Saeki no Imaemishi (佐伯今毛人)

SAEKI no Imaemishi (719 - 17 November 790) was a noble who lived in the Nara Period. His first name is also spelled as 今蝦夷. He was first given the name Wakako. He was a son of a Guard Chief, SAEKI no Hitotari. His brother was SAEKI no Mamori. He was a Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) Councilor.

Summary

He gained a reputation in the field of architecture and construction by first starting off as a Sakan for the construction of Shigaraki no Miya Palace and later working on the construction of Todai-ji Temple and Saidai-ji Temple (Nara City), and the transfer of the national capital to Nagaoka. The Emperor was impressed with the construction of Todai-ji Temple and promoted him seven ranks.

In 763, Imaemishi discussed the plan with FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu, ISONOKAMI no Yakatsugu and OTOMO no Yakamochi to assassinate the tyrant Taishi (Grand Minister), EMI no Oshikatsu (FUJIWARA no Nakamaro); however, it did not succeed due to betrayal. FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu took the blame for other people, and therefore Imaemishi was only removed from his office. EMI no Oshikatsu died in the war which he started in 764 (FUJIWARA no Nakamaro's War).

Imaemishi was assigned as the 16th envoy to Tang Dynasty China in 775. In April, 777, he received Setto (a sword given from the Emperor to the chief envoy) and departed (he only made it to Dazaifu last year); however, he became very sick near Rajo-mon Gate and gave up the mission and stayed in Settu. Vice-envoy, ONO no Iwane was chosen for this task instead of Imaemishi, and the ship which he and Chinese envoy, Homei Cho were on was wrecked on their way to Japan, and both died.

Career

719 - He was born. His original name was Wakugo.

740 - He entered government service as Toneri (palace servant). He was promoted to Shohachiinoge (Lower Grade Senior Eighth Rank).

742 - He became a Sakan for the construction of Shigayaki no Miya Palace

745 - He was promoted to Jushichiinoge (Lower Grade Junior Seventh Rank).

746 - He was promoted to Jushichiinojo (Upper Grade Junior Seventh Rank).

746 - He changed his name to Imaemishi.

748 - He became the Vice Officer of Todai-ji Temple Construction.

748 - He held a concurrent position of 大倭介. He was promoted seven ranks and became Jugoiinoge.

750 - Emperor Koken visited Todai-ji Temple. He was promoted to Shogoinojo (Upper Grade Senior Fifth Rank).

755 - He became the Director for the Construction of Todai-ji Temple.

757 - He was promoted to Jushiinoge (Lower Grade Junior Fourth Rank).

759 - He became Daibu of Settu Province.

763 - He was reappointed as the Director for the Construction of Todai-ji Temple. He was removed from the office due to an attempt to assassinate EMI no Oshikatsu with FUJIWARA no Yoshitsugu, ISONOKAMI no Yakatsugu and OTOMO no Yakamoch in the same year.

764 - He was assigned as Eijogen in Dazaifu. He held a concurrent position as the Governor of Hizen Province in the same year.

765 - He was appointed as Dazainodaini. He held a concurrent position of an advisor for the construction of Ito Castle.

767 - He returned from Dazaifu. He became the Director for the Construction of Zaidai-ji Temple. He held a concurrent position of Benkan (Oversight Department responsible for controlling central and provincial governmental offices) in the same year.

769 - He held a concurrent position as the Governor of Inaba Province. He was promoted to Jushiijo (Upper Grade Junior Fourth Rank) the same year.

770 - He held a concurrent position as the Governor of Harima Province. In the same year, the Empress Shotoku who was in favor of Daijodaijinzenji Dokyo died, and it led to his downfall. Imaemish relegated Dokyo to the administrator of Yakushi-ji Temple of Shimotsuke Province. He held a concurrent position as the Director for the Construction of Todai-ji Temple once again in the same year.

771 - He was promoted to Shoshiinoge (Lower Grade Senior Fourth Rank).

775 - He was assigned as an envoy to Tang Dynasty China.

776 - He received Setto (a swod given from the Emperor to the chief envoy) and headed to Dazaifu. In November, he came back from Dazaifu and returned Setto to the Emperor.

April, 777 - Imaemishi received Setto once again and departed; however, he later became sick and stayed in Settu. Vice envoy, ONO no Iwane was selected for this task instead. Imaemishi quitted his job as Sadaiben (Controller of the Left) to rest for the sake of his health.

779 - He was appointed as Dazainodaini and moved to Dazaifu.

781 - He was promoted to Shoshiinojo (Upper Grade Senior Fourth Rank).

782 - He came back from Dazaifu and reappointed as Sadaiben (Controller of the Left) and held a concurrent position of the Governor of Yamato Province. He was promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in the same year.

783 - He held a concurrent position of Kogogu-Daibu.

784 - Emperor Kanmu planned the transfer of the national capital to Nagaoka-Kyo in Yamashiro Province. Imaemish checked the place and was assigned as the Director for the Construction of Nagaoka-kyo Palace. He was appointed to the Councilor in the same year.

785 - He was promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). He held a concurrent position in the Minbusho (Ministry of Popular Affairs).

786 - He held a concurrent position as Dazai no sochi.

789 - He announced his retirement from a government post (to receive a skeleton).

790 - He died. He was 72 years old.