Nakatomi no Kamako (中臣鎌子)

NAKATOMI no Kamako (dates of birth and death unknown) was a muraji clan (one of ancient hereditary titles denoting rank and political standing) during the era of Emperor Kinmei in the Asuka Period. He strongly protested against the official introduction of Buddhism.

In 552, envoys of Shomyoo (the 26th King) of Paekche (Kingdom in early Korea) offered a Buddha statue and several volumes of "Kyoron" (Dharma teachings of Buddha and its commentaries) to Emperor Kinmei with a personal letter from Shomyoo to praise the virtue of Buddhism. The Emperor asked his retainers whether or not Japan should worship the Buddha statue. SOGA no Iname, an oomi clan (one of ancient hereditary titles denoting rank and political standing and the most powerful version of omi), agreed to the worship of Buddha, while MONONOBE no Okoshi, an omuraji clan (the most powerful version of muraji) and Kamako opposed it. Emperor Kinmei gave the statue to Iname and assigned him to Buddhist services, but a plague broke out after a short while. Okoshi and Kamako pointed out that our worship of banshin (god believed by foreigners) angered our own god and suggested to the Emperor that the statue should be disposed of. With the approval for the disposal from the Emperor, the Buddha statue was discarded in Naniwa no Horie (a canal in Osaka) and the temples were set on fire.