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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

The betto of the Man dokoro was


style="text-align: justify;">The second of the three great sections of the Bakufu polity was the Mandokoro (literally, "place of administration"), which, at the time of its establishment in 1184, was designated Kumon-jo, the change of name to Man-dokoro being made after Yoritomo's first visit to Kyoto (1190), when he was nominated gon-dainagon as well as general of the Right division of the guards (u-kon-e taisho). In fact, the office Man-dokoro had long existed in the establishment of the civil regent (kwampaku) at the Imperial capital, and a concession to Kyoto usages in the matter of nomenclature appealed to Yoritomo's taste for simplicity. The Man-dokoro had to discharge the duties and general business of the Bakufu. Its president was called betto; its vice-president, rei; there were secretaries, a manager (shitsuji), whose functions were mainly financial, and certain minor officials. Oye no Hiromoto was the first president, and the office of shitsuji became hereditary in the Nikaido family.

It will be seen that the betto of the Man-dokoro corresponded to the regent in the Kyoto polity, the only difference being that the former officiated in military government, the latter in civil. The betto of the Man-dokoro was, in fact, designated by the alternative name of shikken (literally, "holder of authority") Thus there were two regents, one in Kyoto, one in Kamakura. In succession to Oye no Hiromoto, the military regency fell to Hojo Tokimasa,

and subsequently to his son Yoshitoki, who, as shown above, held the post of betto of the Samurai-dokoro. In short, both offices became hereditary in the Hojo family, who thus acquired virtually all the power of the Bakufu. The shikken, standing at the head of the Samurai-dokoro and the Man-dokoro simultaneously, came to wield such authority that even the appointment of the shogun depended upon his will, and though a subject of the Emperor, he administered functions far exceeding those of the Imperial Court. In the year 1225, a reorganization of the Man-dokoro was effected. An administrative council was added (Hyojoshu), the councillors, fifteen or sixteen in number, being composed, in about equal parts, of men of science and members of the great clans. The regent (shikken) presided ex-officio.


The third of the Bakufu offices was the Monju-dokoro, or "place for recording judicial inquiries;" in other words, a high court of justice and State legislature. Suits at law were heard there and were either decided finally or transferred to other offices for approval. This office was established in 1184. Its president was called shitsuji (manager), indicating that he ranked equally with the Man-dokoro official having the same appellation. The first occupant of the post was Miyoshi Yasunobu. He not only presided over the Monju-dokoro in a judicial capacity but also attended the meetings of the Man-dokoro council (Hyojoshu) ex-officio.

This Miyoshi Yasunobu,* as well as the representative of the Nikaido who occupied the post of shitsuji in the Man-dokoro; the Oye family, who furnished the president of the latter, and the Nakahara, who served as the secretaries, were all men of erudition whom Yoritomo invited from Kyoto to fill posts in his administrative system at Kamakura. In these unquiet and aristocratically exclusive times, official promotion in the Imperial capital had largely ceased to be within reach of scholastic attainments, and Yoritomo saw an opportunity to attract to Kamakura men of learning and of competence. He offered to them careers which were not open in Kyoto, and their ready response to his invitations was a principal cause of the success and efficacy that attended the operation of the Bakufu system in the early days.

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