Hocho (保長)

A hocho was a headman of goho (the end administrative organization obliged to prevent crime and pay tax jointly) established under the ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code [historical law system]) in the ancient Japan.

According to the Code of Households, goho (ho) consisted of five households and performed mutual surveillance to prevent crime and escape, and the hocho was in charge of the goho.

At first the goho was the system for the agricultural community in the county, however, in the Heian period, each bo (a unit of administrative district in the Heian period) was divided into four ho (a unit of jobosei [a series of avenues running at right angles to each other]) and, moreover, each ho was composed of four cho (a unit of distance) in Heiankyo (ancient capital in current Kyoto). In 862, each ho within Heiankyo was organized, and a hocho was selected from keishi (household superintendent) of koshin (Emperor's family) and nobles to protect the security of ho.