Engishiki is the only Sandai-Kyakushiki that remains in almost perfect shape. And since it stipulated detailed matters, it is an important resource in the study of ancient history.
Details of compilation
In 905, FUJIWARA no Tokihira and others began the compilation by Emperor Daigo's order. After Tokihira's death, FUJIWARA no Tadahira continued the task, and it is generally completed in 927. Forty years later, it was enforced in 967, after some revisions.
It consists of the 50 volumes and about 3300 articles.
According to the ritsuryo codes, the volumes contains as follows:
volumes 1-10 Jingikan (Department of Worship). volumes 11-40 Daijokan (Grand Council of State) and Hassho (eight ministries and agencies). volumes 41-49 other government officials. volume 50 miscellaneous laws.
Norito (Shinto prayer) is contained in volume eight. Volumes 9 and 10 serve as an Engishiki Jinmyocho (list of shrines) listing 2861 shrines that should receive kinensai (prayer service for a good crop) hohei (offering a wand with hemp and paper streamers to a Shinto god). The shrines which are listed in Engishiki Jinmyocho were generally called shikinai-sha. It was a shrine ranking, and the Imperial Court regarded the listed shrines in those days. Many of them have disappeared or became unknown.
Daijokan and Hassho code
The volume 22, Minbusho (Ministry of Popular Affairs) I, stated that counties and villages of countries should be named in two characters. Therefore, geographical names had been changed throughout the country.
The volume 23 is Minbusho II.
The volume 24 is Account Office (Kazue-ryo) I, which contains assignments of Yo, Soyocho, and Chunan Sakumotsu tax in the nation. The document shows nationwide agricultural products, fish catches, and specialties in those days.
The volume 25 is Account Office II.
The volume 28 is about Hyobusho (ministry of military). It contains Engishiki Hyobusho Shokoku Ekidenma-jo, which describes names of 402 shukueki (post town, relay station, stage) and the number of ekiba and tenma horses (horses for transportation of official travellers and commodities) that should be stationed.