come from the Koguryo Royal Family, but this is not verified. According to the Nihonshoki, he came to Japan as an envoy of Koguryo by the name of Genbu no Jakko in 666. It is said that Jakko lost the opportunity to return home, due to the destruction of Koguryo by the allied forces of the Tang Dynasty and Shiragi (an ancient Korean kingdom) in the year 668.

According to the traditional lore of Koma-jinja Shrine, Jakko resided in Oiso of Sagami Province (the current Oiso-cho, Kanagawa Prefecture), and before long, he was conferred the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) by the Imperial Court. According to "The Shoku Nihongi," it is said that he was granted the clan title of KOMA no Konikishi from Emperor Tenmu in 703. After this, there is absolutely no mention of the clan title by the name of 'KOMA no Kokishi' or Jakko in Japanese history.

According to "The Shoku Nihongi," when the Koma County was established in Musashi Province in 716, 1799 Koguryo nationals who were brought over from the 7 Provinces of Tokaido Road were transferred to the Koma County.

Jakko was appointed as the Local Magistrate of the district, and left Oiso to stabilize people's livelihood by pioneering the interior of the Koma County, which was a back-country at that time (subsequently, this influenced the samurais of Togoku). Jakko had left Oiso, but the people of Oiso built Koma-dera Temple (a temple attached to the Korai-jinja Shrine, now abolished) as a gesture to honor the benevolent acts by Jakko and worshipped his spirit (the Koma-jinja Shrine lore).

Furthermore, as he grew a white beard in his later years, he was affectionately called as 'Mr. White Beard' by the people of Koma County. The year of his death is uncertain, but it is said that Jakko died without being able to set foot on his native soil again.

According to the family tree of the Koma clan, KOMA no Ieshigi (the eldest legitimate son) succeeded the Koma clan, and died in 748. In the Shinpenmusashifudokiko (Chorography of Musashi Province), Ieshige's year of death is noted incorrectly, and in such texts that use this information at face value, Jakko's year of death is noted in as certainty.

When Jakko was still alive, he built a shrine to enshrine Sarudabiko (Shinto god), which he worshipped on a daily basis, and it is said that he enshrined TAKENOUCHI no Sukune too (later to be called Shirohige Myojin, otherwise known as the White Beard God). After his death, the people of Koma District worshipped Jakko as Koma Myojin, later to be collectively worshipped with Shirohige Myojin by building the Koma-yashiro Shrine where which they are enshrined at.

Graveyard, Mausoleum
The Shodenin and Shoraku-ji Temple which are located at Nibori, Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture is the family temple of the Koma clan. KOMA no Shoun who is thought to be Jakko's third son built them. In front of the right side of the Kaminari-mon Gate of the Shodenin and the Shoraku-ji Temple, there is the Mausoleum of Koma Oh, which is believed to be Jakko's grave, and Jakko's bronze statue stands on the left side of the main hall of Shodenin.