Michishima no Shimatari (道嶋嶋足)

MICHISHIMA no Shimatari (year of birth unknown – Februay 17, 783) was a warrior of the Nara period. His name was initially MARUKO no Shimatari, and was later changed to OSHIKA no Shimatari.

He was from Oshika County, Mutsu Province (later Rikuzen Province). He was a man of brave and lively appearance, and was proficient in martial arts and good at Kisha (shooting arrows on horseback).

In 753, MARUKO no Shimatari at the rank of Daishoige (Greater Initial Rank, Lower Grade) received the family name and kabane of Oshika no Muraji. During the Tenpyohoji era (757-765), Shimatari was appointed Shoso (assistant secretary) of Jyutoei (Division of Inner Palace Guards).

In October, 764, FUJIWARA no Kusumaro, who was a child of FUJIWARA no Nakamaro, attacked an imperial envoy to take away gyokuji (imperial seal) and ekirei (bell needed for the exercise of imperial power). Receiving an imperial order, Shimatari and SAKANOUE no Karitamaro, Shojo (junior lieutenant) of Jyutoei, hastened there and shot Kusumaro to death (FUJIWARA no Nakamaro's War). For this distinguished service, he was awarded Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), Kun nito (Order of Second Class), and received the kabane of Sukune. He was concurrently appointed Juto-no-shosho (minor captain of the Division of Inner Palace Guards), Sagami no kuni no kami (governor of Sagami Province) and ingai-chujo (supernumerary middle captain) of Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards). He changed his family name to Michishima.

In 766, he was promoted to Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade), and subsequently served as uchi-no-umaya-no-kami (manager of stables of the Imperial Palace) and Kuni-no-mikotomochi (provincial governor) of Shimousa Province, of Harima Province and so on.

Among people from powerful families of so-called Emishi (northerners) who had ruled the local area of Mutsu Province for generations, Shimatari was the only person who succeeded as bureaucrat of the central government.