Kiroku Shoen Kenkeijo (Office for the Investigation of Estate Documents) (記録荘園券契所)

Kiroku Shoen Kenkeijo was an organization which investigated manors (shoen) in the Heian period. It was one of the Ryogenokan (extra statutory offices). It was called Kirokusho for short.

In 1069, it was established to carry out the "Order for the Reform of Shoen" by Emperor Gosanjo. MINAMOTO no Tsunenaga, who was opposed to the house of Sekkan (the head of the Fujiwara family who bore the regent position), and OE no Masafusa, a scholar, were assigned to manage this organization. Its main missions were the investigation and exposure of illicit manors, and the confiscation of manors lacking the correct documents. It was abolished after the death of Emperor Gosanjo, set up again in 1111 and again in 1156, and it was eventually merged into the Retired Emperor's Office (Innocho) by Emperor Goshirakawa.

In 1187, it was reestablished to include also litigation and the conduct of rituals in its remit. Kirokusho at this time was under the control of Nairan (the Document Inspection Secretary) Kanezane KUJO, and as powerful as Jin-no-sadame (Ancient Cabinet Council). However, it also was merged into the Retired Emperor's Office (Innocho) of Emperor Gotoba as he started his Cloister government.

Later, Emperor Gosaga reestablished it as a permanent organization, and in 1293, Emperor Fushimi expanded it to pursue his 'benevolent government'. This made its power more extensive by assigning the six newly set-up sections of Kirokusho to different trial dates and different areas of litigation such as temples, shrines, public affairs, and ownership of land (later this influenced the setup and division of Zasso ketsudan-sho (the ancient civil court) during the Kenmu Restoration).

In 1321, during the Kamakura period, Emperor Godaigo, who replaced Emperor Gouda, started his administration with the revitalization of Kirokusho. In 1333, after the downfall of the Kamakura Shogunate, Emperor Godaigo started Kenmu Restoration and established Kirokusho as the supreme administrative agency in addition to the eight Ministries to deal with important deliberations during the Kenmu Government.

[Original Japanese]