Mokushi (牧士)

Mokushi was a govermental post in the Edo period which was in charge of maintaining ranches under direct control of the bakufu, as subordinates of an officer in the bakufu, and it is said that the officers in the post were responsible for managing the Goyoboku of the Tokugawa bakufu (public ranches of horses + hunting grounds for Shogun). Although each of the officers was a farmer, he was permitted to ride on a horse, to own his family name and to wear a sword, being the highest-positioned person of farmers. Because there were many ranches in the northen part of Chiba Prefecture, lots of information aboutMOkushi is available there.