Kanshoku (Government Post) (官職)

Kanshoku (government post) means the posts of government officials. Specific classification will be shown below. Incidentally, Kani is the court rank that is completely different from Kanshoku. The name of each kanshoku is Kanmei.

Kan and Shoku
Kan means general kinds of duties, and Shoku means specific scopes of duties to be undertaken.

Kanshoku is a certain duty allocated to each government official, and a position filled by the government official with responsibility. In Japan, the word Kanshoku is used for full-time and part-time officials mainly in the administration branch and the judicial branch, and seldom used in the legislative branch. In the United States, an example of government officials in the Judicial branch is the aides to Representatives.

Kanshoku means Kan, which is general classifications of duties undertaken by government officials, and Shoku, which is specific subclassifications of duties.

Kanshoku is the positions in government organizations.


Being appointed to Kanshoku is Ninkan, and retired from Kanshoku is Taikan or Jikan. Being dismissed from Kanshoku is Menkan. Committing bribery to get Kanshoku is Baikan or Ryokan, the tendency of which was especially seen in the feudal Japan.

The system of Kanshoku is also called Shokusei. Before WWII, Kiyonori KONAKAMURA advanced a theory that Kanshoku and Shokusei were sharply distinguished from each other based on the moral sense such that the duties decided by the emperor were called 'Kanshoku' and the duties decided by bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and retainers of the emperor without permission were called 'Shokusei,' which was criticized by Masajiro TAKIKAWA and others after the war.

In present Japan, when part-time government officials are recruited, the title of the office and treatment for the officials are notified as Saiyo Yotei Kanshoku in most cases.