Tsuibushi (Pursuit and Apprehension Agent) (追捕使)

Tsuibushi (Pursuit and Apprehension Agent) was a Ryoge no kan (a Japanese government post which was not established by the Ritsuryo codes). The post was in charge of police and military affairs. At first it was a temporary post, but later became a permanent post of the nation under the Ritsuryo system.


Tsuibushi was set up for the first time in 932, in order to clean up pirates and barbarians who often haunted Nankaido (Southern Sea Region). The term "tsuibu" meaning 'pursuing and apprehending' in Japanese, Tsuibushi did not originally have a military role, but often fought in actual battles in order to get pirates or rebellions under control.

ONO no Yoshifuru is famous as Tsuibushi, who subdued FUJIWARA no Sumitomo's War in the Johei and Tengyo War.

After Tsuibushi was permanently established in each province, Kokushi (provincial governor) concurrently served as Tsuibushi, or Gozoku (local ruling family) was appointed to be Tsuibushi in many cases. At the end of the 12th century, a government post named Sotsuibushi was established take charge of police and military affairs, and took over the functions of Tsuibushi. Then, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo was appointed to be Nihonkoku-sotsuibushi (literally, sotsuibushi of Japan) in 1190 and the appointing power of Sotsuibushi was transferred to Kamakura-dono (lord of Kamakura), and the post of Sotsuibushi gradually evolved into Shugo (military governor).