Immigrants, Outsiders, and the Outside World in the Yôrô Administrative Code

by Nadia Kanagawa, June 2017
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This document brings together the clauses in the Yōrō administrative code that have to do with foreign people in or entering the realm, people of the realm going to foreign lands, and interactions with other polities. Clauses that are particularly relevant have been translated in full with the original Sino-Japanese text, a classical Japanese reading (kundoku) of that text, and an English translation. Less relevant clauses have been listed with only an abstract of their contents.

All of the originals are from Inoue Mitsusada’s 1976 edition of Ritsuryō, the standard reference work for the Yōrō penal and administrative codes. 1

Laws on Appointments to Offices and Posts
Shikiinryō
職員令

 

7 - Royal Storehouse Bureau
職員令7内蔵寮 (Kuraryō)
Responsible for managing foreign tribute goods, also employed Paekche artisans and Paekche residence units.  

16 - Ministry of Civil Affairs
職員令 16治部省 (Jibushō)
Responsible for designations and genealogies, as well as receiving foreign envoys.

18 - Bureau of Buddhism and Foreigners
職員令 18 玄蕃寮 (Genbaryō)

 [原文]
玄蕃寮 頭一人。〈掌。仏寺。僧尼名籍。供斎。蕃客辞見讌饗送迎。及在京夷狄。監当館舎事。〉助一人。大允一人。少允一人。大属一人。少属一人。史生四人。使部廿人。直丁二人。

[訓読]
玄蕃寮

頭一人。〈掌らむこと、仏寺、僧尼の名籍みょうじゃく供斎ぐさいのこと、蕃客の辞見じげん讌饗えんごう送迎そうごうのこと、及び在京ざいきょう夷狄いてき館舎かんじゃを監当せむ事。〉助一人。大允一人。少允一人。大属一人。少属一人。史生四人。使部廿人。直丁二人。
[English]
Bureau of Buddhism and Foreigners 2
1 Director {Responsible for Buddhist temples; the registers of the names of monks and nuns; meal offerings 3 ; the greetings, send-offs, banquets, entertainment, and audiences for foreign guests; and the aliens living in the capital, including supervision of their accommodations.}
1 Second-level manager
1 Senior third-level manager
1 Junior third-level manager
1 Senior fourth-level manager
1 Junior fourth-level manager
4 Clerks
20 Attendants
2 Corvée laborers 4

Laws on Residence Units
Koryō
戸令

16 – Captured or Shipwrecked in a Foreign Land
戸令 16没落外蕃条

[原文]
凡没落外蕃得還。及化外人帰化者。所在国郡。給衣粮。具状発飛駅申奏。化外人。於寬国附貫安置。没落人依旧貫。無旧貫。任於近親附貫。並給粮遞送。使達前所。

[訓読]
凡そ、外蕃げばん没落ぼつらくして、還ることを得たらむ、及び化外けがいの人化にらば、所在しょざい国郡こくぐん衣粮いろうたまへ。かたちつぶさにして飛駅ひやくてて、申奏しんそうせよ。化外の人をば、ゆたかなる国にかんけて安置あんちせよ。没落の人、もとの貫に依れ。旧の貫無くは、任る近親あたるごんしんの貫に附けよ。並にかて給ひて遞送だいそうし、前所ぜんしょたちせしめよ。
[English]
Captured or Shipwrecked in a Foreign Land
As for those who have been captured or shipwrecked in a foreign land but are able to return, as well as people from outside the transformative influence 5 who submit and are transformed, let the provincial and district officials provide them with food and clothing. Record their appearance with great care, and dispatch an express messenger to memorialize the throne. People from outside of the realm should be settled in a plentiful province and be added to the registers there. If they were captured or shipwrecked, use their former register. If they do not have a former register, add them to the register of close relatives. Also, forward provisions to the aforementioned place [ie. where the person or people will be settled], and ensure that they arrive. 6
 
26 – On Marriage
戸令 結婚条 26
Marriages can be voided if one party is absent due to being detained in foreign state for over a year, among other reasons. 7

41 – Residence Units of Official Servants Returning on their Own
戸令 41官戸自抜条

[原文]
凡官戸。家人。公私奴婢。被抄略。没在外蕃。自拔得還者。皆放為良。非抄略。及背主入蕃。後得帰者。各還官主。

[訓読]
凡そ官戸、家人、公私の奴婢、抄略せられて、没して外蕃げばんに在りて、自ら拔けて還ること得たらば、皆放して良とよ。抄略せらるるに非ず、及び主を背きて蕃に入りて、後に帰ること得たらむは、おのおの官主に還せ。

[English]
Residence Units of Official Servants Returning on their Own
Regarding those in residence units of official servants, hereditary household servants, and official and non-official bound servants who were taken as plunder and ended up in foreign lands, if such a person is able to escape and return on his or her own, he or she shall be released them and made a free person. If they were not taken as plunder or if they have disobeyed their master in entering a foreign land, then return them to their official master if they return.

