Imperial Household Agency (宮内庁)

The Imperial Household Agency (called Kunai-cho in Japanese) is one of the administrative agencies in Japan. This agency handles the routine functions of national affairs, office work of receiving of foreign ambassadors and ministers as an emperor's constitutional functions, affairs on Imperial family's ceremonies, and stores the gyoji (the imperial Seal) and the seal of state.

History

The Imperial Household Agency originates from the ancient government post to serve the Emperor. In the article of Emperor Temmu in 680 of the oldest history book in Japan, "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), there was a description on the government posts of Kunaikyo (Minister of the Sovereign's Household) and Miyanouchi no tsukasa no kami and also in the article of in 686, there was another description on Emperor Temmu's funeral that shinobigoto (speech given to the spirit of the departed about his/her merit) was conducted for the "miyanouchi-no-koto" (Imperial family's affairs), from which the original government post was established in the period of Emperor Temmu. Later, it is said that, according to the regulations based on Taiho-ryo (Taiho Code) set in 701, an organization similar to the Imperial Household Ministry (kunai-sho, miyanouchi-no-tsukasa) which became one of the Hassho (eight ministries and agencies) was established.

In 1869 after the Meiji Restoration, the Imperial Household Ministry was organized modeled after ancient Dajokan (Great Council of State) System and Kunaikyo was appointed as the Grand Steward of the Ministry. When the cabinet system was set up in 1885, the Imperial Household Minister was established replaced existing Kunaikyo, but the minister was not included in cabinet members following the principle of "distinction between Imperial court and government offices." At this time, the government posts such as the Minister of the Palace and the imperial court councilor were also established. In 1886, regulations for Ministry of the Imperial Household were established and the organization of two sections, five offices (shiki), six bureaus, and four departments was set up. In 1889, Former Imperial House Act was established when the Constitution of the Empire of Japan was proclaimed, and the principle of autonomy of the Imperial Household was established. In 1908, regulations for Ministry of the Imperial Household came into force based on Koshitsu-rei (the Imperial Families' Act) and the Imperial Household Minister was set up as an agency to make advices to the Emperor with full responsibility of the results (hohitsu) all the Imperial Household affairs.

In 1945, at the end of the war, the Imperial Household Ministry had became a big organization with 13 extra-ministerial bureaus such as Naidaijin-fu (Minister of Interior's Office), ceremonial staff, Outadokoro (Imperial Poetry Bureau), Imperial Household Museum, Imperial Forestry Bureau, and The Gakushuin School Corporation, and Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office as well as one Secretariat, two offices, eight bureaus, and two departments, and had more than 6.200 employees. After that, the agency slimed down its organization by transferring its office routine work of the Imperial Household Agency to other government agencies or separating some work from the agency, and changed from the Imperial Household Ministry to Kunaifu (Imperial Household Agency) along with the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan on May 3, 1947, and became one of agencies under the prime minister. Kunaifu had one Secretariat, three offices, three bureaus and Kyoto Office under the Grand Steward of Kunaifu, and the number of employees was reduced to a little under 1,500.

On June 1st, 1949, as a result of enforcement of the General Administrative Agency of the Cabinet Establishment Act, Kunaifu was changed to Kunai-cho, the Imperial Household Agency, and became an extra-ministerial bureau of the Prime Minister's Office, and the post of the deputy director of Imperial Household Agency was set under the Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency, and one Secretariat, three offices, two departments, and Kyoto Office were set up. On January 6, 2001, Cabinet Office Establishment Act came into force as part of the reform of central government ministries and agencies and the Imperial Household Agency was incorporated into the Cabinet Office.

Office Building

The office building of the Imperial Household Agency was built in 1935. The building has no name plate of "Imperial Household Agency." It was used as a temporal palace until the present palace was built after the Meiji Kyuden Imperial Palace was destroyed in a fire.

Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis (in the Imperial Palace, north of Sakashita Mon) and the address of the entire Imperial Palace is Chiyoda, Chiyoda Ward.

The Imperial Household Agency Post office: started its business in September in 1924. Today, it is an post office run by Japan Post Network Company. This post office can be used only by persons such as staff of the Imperial Household Agency.

Restaurant: it is an ordinary staff's dining room that staff of the Imperial Household Agency, persons concerned, press club members can use, and in this room, there is an vending machine to sell milk produced in Goryo Farm (farm of imperial property) and anyone who can use the dinning room can buy it. A bottle of milk costs 60 yen.

Organization

The agency has internal subdivisions (Grand Steward's Secretariat, three offices, two departments), two agencies and facilities, one office for Local Branch Bureaus and Departments. The Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency and the Grand Chamberlain (the head of the Board of Chamberlains) are officers certified by the Emperor.

The Board of Chamberlains and Togu-shiki (the Board of the Crown Prince's Affairs) serve specifically as aides for Emperor family and the Crown Prince family respectively, so if the Crown Prince succeeds to the throne, all Togu-shiki move to the Board of Chamberlains with the new Emperor and Empress and most of the former Board of Chamberlains staff move either to serve for the Empress Dowager who was the Empress of Taiko-Tenno (the departed emperor) or to become Togu-shiki to serve new Crown Prince.

The ceremonial staff who is responsible for court rituals is the staff of the "inner court" and not the staff of the Imperial Household Agency or national agencies (national public officer). See appropriate items for details.

Top officials

The Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency

Deputy director of Imperial Household Agency

Internal subdivisions

Grand Steward's Secretariat, Imperial Household Agency

Imperial Household Agency hospital

The Board of Chamberlains of the Imperial Household Agency

The Board of the Crown Prince's Affairs of the Imperial Household Agency

The Board of the Ceremonies of Imperial Household Agency

Imperial Household Archives

Department of Administrative Management

Shosoin Jimusho (Shosoin office, Imperial Household Agency) - (Nara City)

- preserves and manages the treasures of Shosoin.

Goryo Farm - (Tchigi Prefecture)

- keeps animals.

Imperial Household Agency Kyoto Office - (Kyoto Prefecture)

- This agency administers national properties such as Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sento Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Imperial Villa and the Imperial mausoleums and tombs of Imperial families in the Kinki region under the supervision of the Momoyama Mausoleum Region, Tsukinowa Mausoleum Region, Unebi Mausoleum Region, and Furuichi Mausoleum Region.

Grand Steward

The post of Grand Steward has been officers certified by the Emperor since the establishment of Kunaifu in 1947 and the name change to Imperial Household Agency and the effectuation of the Constitution of Japan in 1949, and its appointment and dismissal are attest by the Emperor. In recent year, it has become an institution that the deputy secretary such as former Ministry of Interior or one who experienced an equal post (the Tokyo Metropolitan Police commissioner) takes up the grand steward position.

Successive Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency

Investiture system was abolished when the central government ministries and agencies were reorganized in January 6, 2001.

Successive deputy director of Imperial Household Agency

Since June 1st, 1950, no investiture was given.