Otomo no Makuta (大伴馬来田)

OTOMO no Makuta (year of birth unknown - July 5, 683) lived during Japan's Asuka period. His name was also pronounced as "OHOTOMO no Makuta" in the old Japanese kana syllabary. His given name was also written as Mouda (望多 or 望陀). His hereditary title was Muraji (second highest title under Yamato dynasty). He actively supported Prince Oama (Emperor Tenmu) during the Jinshin War of 672.

The Jinshin War

The Otomo clan was a powerful clan in the Asuka period. OTOMO no Makuta's father was OTOMO no Kui, his elder brother was OTOMO no Nagatoko, his younger brother was OTOMO no Fukei and his son was OTOMO no Michitari. Although OTOMO no Nagatoko had an important post during the Emperor Kotoku's period, the Otomo clan experienced hardships after Nagatoko died in 651. Because of this, Makuta left the capital under the pretense of illness before the Jinshin War and stayed at home in Yamato (Yamato Province) with his brother, OTOMO no Fukei. They believed that next emperor would be Prince Oama who was in Yoshino no miya.

When Prince Oama took up arms on June 24, Makuta and his family decided to support Prince Oama. Fukei stayed in Yamato to gather comrades and Makuta went to Yoshino no miya first. However Prince Oama had already departed and Makuta followed the prince with KIFUMI no Otomo and caught up with him on the same day at Aki in Toda (Uda-gun, Yamato Province). KIFUMI no Otomo was on the way back from a city in Yamato as an envoy on this day and when he met up with Makuta isn't reported in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) but it is highly possible that he reported Prince Oama's act to the Otomo brothers.

Later, Fukei was very successful as a general in the Yamato area, but Makuta's military exploits were not recorded. If he had gone into battle, his name must have been on the list of commanders; therefore, it is assumed that Makuta didn't go to the war front. He was probably behind the lines supporting Prince Oama.

The Emperor Tenmu's period

According to the article of July 21, 701 of "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued), Makuta was allotted 100 households for his achievement after the war. There are no achievements of Makuta during the Tenmu dynasty reported in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) even though he was the leader of the Otomo clan and a very highly ranked person, while many of clans who supported Prince Oama in the Jinshin War were small and medium sized. Emperor Tenmu held the real power of government and gave important posts to the Imperial family.

"Kugyobunin" (directory of court nobles) describes OTOMO no Mouda (望陀) Muraji as a Dainagon (Major Counselor) to Emperor Tenmu. Although "Ichidai Yoki" (summary chronicle of each reign) reported that OTOMO no Kenho (堅泡) Muraji was a Dainagon (Major Counselor) to Emperor Tenmu, this is considered to be a writing error or miscopy of Mouda (望陀) as Kenho (堅泡). However, these 2 books were compiled after the Heian period and there was no position of Dainagon during the Reign of Emperor Tenmu.

OTOMO no Mouda (望多) (Makuta) died on July 5, 683. The Emperor was greatly surprised and sent Hatsuse no miko to express condolence and state the achievements Mouda (望多) made during the Jinshin War and the merits of the Otomo clan established for generations, and the emperor granted Mouda a reward. The reward was a rank of daishi (the fifth grade of twenty-six of cap rank) and drums and fires during funeral.

An obituary of OTOMO no Ojimaro on February 3, 782 of "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued) reported that his grandfather was Makuta who was conferred Naidaishi (内大紫) and his father was Michitari, which proves that Makuta had a son named Michitari.