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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. The high constable had to arrest
insurgents, assassins, and robbers wherever he found them, and to
muster the soldiers for service in the Kyoto guards. The land-steward
was to collect taxes from all private manors. Soon, however, these
functions were extended, so that the high constables exercised
judicial and administrative powers, and the land-stewards not only
collected taxes, and, after deducting their own salaries, handed the
remainder to those entitled to receive it, but also were responsible
for the maintenance of peace and order within the manors entrusted to
their charge. High constables and land-stewards alike were
responsible to Kamakura alone; they were beyond the jurisdiction of
the Imperial Court. Thus, the sway of the Minamoto extended
throughout the whole country. It may be stated at once here that the
landsteward system did not work altogether satisfactorily. The acts
of these officials created friction in several quarters, and they
were soon withdrawn from all manors other than those owned or
administered by Taira. The high constables remained, however, and
were in full control of local military affairs, the Kamakura chief
controlling the whole in his capacity of lord high constable.

EXEMPTION OF SHRINES AND TEMPLES FROM THE SHUGO SYSTEM

In pursuance of his policy of special benevolence towards religious
institutions, Yoritomo exempted the manors of temples and shrines
from the jurisdiction of high constables. Thus military men were not
permitted to make an arrest within the enclosure of a fane, or to
trespass in any way on its domains, these being tax-free.

REFORM OF THE COURT

Yoritomo did not confine himself to re-casting the system of
provincial administration. He extended his reforms to the Court,
also. Thrice within the short space of five years he had been
proscribed as a rebel by Imperial decree once at the instance of the
Taira; once at the instance of Yoshinaka, and once at the instance of
Yoshitsune. In short, the Court, being entirely without military
power of its own, was constrained to bow to any display of force from
without. As a means of correcting this state of affairs, Hojo
Tokimasa was despatched to the Imperial capital at the close of 1185,
to officiate there as high constable and representative of the
Bakufu. A strong force of troops was placed at his disposal, and
efficient means of speedy communications between the east and the
west were organized. Moreover, a new office, that of scrutator
(nairari), was instituted, and to him were transferred some of the
powers hitherto wielded by the regent (kwampaku). Fujiwara Kanezane
was the first occupant of this post. Further, a body of twelve
councillors (giso), headed by Kanezane, were organized in the
cloistered Emperor's Court (Inchu), and to this council was entrusted
the duty of discussing and deciding all State affairs. These
important steps were taken early in 1186.

Simultaneously, a number of Court officials, including all that had
been connected with Yoshitsune and Yukiie, lost their posts, and,
shortly afterwards, Kanezane, becoming regent (kwampaku) in place of
Fujiwara Motomichi, co-operated with Oye no Hiromoto in effecting
many important changes, the latter operating at Kamakura, the former
at Kyoto. It may be noted here that Kanezane's descendants received
the name of Kujo, those of Motomichi being called Konoe, and the
custom of appointing the kwampaku alternately from these two families
came into vogue from that time. All the above reforms having been
effected during the year 1186, the Bakufu recalled Hojo Tokimasa and
appointed Nakahara Chikayoshi to succeed him. But, as the latter was
not a scion of a military family, the Court desired to have a Hojo
appointed, and Yoritomo acceded by sending Hojo Tokisada.

PALACES AND FANES

Yoritomo maintained from first to last a reverential attitude towards
the Throne and towards religion. It has already been shown how
generously he legislated in the matter of estates belonging to
temples and shrines, and we may add that his munificence in that
respect was stimulated by a terrible earthquake which visited Kyoto
in the autumn of 1185. While the city trembled under repeated shocks,
the citizens told each other that this was the work of vengeful
spirits of the Taira who, having fallen in the great sea-fight, were
still without full rites of sepulture. The Kamakura chief seems to
have accepted that view, for he not only gave substantial
encouragement to the burning of incense and intoning of memorial
Sutras, but he also desisted largely from his pursuit of the Taira
survivors. Two years later (1187), he sent Oye no Hiromoto to the
Imperial capital with authority and ample competence to repair the
palaces there. The city was then infested with bandits, a not
unnatural product of the warlike era. Chiba Tsunetane, specially
despatched from Kamakura, dealt drastically with this nuisance, and
good order was finally restored.

