Tsuikahô 245-249 : Matters the precinct magistrates shall know

Translated by Christ Bovberg and Kaitlyn Forgash.

Matters the precinct magistrates shall know

Item: Regarding failure to maintain roads

Item: Regarding houses’ eaves protruding into roads 1

Item: Regarding building townspeople’s houses and bit by bit narrowing the roads 2

Item: Regarding building small houses on top of drainage ditches 3

Item: Regarding failure to perform night watches 4

It shall be commanded to the magistrates of the various precincts that the above five matters are prohibited. For those {houses} still standing seven days after this is announced, magistrates shall lead their subordinates and destroy them. By this command, the directive is thus.

Kangen 3rd year {1245}, 4th month, 22nd day

Governor of Musashi [Hōjō Tsunetoki] 5

Lord Former Governor of Sado [Gotō Mototsuna] 6

A diagram showing how eave and pillar construction could interfere with city streets.

A diagram showing how eave and pillar construction could interfere with city streets.

Original Text 原文


一 不作道事

一 差出宅檐於路事

一 作町屋漸々狭路事

一 造懸小家於溝上事

一 不夜行事



   寛元三年四月廿二日             武蔵守(北条経時)


Kundoku 訓読


一 道を作らざる事

一 宅ののきを路に差出さしだす事

一 町屋を作り漸々ぜんぜん路を狭める事

一 小家をみぞの上に造り懸ける事

一 夜行やぎょうせざる事


  寛元三年四月廿二日                                                武蔵守(北条経時ほうじょうつねとき


Modern 現代語訳


一つ 道を整備しないことについて

一つ 家の檐を道に差し出すことについて

一つ 町屋を作り、道をだんだんに狭くすることについて

一つ 小さい家を溝の上に懸け造ることについて

一つ 夜の警備しないことについて


  寛元三年四月廿二日        武蔵守 (北条経時)

    佐渡 前司殿 (後藤基綱)

  1. Eaves (noki) would extend over the street, and render an area below them (potentially with the help of a supporting pillar or veranda) as virtually unusable for transportation.

  1. Townspeople’s houses (machiya) draws a distinction between the residences of commoners and warriors. At issue here was the encroachment of commoner houses into the street and increasing congestion.

  1. As above, this regulation sought to ban the encroachment of private residences into the streets of the city, in this case, the drainage ditches that ran on either side of a road.

  1. Night watches were organized by precinct magistrates, though they did not necessarily lead or even participate in them. They were composed of volunteer townspeople.

  1. 1224-1246. Grandson of Yasutoki, Tsunetoki succeeded as the fourth regent of the Kamakura bakufu in 1242, but ruled only briefly. He fell ill shortly after this supplementary law was promulgated, and died the following year.

  1. 1181-1256. An important houseman (gokenin) of the Kamakura bakufu, he served as Governor of Sado, as royal police (kebiishi), and went on to serve on the Board of Co-Adjudicators (hikitsuke). Nihon kokugo daijiten.