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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Under whom also nanushi officiated


fuller particulars of the manner of daily life at the shogun's court, see Chapter 1. Vol. IV, of Brinkley's "Oriental Series."


In organizing a system of local government the Tokugawa Bakufu began by appointing a shoshidai in Kyoto to guard the Imperial palace, to supervise Court officials, and to oversee financial measures as well as to hear suits-at-law, and to have control over temples and shrines. The shoshidai enjoyed a high measure of respect. He had to visit Yedo once in every five or six years for the purpose of making a report to the shogun in person. The municipal administrator of Kyoto and the administrators of Nara and Fushimi, the Kyoto deputy (daikwan), and all the officials of the Nijo palace were under the jurisdiction of the shoshidai. To qualify for this high office a man must have served as governor of Osaka. In the Imperial city the municipal administrator heard suits-at-law presented by citizens, managed the affairs of temples and shrines, and was responsible for collecting the taxes in the home provinces. There were two of these officials in Kyoto and, like their namesakes in Yedo, they had a force of constables (yoriki) and policemen (doshin) under their command.


Regarded with scarcely less importance than that attaching to the shoshidai was an official called the jodai of Osaka,

on whom devolved the responsibility of guarding the Kwansei. For this office a hereditary daimyo of the Tokugawa family was selected, and he must previously have occupied the offices of soshaban and jisha-bugyo. The routine of promotion was from the jodai of Osaka to the shoshidai of Kyoto and from thence to the roju. Originally there were six jodai but their number was ultimately reduced to one. Sumpu also had a jodai, who discharged duties similar to those devolving on his Osaka namesake. In Nagasaki, Sado, Hakodate, Niigata, and other important localities, bugyo were stationed, and in districts under the direct control of the Bakufu the chief official was the daikwan.


The governmental system in the fiefs closely resembled the system of the Bakufu. The daimyo exercised almost unlimited power, and the business of their fiefs was transacted by factors (karo). Twenty-one provinces consisted entirely of fiefs, and in the remaining provinces public and private estates were intermixed.


Both the Bakufu and the feudatories were careful to allow a maximum of autonomy to the lower classes. Thus the farmers elected a village chief--called nanushi or shoya--who held his post for life or for one year, and who exercised powers scarcely inferior to those of a governor. There were also heads of guilds (kumi-gashira) and representatives of farmers (hyakushodai) who participated in administering the affairs of a village. Cities and towns had municipal elders (machi-doshiyori), under whom also nanushi officiated. The guilds constituted a most important feature of this local autonomic system. They consisted of five householders each, being therefore called gonin-gumi, and their main functions were to render mutual aid in all times of distress, and to see that there were no evasions of the taxes or violations of the law. In fact, the Bakufu interfered as little as possible in the administrative systems of the agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial classes, and the feudatories followed the same rule.

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