 

44 - Bound Servants from Outside the Transformative Influence
戸令 44化外奴婢条

[原文]
凡化外奴婢、自来投国者。悉放為良。即附籍貫。本主雖先来投国。亦不得認。若是境外之人。先於化内充賤。其二等以上親。後来投化者。聴贖為良。


[English]
Bound Servants from Outside the Transformative Influence
Regarding slaves from outside the transformative influence, if they approach and submit, release them all and make them free people. Then add them to the residence unit registers. Even if the master says that he or she approached and submitted before [the bound servant], [his or her claim] will not be recognized. If a person from outside the borders has already been assigned [the status of] bound person within our realm, then relatives of the second degree of kinship and closer 8 who later approach and submit shall be made free people as an atonement.
 

Laws on Rice Fields
Denryō
田令

18 – Royal Business
田令 18王事条
Discusses how to handle rice fields assigned to people who are sent abroad on royal business and are not able to return for some time, as well as what to do if such people do eventually return.

 

Laws on Taxes
Buyakuryō
賦役令

10 – Peripheral Polities
賦役令10辺遠国条
 [原文]
凡辺遠国。有夷人雜類之所。応輸調役者。隨事斟量。不必同華夏。

[English]
Peripheral Polities
Regarding peripheral polities where there are various uncivilized peoples 9 and whether or not they should forward tax paid in goods and corvée laborers, make allowances according to the circumstances. Do not necessarily treat them the same as civilized people 10 .
 

15 – Captured or Shipwrecked in a Foreign Land
賦役令 15没落外蕃条

[原文]
凡没落外蕃得還者。一年以上。復三年。二年以上。復四年。三年以上。復五年。外蕃之人投化者。復十年。其家人奴。被放附戸貫者。復三年。

[English]
Captured or Shipwrecked in a Foreign Land
Regarding those who were captured or shipwrecked in a foreign land, but were able to return: if they have been gone more than one year, three years of tax exemption. If they have been gone more than two years, four years of tax exemption. If they have been gone more than three years, five years of tax exemption 11 . For people from foreign lands who submit and are transformed, ten years of tax exemption. If the person is a hereditary household servant or bound servant who has been released and added to the registers, three years of tax exemption.
 

Laws on Promotion
Senjoryō
選敘令

11 – Courtiers without Posts
選敘令 11散位条
Regulations for the promotion of courtiers of the sixth rank and below who have rank, but no post. Gives limitations on their selection and ranks for promotions in inner part-time official work. Includes a notation that those who have served as envoys abroad for at least four years shall receive evaluations for promotion.

 

Laws on the Evaluation of Officials
Kōkaryō
考課令

14 - Evaluations
考課令14最条
Regulations on the evaluation of officials in the Ministry of Civil Affairs (Jibushō) and Bureau of Buddhism and Foreigners (Genbaryō).

 

Laws on Defense
Gunbōryō
軍防令

64 – Arrival and Departure of Foreign Envoys
軍防令 蕃使出入条 64

[原文]
凡蕃使出入。伝送囚徒及軍物。須人防援。皆量差所在兵士遞送。

[English] 12
Arrival & Departure of Foreign Envoys
When foreign envoys escorting prisoners or transporting military materials require additional troops to guard them as they arrive or depart, local soldiers shall be selected and dispatched.
 

Laws on Official Documentation
Kushikiryō
公式令

70 – Post-station Messengers to the Capital
公式令 70駅使至京条

[原文]
凡駅使至京。奏機密事者。不得令共人語。其蕃人帰化者。置館供給。亦不得任来往。

[English]
Post-station Messengers to the Capital
Regarding messengers authorized to use the post-station system, if they will memorialize the throne regarding military and other secret matters, they shall not speak with other people when traveling to the capital or after arriving. If there are foreigners who wish to submit and be transformed, install them in an official residence and give them the necessary provisions. They are not to be allowed to come and go as they please. 13
 

89 – People of Other Customs from Far Away
公式令89 遠方俗殊人

[原文]
凡遠方殊俗人。来入朝者。所在官司。各造図。畫其容状衣服。具序名号処所并風俗。随訖奏聞。

[English]
People of Other Customs from Far Away Places
Regarding people of other customs who come from far away to enter our realm, the officials in the place where they arrive should create an image of each of them 14 . They should depict the appearance and clothing, and record the names of the person and the country of origin, the location of the country of origin, and their ways and manners. Once completed, memorialize the throne.

