Saiguryo (the Office of the High Priestess [of the Ise-jingu Shrine]) (斎宮寮)

Saiguryo was an extra statutory office established under the ritsuryo system, placed in Ise Province.

Summary and Duties

Saiguryo looked after the dairy life of maiden Imperial princesses Saigu (Ise Saio), who served as priestesses of the Ise-jingu Shrine. Saigu lived in the innermost house of the Saiguryo office, which was placed in Taki County in Ise Province. For convenience of Saigu, Saiguryo took after the Imperial Court in Kyoto with a large organization of more than 120 officials including the head and its subordinate thirteen offices shared the duties including secretariat, cleaning, and medical care. Saiguryo was divided into three areas: the innermost area was Saigu's residence; the middle area was the residence of the head and other leading members; and the outer area was the residence and working place of the lower-level officials. The remains of Saiguryo is designated a national historic site as 'Saiku ato' (the remains of Saiku).

History

Although the established period of the organization relating to Saigu has not been determined, it is recognized that the predecessor of Saiguryo existed as an extra statutory office when the Taiho Ritsuryo codes were enforced. At first, the organization ranked Tsukasa (Office), then raised to Ryo (Bureau) in 718.

The remains of Saiku designated as a historic site

In March 27, 1979, the remains of Saiku was designated a national historic site.

Address of the remains of Saiku

Meiwa-cho, Taki County, Mie Prefecture