ShuinchiKokuinchi (朱印地・黒印地)

The term Shuinchi/Kokuinchi means the lands which were secured (approval/confirmation of ownership) by the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun)/daimyo (feudal lords) in the Edo period as the property of shrines/temples. These names derived from the fact that Shuinchi were secured by the bakufu with shuinjo (letter stamped with shuin (red stamp)) and Kokuinchi were secured by the daimyo with kokuinjo (letter stamped with kokuin (black stamp)) respectively. These are also called Shuinryo/Kokuinryo.

Shrines/temples used to own vast lands called jiryo (temple estate)/jinryo (shrine estate). However, they were gradually deprived of their lands by the daimyo during the Sengoku period (period of warring states) and finally they lost all lands through taiko kenchi (the cadastral surveys conducted by Hideyoshi) conducted by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI. In the Edo period, some lands that were formerly owned by temples/shrines were returned to them and secured by the bakufu/daimyo with shuinjo/kokuinjo.

Although Shuinchi/Kokuinchi were deemed not as private lands but as public lands, temples/shrines were exempted from tax and all revenues obtained from lands belonging to them. Among such lands, however, even the largest one, that of Nikko Toshogu shrine, was equivalent to tens of thousands of koku crop yield and the smallest one was equivalent to merely one koku crop yield. Under such circumstances, it was almost impossible to maintain the management of temples/shrines only by the revenues obtained from Shuinchi/Kokuinchi and many of temples/shrines managed to sustain themselves relying on revenues obtained from the lands reclaimed by themselves or rice/money donated by the daimyo.

Shuinchi/Kokuinchi became nationally-owned lands by 'Agechi-rei' (confiscation command of territory) issued in 1872 and only limited precincts remained as the estate of temples/shrines.