Sakanoue no Tamuramaro

General and shogun

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (坂上 田村麻呂, 758 – June 17, 811) was a general and shogun of the early Heian Period of Japan. He was the son of Sakanoue no Karitamaro.[1]

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro
In this Japanese name, the family name is Sakanoue.

Military career


Emperor Kammu gave Tamuramaro the title of shogun. He was given the task of conquering the Ezo tribes,[2] also known as the Emishi (蝦夷征伐, Emishi seibatsu). This were the population who lived in the northern part of Honshū

After Emperor Kammu's death, the general continued to serve Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga as Major Counselor (大納言, dainagon) and Minister of War (兵部卿, Hyōbu-kyō).[3]

Tamuramaro was only the second warrior to receive the title of shogun. The first to receive this title was Ōtomo no Otomaro.

Tamuramaro's military successes are commemorated today in local festivals in the Tohoku region.[4]

Tamuramaro's name is linked with payments for construction projects at Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizu-dera) in the late 8th century.[5]

  • 811 (Kōnin 2, 3rd month): Tamuramaro died at age 54.[6]

After his death


The warrior is buried at Shogun-zuka which is east of Kyoto.[2] His bow, arrows, quiver and sword were buried with him by order of the Emperor.[6]

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Sakanoue no Tamuramaro" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 812; Iwao, Seiichi. (2002). Dictionnaire historique du Japon, p. 2329.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nussbaum, p. 812.
  3. Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 272.
  4. Boroff, Nicholas. National Geographic Traveler Japan, p. 156.
  5. Kyoto University of Foreign Studies: Japan 101 Archived 2011-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. 6.0 6.1 Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 99.