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It had long
been proverbial that white the eight provinces of the Kwanto could
defy the whole empire, 0-U (Oshu and Ushu-Mutsu and Dewa) could defy
the eight provinces.

**In allusion to the fact that owing to the Emperor's presence in the
camp of the Taira during the emeule, the Minamoto occupied the
position of rebels.

On receipt of this memorial, Go-Shirakawa ordered that the manors
held by the Taira in the Tokai-do and Tosan-do should all be restored
to their original owners, the duty of adjudicating in each case being
delegated to Yoritomo. How much of this admirably conceived document
was inspired by political acumen we may not venture to judge, but it
is proper to note that the principles enunciated in the memorial
found expression in the practice of Yoritomo himself. He always
extended clemency to a defeated enemy if he deemed the latter's
submission to be sincere, and throughout his whole career he showed a
strong respect for justice. The men of his time ultimately gave him
credit for sincerity, and his memorial won universal approval and
popularity.

POLITY OF THE KAMAKURA BAKUFU

Under the Dadka (A.D. 645) system, various administrative organs were
created in accordance with Tang models, and a polity at once imposing
and elaborate came into existence. But when the capital was overtaken
by an era of literary effeminacy and luxurious abandonment, the
Imperial exchequer fell into such a state of exhaustion that
administrative posts began to be treated as State assets and bought
and sold like commercial chattels, the discharge of the functions
connected with them becoming illusory, and the constant tendency
being in the direction of multiplication of offices with a
corresponding increase of red tape. Yoritomo and his councillors
appreciated the evils of such a system and were careful not to
imitate it at Kamakura. They took brevity and simplicity for guiding
principles, and constructed a polity in marked contrast with that of
Kyoto.

At the head of the whole stood the shogun, or commander-in-chief of
the entire body of bushi, and then followed three sections. They
were, first, the Samurai-dokoro, which term, according to its literal
rendering, signified "samurai place" and may be appropriately
designated "Central Staff Office." Established in 1180, its functions
were to promote or degrade military men; to form a council of war; to
direct police duties so far as they concerned bushi', to punish
crime, and to select men for guards and escorts. The president
(betto) obviously occupied a post of prime importance, as he
practically controlled all the retainers (keniri) of the Minamoto
clan and its allied houses. Its first occupant was Wada Yoshimori,
representative of a famous family in the Kwanto, who had greatly
distinguished himself in the Gen-Hei War. He held the post until the
year 1213, when, taking up arms against Hojo Yoshitoki, he was
defeated and killed. Thereafter, it being deemed inadvisable that the
functions of such an important office should be delegated
independently, they were made supplementary to those of the military
regent (shikken), to be presently spoken of.

MAN-DOKORO

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.

MONJU-DOKORO

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.

*Miyoshi Yasunobu held the office of chugu no sakan in Kyoto. He was
personally known to Yoritomo, and he was instrumental in securing the
services of the astute Oye no Hiromoto, whose younger brother,
Chikayoshi, was governor of Aki at the time of receiving Yoritomo's
invitation. His descendants received the uji of Nagai and Mori; those
of Yasunobu, the uji of Ota and Machine, and those of Chikayoshi, the
uji of Settsu and Otomo.

HIGH CONSTABLES AND LAND-STEWARDS

The most far-reaching change effected by Yoritomo was prompted by Oye
no Hiromoto, at the close of 1185, when, Yoshitsune and Yukiiye
having gone westward from Kyoto, the Kamakura chief entertained an
apprehension that they might succeed in raising a revolt in the
Sanyo-do, in Shikoku, and in Kyushu. He sought advice from the high
officials of the Bakufu as to the best preventive measures, and Oye
no Hiromoto presented a memorial urging that the Emperor's sanction
be obtained for appointing in each province a high constable (shugo)
and a land-steward (jito), these officials being nominated from
Kamakura, while Yoritomo himself became chief land-steward (so-jito)
and subsequently lord high constable (so-tsuihoshi) for the sixty-six
provinces. The object of these appointments was to insure that the
control of local affairs should be everywhere in the hands of the
Bakufu, whose nominees would thus be in a position to check all
hostile movements or preparations.

Yoritomo recognized the important bearings of this project. He at
once sent Hojo Tokimasa to guard Kyoto and to submit to the Court a
statement that it would be far more effective and economical to
prevent acts of insurrection than to deal with them after their full
development, and that, to the former end, trustworthy local officials
should be appointed, the necessary funds being obtained by levying
from the twenty-six provinces of the Go-Kinai, Sanin, Sanyo, Nankai,
and Saikai a tax of five sho of rice per tan (two bushels per acre).
Go-Shirakawa seems to have perceived the radical character of the
proposed measure. He evinced much reluctance to sanction it. But
Yoritomo was too strong to be defied. The Court agreed, and from that
moment military feudalism may be said to have been established in
Japan.

It has been shown that the land system fixed by the Daiho-ryo had
fallen into confusion. Private manors existed everywhere, yielding
incomes to all classes from princes to soldiers. In the days of the
Fujiwara and the Taira more than one-half of the arable land
throughout the empire was absorbed into such estates, which paid no
taxes to anyone except their direct owners. The provincial governor
appointed by the Court gradually ceased to exercise control over the
shoen in his district, unless he happened to be a military man with a
sufficient force of armed retainers (kenin) to assert his authority.
Hence it became customary for provincial governors not to proceed in
person to the place of their function. They appointed deputies
(mokudai), and these limited their duties to the collection of taxes
from manors. Lands constituting the domains of great families were
under the complete control of their holders, and there being no one
responsible for the preservation of general peace and order, bandits
and other lawbreakers abounded.

This state of affairs was remedied by the appointment of high
constables and land-stewards.



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