Ōtomo no Tabito

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Ōtomo no Tabito

Ōtomo no Tabito (大伴 旅人, 665 - August 31, 731) was a Japanese military leader and poet, best known as the father of Ōtomo no Yakamochi, who contributed to the compilation the Man'yōshū alongside his father.

In the year 720, the Hayato Rebellion erupted in Kyushu. Otomo was ordered to lead Japanese forces to suppress the rebellion. The imperial forces were successful after little more than a year of fighting, and returned to the capital with prisoners of war. As a result, southern Kyushu was firmly brought under the control of the Imperial court under Empress Genmei.

Tabito was a contemporary of Hitomaro, but lacked his success in the Imperial Court. While serving as Governor-General of Dazaifu, the military procuracy in northern Kyūshū from 728-730, Tabito hosted a plum-blossom party, encouraging the composition of poetry among his subordinates in imitation of Chinese style elegance. He also showed his Chinese education in his set of thirteen tanka in praise of sake.