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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

A law was enacted for the Danjo dai


The Hyobu-sho, or Department of War.

(11). The Danjo-dai, or Office of Censorship, This office had the duty of correcting civil customs and punishing and conduct on the part of officials. In the year 799, Kwammu being then on the throne, a law was enacted for the Danjo-dai. It consisted of eighty-three articles, and it had the effect of greatly augmenting the powers of the office. But in the period 810-829, it was found necessary to organize a special bureau of kebiishi, or executive police, to which the functions of the Danjo-dai subsequently passed, as did also those of the Gyobu-sho in great part. These two boards, eight departments, and one office all had their locations within the palace enclosure, so that the Imperial Court and the Administration were not differentiated.


For administrative purposes the capital was divided into two sections, the Eastern and the Western, which were controlled by a Left Metropolitan Office and a Right Metropolitan Office, respectively. In Naniwa (Osaka) also, which ranked as a city of special importance, there was an executive office called the Settsu-shoku--Settsu being the name of the province in which the town stood--and in Chikuzen province there was the Dazai-fu (Great Administrative Office), which had charge of foreign relations in addition to being the seat of the governor-generalship of the whole island

of Kyushu. In spite of its importance as an administrative post, the Dazai-fu, owing to its distance from the capital, came to be regarded as a place of exile for high officials who had fallen out of Imperial favour.

The empire was divided into provinces (kuni) of four classes--great, superior, medium, and inferior,--and each province was subdivided into districts (kori) of five classes--great, superior, medium, inferior, and small. The term "province" had existed from remote antiquity, but it represented at the outset a comparatively small area, for in the time of the Emperor Keitai (A.D. 507-531), there were 144 kuni. This number was largely reduced in the sequel of surveys and re-adjustments of boundaries during the Daika era (645-650), and after the Daiho reforms (701-704) it stood at fifty-eight, but subsequently, at an uncertain date, it grew to sixty-six and remained permanently thus. The kori (district) of the Daika and Daiho reforms had originally been called agata (literally "arable land"), and had been subdivided into inaki (granary) and mura (village). A miyatsuko had administered the affairs of the kuni, holding the office by hereditary right, and the agata of which there were about 590, a frequently changing total as well as the inaki and the mura had been under officials called nushi. But according to the Daika and Daiho systems, each kuni was placed under a governor (kokushi), chosen on account of competence and appointed for a term of four years; each district (kori) was administered by a cho (chief).

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