Powerful family of the Yamato Court (ca 4th century - ca mid-7th century). Together with the Ōtomo family, the Mononobe had hereditary charge of military affairs, and during the 5th century the heads of both families shared the important hereditary post of muraji (chief minister). Through their numerous branch families, the Mononobe also held considerable power in the provinces. In 587 Mononobe no Moriya was killed in a battle fought over imperial succession, and the family was all but annihilated. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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