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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

THE JISHA BUGYOThe jisha bugyo



The duties of the dairo--sometimes called karo or o-doshiyori--were to preside over the roju and to handle important administrative affairs. In many respects his functions resembled those discharged by the regent (shikken) of the Kamakura Bakufu. To the office of dairo a specially distinguished member of the roju was appointed, and if no one possessing the necessary qualifications was available, that post had to be left vacant. Generally the Ii, the Hotta, or the Sakai family supplied candidates for the office.


The roju or senior ministers--called also toshiyori--discharged the administration. They resembled the kwanryo of the Muromachi Government. There were five of these ministers and they exercised control over all matters relating to the Imperial palace, the palace of the ex-Emperor (Sendo), the Imperial princes, the princely abbots (monzeki) and all the daimyo. It was customary to choose the roju from among officials who had previously served as governors of Osaka or Kyoto or as soshaban, who will be presently spoken of at greater length.


There were five junior ministers (waka-doshiyori) whose principal functions were to exercise jurisdiction over the hatamoto and the kenin. These latter names have already been alluded to, but for the sake of clearness it may be well

to explain that whereas the fudai daimyo consisted of the one hundred and seventy-six barons who joined the standard of Ieyasu before the battle of Sekigahara, the hatamoto (bannerets), while equally direct vassals of the shogun, were lower than the daimyo though higher than the go-kenin, who comprised the bulk of the Tokugawa samurai. Members of the waka-doshiyori might at any time be promoted to the post of roju. Their functions were wide as well as numerous, and resembled those performed by the Hyojo-shu and the hikitsuke-shu of the Kamakura and Muromachi Governments. A junior minister must previously have occupied the post of administrator of temples and shrines (jisha-bugyo) or that of chamberlain (o-soba-shu) or that of chief guard (o-ban). The offices of minister and junior minister were necessarily filled by daimyo who were hereditary vassals of the shogun.


There were two secretariats, the oku-yuhitsu (domestic secretariat) and the omote-yuhitsu (external secretariat). They discharged, on account of the senior ministers, the duties of scribes, and were presided over by a todori, who, in later days, wielded large influence.


The jisha-bugyo, as their name suggests, supervised all affairs relating to shrines, temples, Shinto officials, bonzes, and nuns as well as persons residing within the domains of shrines and temples. They also discharged judicial functions in the case of these various classes. The number of these administrators of shrines and temples was originally three, but afterwards it was increased to four, who transacted business for a month at a time in succession. The soshaban, who were entitled to make direct reports to the shogun, had to fill the office of jisha-bugyo in addition to their other functions, which were connected with the management of matters relating to ceremony and etiquette.

At first there were only two of these soshaban, but subsequently their number was increased to twenty-four, and it became customary for one of them to keep watch in the castle at night. They were generally ex-governors of Osaka and Fushimi, and they were necessarily daimyo who had the qualification of direct vassalage to the shogun. The jisha-bugyo performed their judicial functions in their own residences, each administrator employing his own vassals for subordinate purposes, and these vassals, when so employed, were distinguished as jisha-yaku or toritsugi. Further, officiating in conjunction with the jisha-bugyo f were chief inspectors (daikenshi), and assistant inspectors (shokenshi) whose duties require no description. The classes of people to whom the jisha-bugyo's jurisdiction extended were numerous: they embraced the cemetery-keepers at Momiji-yama, the bonzes, the fire-watchmen, the musicians, the Shinto officials, the poets, the players at go or chess, and so forth.

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