Shisetsu Jungyo (使節遵行)

Shisetsu jungyo was a on-site procedure to carry out a judgment which was handed down by the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) on shoryo soron (litigation over real estate) in the medieval Japan. The system of shisetsu jungyo began in the Kamakura period. At the beginning of the Muromachi period, the shisetsu jungyo was included in the capacity and power of Shugo (provincial constable). This resulted in the expanded power of the Shugo and creating an opportunity for Shugo daimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable) to emerge and construct Shugo-ryogoku system (a system in which a Shugo dominates a manor).

History

As the Kamakura period began, in addition to the currently existing laws and ordinances of the dynasty (the Imperial court and Court nobles), such as court noble law and honjo law (a law to govern manor in the medieval Japan), the newly established Kamakura bakufu instituted Samurai laws which was unique to samurai families by collecting legal precedents after the inauguration of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, the udaisho (Major Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) family, and formulating Goseibai-shikimoku (code of conduct for samurai). On the other hand, there was a tendency that samurai, even after the bakufu judged in the lawsuit over the right of fief, which was called shomusata (trial dealing with land-related issues), not necessarily followed the bakufu's judgment but tried to keep their right to manage the territory using their force with the aid of the customary practice of self-help which had been approved in the society at that time.

Then, the Kamakura bakufu decided to compulsorily execute their judgment over the shoryo soron on site by sending a pair of gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate)whose position had been neutral in the dispute. The gokenin who had been sent for the site was called ryoshi. That was the origin of shisetsu jungyo.

In the late Kamakura period, some cases emerged in which the Bakufu, instead of sending ryoshi directly, sent shigyojo (a letter conveying orders from the head to the subjects) to a Shugo, who in turn selected an envoy and carried out this procedure based on the shigyojo.

In 1346 of the early Muromachi period, while the battle between the Southern and Northern Dynasties had been going on, the Muromachi bakufu contemplated securing public order by strengthening the Shugo's authorities and enacted laws which directly granted the Shugo the right to judge criminal cases for shisetsu jungyo and Karita-rozeki (to reap rice illegally). This allowed the Shugo to send an envoy to the site, and carry out a transfer of the right to manage the territory and an eviction, in order to put the Bakufu's judgment into effect. Since then, the Shugo acquired the right to intervene in disputes over territory within their province and gradually increased their domination over shoen (manor) and Kokugaryo (territories governed by provincial government office). Additionally, the Shugo put jito (manager and lord of manor), the local lord, and myoshu (owner of rice fields) under their influence by adopting them into hikan (low-level bureaucrat). Thus, in the Muromachi period, the Shugo grew into the status of Shugo daimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable), and a ruling system called Shugo-ryogoku system (the system that a Shugo dominates a manor) was instituted.

Since the late Kamakura period when the system of shisetsu jungyo began, the expenses associated with the shisetsu jungyo was at the lord of the manor's.