Laws on Barriers, Markets, and Trade
Genshiryō
関市令

6 – Bows and Arrows 15

関市令 6弓箭
[原文]
凡弓箭兵器。並不得与諸蕃市易。其東辺北辺。不得置鉄冶。

[English]
Bows and Arrows
Regarding weapons [such as] bows and arrows. They should not be traded at the market with various foreign [people]. Regarding those in the northern and eastern regions, they shall not establish iron forges.

 

7 - Foreign Guests
関市令7蕃客

[原文]
凡蕃客初入関日。所有一物以上。関司共当客官人。具録申所司。入一関以後。更不須検。若無関処。初経国司。亦准此。

[English]
Foreign Guests
Regarding the days on which foreign guests first enter the barriers, all of the officials in charge of welcoming the guests and serving them throughout their stay should be recorded and reported to the Ministry of Civil Affairs 16 . After entering the first barrier, they should not be further investigated. If [they arrive in] a place where there is no barrier, they should proceed through the governor of that province, who shall follow these instructions.
 

8 – Officials
関市令 8官司

[原文]
凡官司未交易之前。不得私共諸蕃交易。為人糺獲者。二分其物。一分賞糺人。一分没官。若官司於其所部捉獲者。皆没官。

[English]
Officials
Conducting trade with private individuals or various foreign people before official trade is conducted is forbidden. If someone informs authorities [that such trade has taken place] and seizes [the goods], the goods shall be divided in two and one part shall be given to the informant. The other portion shall be confiscated as official goods. If an official seizes goods in his or her area of jurisdiction, they shall all be made official goods.

 

9 – Forbidden Goods
関市令9禁物

[原文]
凡禁物。不得将出境。若蕃客入朝。別勅賜者。聴将出境。

[English]
Forbidden goods
Forbidden goods shall not be taken beyond the borders. 17 For foreign guests who enter the realm, those who are given gifts by edict shall be allowed to take them outside the borders.
 

Laws on Miscellaneous Matters
Zōryō
雑令


29 - Foreign Envoys Traveling to and from the Capital
雑令 29蕃使往還

[原文]
凡蕃使往還。当大路近側。不得置当方蕃人。及畜同色奴婢。亦不得充伝馬子及援夫等。

[English]
Foreign Envoys Traveling to and from the Capital
Regarding foreign envoys traveling to and from [the court], foreign people from the same place are not to be settled near the great roads, 18 nor shall bound persons of the same origin be allowed to gather near the great roads. Furthermore, they shall not be assigned as relay horse grooms or support staff.
  1. Inoue Mitsusada, Ritsuryō (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1976).

  1. See also: George Sansom, “Early Japanese Law and Administration - Part I,” Transactions of the Asiatic Society in Japan 2nd series Vol. 9 (1932): 86; and Joan Piggott, “The Yôrô Ritsuryô Sôniryô,” available on The Project for Premodern Japan Studies website.

  1. Bukkyōgo daijiten, s.v. “供斎,” accessed on July 14, 2017 via Japan Knowledge.

  1. Laborers sent from the provinces were divided into the jikichō (直丁), who were based in the capital, and the kushichō (駈使丁), who operated in the provinces. Kokushi daijiten, s.v. “直丁,” accessed on July 11, 2017 via Japan Knowledge.

  1. The ritsuryō codes divided people into those who were outside the transformative influence of the sovereign (kegai 化外) and those who were within the transformative influence of the sovereign (kenai 化内). Bruce Batten compares these categories to Roman distinctions between inner and outer lands and sees them as zones primarily defined by whether or not they were under the direct administration of the state. See To the Ends of Japan: Premodern Frontiers, Boundaries, and Interactions (Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2003), 28-30.

  1. According to the Koki commentary in the Ryō no shūge (a collection of official and non-official legal commentaries completed 859-876 CE), the Taihō code of 701 CE included a provision for the arrival of people with particular talent or ability, who were to be reported to the throne, and regarding whom an edict would be issued.

  1. For a full English translation with key terms and analysis, see Yoshie Akiko, Yōko Ijuin, and Joan R. Piggott, “Gender in the Administrative Code, Part 1: Laws on Residence Units,” Teikyo Journal of History 28 (February 2013): 342-345.

  1. See the administrative code Laws on Propriety (Giseiryō) 25 on relatives of the five degrees. The first degree included father and mother, adoptive father and mother, husband, and children. The second degree included grandfather, grandmother, the official wife of the father, other wives of the father, uncles and aunts on the father’s side, brothers, sisters, the father and mother of the husband, wives, concubines, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and the wife of one’s child..

