Kanshi (government official) (官司)

Kanshi is an authority or a government official in ancient Japan.

The prototype of kanshi in Japan is thought to be an organization in which several Tomonomiyatsuko (chiefs of various departments at the Imperial Court) shared the affairs of public administration of Yamato dynasty, mobilized and managed their Benotami (officers and people serving the Yamato dynasty) in order to perform duties. Later, an organization of government officials (hito-sei) that managed Benotami and performed practical work of administration was formed under tomo no miyatsuko (Servant of the Court administering a group).

After the Taika Reforms, organizations of officials under the ritsuryo system, such as shitokan-sei (the fundamental structure of the bureaucracy system of the ritsuryo system), were formed instead of benotami-sei, but they were not completed until after the establishment of Taiho Ritsuryo. Unlike in Tang Dynasty, however, highly systemized control systems among officials were not formed, and there existed honkan, who had independent authorities in spite of being under each ministry, and Ryoge no kan, which was newly established outside the framework of the ritsuryo system.