Azechi (按察使)

Azechi (Inspector of the provincial government)
A government post of Ryoge no kan (class outside of the Ritsuryo system) which was established in the Nara period to supervise local government. See Azechi (in the Ritsuryo system) for details.

It is a title of government officials who supervise local government, which was set up by the Meiji Government after the Meiji Restoration. See Azechi (in the Meiji Government) for details.

Azechi (in the Ritsuryo system)
Azechi was a government post of Ryoge no kan to supervise local government. From kokushu (head of provincial governors) of several provinces, one person was selected to supervise the administration of kokushi (provincial governors) within its jurisdiction.

It was established in 719 of the Nara period. After the Heian period, except for the Azechi in Mutsu Province and Dewa Province, the post was held concurrently with Nagon (Dainagon [chief councilor of state], Chunagon [vice-councilor of state], Shonagon [lesser councilor of state]), Sangi (councillor) and so on, making the post unsubstantial.

Persons who were first appointed as Azechi

According to the "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued), the following eleven persons in the position of kokushi were appointed as Azechi for the first time on July 13, 719, of the early Nara period.

Kadobe no Okimi (Ise no kuni no kami [Governor of Ise Province], Jugoinojo [Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade]) administered two provinces, namely Iga Provinc and Shima Province.

Otomo no Yamamori (Totomi no kuni no kami [Governor of Totomi Province], Shogoinojo [Senior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade]) administered three provinces, namely Suruga Province, Izu Province, and Kai Province.

FUJIWARA no Umakai (Hitachi no kuni no kami [Governor of Hitachi Province], Shogoinojo) administered three provinces, namely Awa Province, Kazusa Province, and Shimosa Province.

Kasamaro (Mino no kuni no kami [Governor of Mino Province], Jushiinojo [Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade]) administered three provinces, namely Owari Province, Mikawa Province, and Shinano Province.

Tajihi agatamori (Musashi no kuni no kami [Governor of Musashi Province], Shoshiinoge [Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade]) administered three provinces, namely Sagami Province, Kozuke Province, and Shimotsuke Province.

TAJIHI no Hironari (Echizen no kuni no kami [Governor of Echizen Province], Shogoinoge [Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade]) administered three provinces, namely Noto Province, Ecchu Province, and Echigo Province.

ONO no Umakai (Tanba no kuni no kami [governor of Tanba Province], Shogoinoge) administered three provinces, namely Tango Province, Tajima Province, and Inaba Province.

OKINAGA no Omitari (Izumo no kuni no kami [Governor of Izumo Province], Jugoinoge [Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade]) administered two provinces, namely Hoki Province, and Iwami Province.

KAMO no Kibimaro (Harima no kuni no kami [Governor of Harima Province], Jushiinoge [Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade]) administered four provinces, namely Bizen Province, Mimasaka Province, Bicchu Province, and Awaji Province.

TAKAYASU no Okimi (Iyo no kuni no kami [Governor of Iyo Province], Jugoinojo) administered three provinces, namely Awa Province, Sanuki Province, and Tosa Province.

OTOMO no Sukunamaro (Bingo no kuni no kami [Governor of Bingo Province], Shogoinoge) administered two provinces, namely Aki Province, and Suo Province.

Since patrolling and maintaining the public order of the jurisdiction area were the main function of the Azechi, he sometimes received rebels' attack, developing an incident that KAMITSUKENO Hiroto, the Azechi of Mutsu Province, was murdered in the summer of 720. The Imperial court immediately appointed Tajihi agatamori, the Azechi of Musashi Province, as Jisetsu Sei Shogun (the general of conquering east-barbarians), SHIMOTSUKENU no Iwashiro as vice-shogun, and ABE no Suruga as Jisetsu Chinteki Shogun (the general of pacifying north barbarians) to suppress this incident.

Azechi (in the Meiji Period)
Azechi under the Meiji Government was a government officer to supervise local government.

It was established in 1869 when the governmental regulations were revised after the Ritsuryo system. As a government post, a director, undersecretary, sei-hangan (inspector), and associate judge were set up. Only Sanriku (i.e. Rikuzen Province, Rikuchu Province, Mutsu Province), Ryouu (i.e. Uzen Province, Ugo Province), Iwaki Province Azechi Office, and Echigo Azechi Office were established but did not in fact worked and in October 1870, the next year, they were abolished.