YORITOMO VISITS KYOTO

During the early years of his signal triumphs Yoritomo was invited to
Kyoto on several occasions. Various considerations deterred him. He
wished, in the first place, to dispel the popular illusion that the
Imperial capital was the centre of all dignity and power. People must
be taught to recognize that, although Kyoto might be the ultimate
source of authority, Kamakura was its place of practical exercise. He
wished, in the second place, not to absent himself from Kamakura
until he could be absolutely assured that his absence would not
afford an opportunity to his enemies; which sense of security was not
fully reached until the death of Yoshitsune and Fujiwara no Yasuhira,
and the complete subjugation of the great northern fief of Oshti in
the year 1189. Finally, he wished to appear in Kyoto, not merely as
the representative of military power, but also as a benefactor who
had rebuilt the fanes and restored the palaces.

On the 2nd of November, in the year 1190, he set out from Kamakura
and reached Kyoto on December 5th. His armies had shown that, for the
purpose of a campaign, the distance would be traversed in little more
than half of that time. But Yoritomo's journey was a kind of Imperial
progress. Attended by a retinue designed to surprise even the
citizens of the Imperial metropolis, he travelled at a leisurely pace
and made a pause of some duration in Owari to worship at his father's
tomb. The Court received him with all consideration. He had already
been honoured with the first grade of the second rank, so that he
enjoyed the right of access to the Presence, and the cloistered
Emperor held with him long conversations, sometimes lasting a whole
day. But Yoritomo did not achieve his purpose. It is true that he
received the appointments of gon-dainagon and general of the Right
division of the guards. These posts, however, were more objectionable
on account of their limitations than acceptable as marks of honour.
Their bestowal was a mere formality, and Yoritomo resigned them in a
few days, preferring to be nominated so-tsuihoshi.

What he really desired, however, was the office of sei-i tai-shogun
(barbarian-subduing great general). This high title had been
conferred more than once previously, but only for the purpose of some
finite and clearly indicated purpose, on the attainment of which the
office had to be surrendered. The Kamakura chief's plan was to remove
these limitations, and to make the appointment not only for life but
also general in the scope of its functions and hereditary in his own
family, reserving to the sovereign the formal right of investiture
alone. Go-Shirakawa, however, appreciated the far-reaching effects of
such an arrangement and refused to sanction it. Thus, Yoritomo had to
content himself with the post of lord high constable of the empire
(so-tsuihoshi), an office of immense importance, but differing
radically from that of sei-i tai-shogun in that, whereas the latter
had competence to adopt every measure he pleased without reference to
any superior authority, the former was required to consult the
Imperial Court before taking any step of a serious nature. The
Minamoto chief returned quietly to Kamakura, but he left many
powerful friends to promote his interests in Kyoto, and when
Go-Shirakawa died, in 1192, his grandson and successor, Go-Toba, a
boy of thirteen, had not occupied the throne more than three months
before the commission of sei-i tai-shogun was conveyed to Yoritomo by
special envoys. Thereafter it became the unwritten law of the empire
that the holder of this high post must be either the head of the
principal Minamoto family or an Imperial prince.

Never before had there been such encroachment upon the prerogatives
of the Crown. We have seen that, in the centuries antecedent to the
Daika (A.D. 645) reforms, the sovereign's contact with his subjects
had been solely through the medium of the o-omi or the o-muraji. By
these, the Imperial commands were transmitted and enforced, with such
modifications as circumstances might suggest, nor did the prerogative
of nominating the o-omi or the o-muraji belong practically to the
Throne. The Daika reforms, copying the Tang polity called into
existence a cabinet and a body of officials appointable or removable
by the sovereign at will, each entrusted with definite functions. But
almost before that centralized system had time to take root, the
Fujiwara grafted on it a modification which, in effect, substituted
their own family for the o-omi and the o-muraji of previous times.
And now, finally, came the Minamoto with their separate capital and
their sei-i tai-shogun, who exercised the military and administrative
powers of the empire with practically no reference to the Emperor.
Yoritomo himself was always willing and even careful to envelop his
own personality in a shadow of profound reverence towards the
occupant of the throne, but he was equally careful to preserve for
Kamakura the substance of power.

DEATH OF YORITOMO

Yoritomo lived only seven years after he had reached the summit of
his ambition.



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