  1. The Koki commentary in the Ryō no shūge gives the Hayato (隼人) and Ebisu or Emishi (毛人) as examples.

  1. The term kaka (華夏) could be literally translated as “[people of the] Xia and Hua,” but it is used generally to mean civilized, non-barbarian people.

  1. The tax exemption included the tax in goods (chō), tax goods submitted in place of corvee labor (), and the miscellaneous labor tax (zōyō).

  1. See also Karl Friday’s translation available on The Project for Premodern Japan Studies website.

  1. The Bureau of Buddhism and Foreigners (Genbaryō) managed the official residences used for foreign guests.

  1. The Ryō no gige (an official legal commentary that had the force of law once promulgated in 833) and the Ryō shaku (both in the Ryō no Shūge) specifically state that「所在官司」referred to the place where a person had entered the realm. The Taihō code had the phrase「所司」rather than「所在官司」and the Koki commentary interpreted this to mean that the Bureau of Buddhism and Foreigners (Genbaryō) should be in charge. However, the Koki also noted that the provincial governor of the place where people first arrived should be sure to report the arrival.

  1. For a detailed analysis on the markets and trade of Nara period Japan, including a comparative consideration of Yamato and Tang laws on trade, see William Wayne Farris, “Trade, Money, and Merchants in Nara Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 53, no. 3 (1998): 303–34.

  1. According to the Ryō no gige, “所司” here refers specifically to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (Jibushō).

  1. According to Inoue, “forbidden goods” included weapons of various kinds (listed in the Laws on Defense) as well as astronomical instruments, certain books, and calendars.

  1. “Great roads” here refers to the Sannindō and Saikaidō, or the circuit highways that linked the Dazaifu (where foreign envoys would arrive) and the capital. For a discussion of the official highways of the Nara period and their symbolic significance, see Takeda Sachiko, “Roads in the Tennō-Centered Polity,” in Capital and Countryside in Japan, 300-1180: Japanese Historians in English, interp. Piggott, Joan R. (Ithaca  NY: East Asia Program Cornell University, 2006), 147–65.

Tsuikahô 251: Concerning Hawking

Translated by Dan Sherer and Emily Warren

An Edo Period woodblock print of a hawk. ( Wikipedia Commons )

An Edo Period woodblock print of a hawk. (Wikipedia Commons)

Concerning Hawking:

Despite being forbidden by the Shogun, in recent years all sorts of ordinary people 1 have disobeyed continued orders {from Kamakura}. There are reports that in the various provinces 2 and within Kamakura, many people enjoy hunting. It is outrageous! Alas, they bring punishment upon themselves. Hawking is banned eternally, and from now onwards, if people commit {this crime}, they should {be made to} feel regret. However, hawking done for shrine offerings 3 does not fall within the scope of the prohibition. The above should be widely disseminated. So ordered by command of the shogun.

Kangen 3rd Year [1245], 12th Month, 16th Day

Governor of Musashi (Hōjō Tsunetoki) 4

Governor of Bizen {Nagoe Tokinaga} 5

Original Text 原文
一 鷹狩事、殊御禁制之処、近年甲乙人等、背代々御下知、云国々云鎌倉中、多好狩之由、有其聞、甚濫吹也、已招自科者歟、永可令停止、自今以後、猶令違犯者、可有後悔也、但於神社供祭鷹者、非制之限、以此旨普可被相触之条、依仰執達如件、   寛元三年十二月十六日            武蔵守(北条経時)判

 備前守殿

Kundoku 訓読

供斎ぐさい

一つ 鷹狩たかがりの事、

殊に御禁制ごきんせいの処。近年甲乙人等、代々の御下知おんげちそむき、国々といい鎌倉中といい、多く狩好むの由、其の聞えあり、甚濫吹らんすいなり。已に自科じかまねくものか、なが停止ちょうじせしむべし、自今以後、なお 違犯せしめば、後悔あるべきなり。ただ神社供祭ぐさいの鷹においては、制の限にあらず、此の旨をもって普く相触あいふれらるべきの条。仰せによりて執達件のごとし、

寛元三年十二月十六日

武蔵守(北条経時)判

備前守殿
  1. Normally hawking was limited to those of higher rank. ↩

  1. Specifically the provinces (primarily in the east) that the Shogunate controlled. ↩

  1. Hawks could be used to catch shrine offerings, but possibly also to catch birds that would be sold to purchase shrine offerings. Unlike Buddhist temples, whose offerings were all vegetarian, shrine offerings were occasionally meat and often fish. ↩

  1. Hōjō Tsunetoki (1224-46) was a shogunal regent involved with the deposition of the fourth Kamakura shogun. He was appointed to the position of Governor of Musashi in 1243.

  1. (?-1252) Also called Hōjō Tokinaga. Tokinaga served as governor of Bizen from 1240-1246.