O no Yasumaro (太安万侶)
O no Yasumaro (date of birth unknown - August 15, 723) was a civil officer in the Nara period. O no Yasumaro (太 安万侶) can also be written as "太安麻呂" or "太安萬侶" in Chinese characters. His name is written as "安萬侶" in "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) and on his epitaph, but it is written as "太安麻呂" in other history books such as "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued), "Koninshiki (one of Nihonshoki Shiki [The Private Record of Chronicles of Japan] written in the Konin Period)" and "Nihongi kyoen waka (The Poems at the Completion Banquet for the Lectures on Nihon Shoki)". There is a view that his father was O no Honji.
According to the "Shoku Nihongi", he received Jugoige (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) on January 7, 704 and Shogoijo (Senior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) on April 7, 711. In this year, he was ordered by Emperor Genmei to record "Tei-ki (genealogy of the imperial family)" and "Kyuji (mythical tradition)" recited by HIEDA no Are for compiling a history book. In January of the following year, 712, he presented it to the Emperor as "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters). According to the "Shoku Nihongi", on January 10, 715, he received Jushiige (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and became the head of the clan on September 23 of the following year. O no Hitonaga, Yasumaro's offspring said in the foreword of "Koninshiki" that Yasumaro was involved in the compilation of "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). According to the "Shoku Nihongi", O no Ason Yasumaro, Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs) with Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) died in the fall of July 7, 723 (July 6 in his epitaph).
O no Yasumaro's epitaph
In 1979, O no Yasumaro's grave was found in a tea field in Konose-cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture, and the epitaph was excavated together with a wooden container containing cremated bones and pearls. The inscription on the epitaph comprises of 41 letters in two lines. According to the epitaph, he lived in Shijo Shibo, Sakyo. His court official rank and order were Jushiige and Kungoto (the Fifth Order of Merit), respectively and he died on July 6, 723.
The full text on the epitaph is as follows:
O no Ason Yasumaro, Jushiige Kungoto who lived in Shijo Shibo, Sakyo died on July 6, 723 (old calendar) that means December 15, 723.
His grave called "O no Yasumaro's grave" was designated as a state historic site in 1980.