Shoso (public repository) (正倉)

Shoso is an repository for grain and property, and is placed in the public facilities, such as central and regional kanga (government office) and temples in the ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code).

In the center, okura-sho (Ministry of the Treasury) had a shoso for soyocho (a tax system, corvee) and in the regions, at first, each gun (county) had shoso for shozei (the rice tax stored in provincial offices warehouse) administered by gunji (district managers).

Later, the right to manage and operate was transferred to kokushi (provincial governor) and lots of shoso were moved to kokufu (ancient provincial office/capital).

There are wide variations among shoso in terms of forms and stored materials.

By forms, shoso are categorized into takakura (high-positioned warehouse supported with four pillars), maru-kura, and naga-kura (yoko-kura).

By sidewall structures, shoso are categorized into yagura (literally armour storage), kaku-kura, ita-gura (warehouse whose walls are boards), and doso (underground warehouse).

By stored materials, shoso are categorized into fudokoku-so (grain reserves warehouse), eiso, awa-kura (millet warehouse), and en-so (salt warehouse).

Moreover, the warehouse with the sidewall lumber crossing at the four corners, is called azekura.

This warehouse structure is often used for yagura whose lumber for wall material is triangle structure, and later days, azekura and yagura were mixed up and the yagura structure warehouse is especially called azekura-zukuri style.

In the large-scale shoso, multiple shoso were built in the section surrounded by walls. This is called shosoin.
Shosoin in Todai-ji Temple was originally composed of several azekura (the biggest azekura still exists as Shoso-in Treasure House.)

[Original Japanese]