|Kudara no Konikishi clan|
|Founding year||circa 691|
Kudara was an uji or clan name that represented their country of origin. Konikishi or Kokishi, which literally means "king", was a special kabane that was given only to the former royal families of Baekje and Goguryeo: the Kudara, Sh?na () and Koma () clans.
The founder Zenk? came from Baekje to Japan as a hostage, along with his brother H?sh? in 643. Even though Japan sent H?sh? back to Korea for a failed campaign to revive Baekje, Zenk? remained in Japan. The former royal family members were treated as "barbarian guests" () and were not incorporated into the domestic political system of Japan for some time. They enjoyed privileged treatment while they were obliged to serve to the emperor in a symbolic fashion.
They were finally assimilated into Japanese bureaucracy in 691. They were given the name "Kudara no Konikishi" sometime after that. This event has drawn scholarly attention and a couple of theories have been proposed to explain the reason why they were given this peculiar name at that particular time. One theory associates the event with the enforcement of the Asuka Kiyomihara Code in 689: the law system entailed clarification of their legal status. However, while being subjects to the Japanese emperor, they still needed to represent Baekje kingship by the special name. Japan applied to herself the Chinese ideology of emperorship that required "barbarian people" to long for the great virtue of the emperor. It was, however, difficult for Japan to keep the concept in concrete form in real international politics. Silla, which had acted as a vassal state in the 670s, changed its attitude and brought tension with Japan. In response, Japan treated Kudara no Konishiki as a "barbarian king" to reaffirm Silla's vassalage.
In 790, Emperor Kanmu issued a rescript that treats the Kudara no Konikishi clan as "relatives by marriage". It was related to the fact that the emperor's mother Takano no Niigasa belonged to the Baekje-originated Yamato no Fuhito clan, who at that time claimed its root in the Baekje royal family.
Another theory attempts to interpret the rise and fall of the Kudara no Konikishi clan in the context of domestic politics rather than political ideology: This clan fell under the influence of the southern branch of the Fujiwara clan after Kudara no Konikishi My?shin married Fujiwara no Tsugutada around 754. The emperor's rescript of 790 aimed to support My?shin's appointment as Lady in Waiting (), the highest post among court ladies, despite her humble origin. She helped the clan's other female members enter the imperial court. Their prosperous days ended in 807 when Fujiwara no Takatoshi, the son of Tsugutada and My?shin, fell from power in an imperial succession dispute. They declined from the latter half of the 9th century to the early 10th century and disappeared from the political scene.
Notable members of the Kudara no Konikishi clan include: