Taimenjo (Reception Suite) (対面所)

A taimenjo was a place provided in samurai residences since the Muromachi period, and was used during the meeting ceremony between master and servant.

The meeting ceremony was conducted when the master-servant relationship was established or confirmed, and was one of events considered important by not only samurai families but also the shogun who was the head of the samurai. It was ruled that the ceremony was held at Samurai-dokoro (the hall of the Board of Retainers) under the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and at a kaisho (meeting place) under the Muromachi bakufu. However, when building Hana no Gosho (lit. Flower Palace), Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA had the taimenjo constructed separately from the kaisho. It is said that this is the origin of taimenjo.

As social order among samurai based on the master-servant relationship came to be considered important from the Sengoku period (the period of warring states) (Japan) to the Edo period, an importance was placed on the taimenjo as a core facility of samurai residences. A noted example is when Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI held a meeting ceremony for Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in the taimenjo of Osaka Castle and made his authority known.

However, no taimenjo were constructed at Edo-jo Castle or Nijo-jo Castle - major strongholds of the Edo bakufu established by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, where meeting ceremonies were held in large halls. It is because of this that even taimensho at samurai residences came to be called hiroma (lit. hall) or shoin (lit. reception hall).