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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And who were designated shimpo jito


By

the Shokyu war the camera system of administration (Insei) at the Court was destroyed, and a great change took place in the relations of the Throne to the Bakufu. For, whereas the latter's authority in Kyoto had hitherto been largely nominal, it now became a supreme reality. Kamakura had been represented in the Imperial capital by a high constable only, whereas two special officials, called "inquisitors" (tandai) were now appointed, and the importance attaching to the office becomes apparent when we observe that the first tandai were Yasutoki himself and his uncle, Tokifusa. They presided over administrative machinery at the two Rokuhara--in the northern and southern suburbs of the city--organized exactly on the lines of the Kamakura polity; namely, a Samurai-dokoro, a Man-dokoro, and a Monju-dokoro. Further, in spite of imposing arrangements in Kyoto, no question was finally decided without previous reference to Kamakura, which thus became, in very truth, the administrative metropolis of the empire.

THE SHIMPO-JITO

When Yoritomo appointed retainers of his own to be land-stewards in the various manors, these officials did not own the estates where they were stationed; they merely collected the taxes and exercised general supervision. After the Shokyu struggle, however, some three thousand manors, hitherto owned by courtiers hostile to the Bakufu, were confiscated by the latter and distributed among the Minamoto,

the Hojo, and their partisans. The recipients of these estates were appointed also to be their land-stewards, and thus there came into existence a new class of manor-holders, who were at once owners and jito, and who were designated shimpo-jito, or "newly appointed land-stewards," to distinguish them from the hompo-jito, or "originally appointed."

These shimpo-jito, in whom were vested at once the rights of ownership and of management, were the first genuine feudal chiefs in Japan--prototypes of the future daimyo and shomyo. It should be here noted that, in the distribution of these confiscated estates, the Kamakura regent, Yoshitoki, did not benefit to the smallest extent; and that the grants made to the two tandai in Kyoto barely sufficed to defray the charges of their administrative posts. Yoshitoki is, in truth, one of the rare figures to whom history can assign the credit of coveting neither wealth nor station. Out of the three thousand manors that came into his hands as spolia opima of the Shokyu war, he might have transferred as many as he pleased to his own name; and wielding absolute authority in Kyoto, he could have obtained any title he desired. Yet he did not take a rood of land, and his official status at the time of his death was no higher than the fourth rank.

THE BUILDERS OF THE BAKUFU

The great statesmen, legislators, and judges who contributed so much to the creation of the Bakufu did not long survive the Shokyu struggle. Miyoshi Yasunobu, who presided over the Department of Justice (Monju-dokoro) from the time of its establishment, had been attacked by mortal sickness before the Imperial army commenced its march eastward. His last advice was given to the lady Masa when he counselled an immediate advance against Kyoto. Soon afterwards he died at the age of eighty-two. The great Oye no Hiromoto, who contributed more than any other man to the conception and organization of the Kamakura system, and of whom history says that without him the Minamoto had never risen to fame, survived his colleague by only four years, dying, in 1225, at the age of seventy-eight. The lady Masa, one of the world's heroines, expired in the same year, and 1224 had seen the sudden demise of the regent, Hojo Yoshitoki. Fortunately for the Bakufu, the regent's son, Yasutoki, proved himself a ruler of the highest ability, and his immediate successors were not less worthy of the exalted office they filled.


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