Imperial paper (勅旨)

Imperial paper is an official document written emperor's order in the Ritsuryo system. After Taiho Ritsuryo (Taiho Code), the emperor's private order or an order to a specific individual was used generally by this form.

According to Kushiki-ryo (law on state documentary forms in the Yoro Code)(Ritsuryo), the emperor first passes on the contents of Choku to a jiju (a chamberlain) and then transmits to the Nakatsukasasho (Ministry of Central Affairs). In the Ministry of Central Affairs, a naiki (secretary of the Ministry of Central Affairs) prepares a preliminary draft based on the Choku, and then it is returned to the emperor, the contents are confirmed. After confirmation, the three responsible people (Kyo, Taifu, Sho) in the Nakatsukasasho created the body text with their own signatures under the official rank surname written by a naiki, sent the manuscript to Daijokan (Grand Council of State), and the Shi of Daijokan (the ritsuryo system) added the wording of 'hochoku (obeying imperial order) is as the right mentioned, and ensure implementation when it arrives', and was then appended with the Benkan's signature. Benkan would re-create a manuscript, attach a Daijokanpu (the official document of the Daijokan) that ordered the implementation of the contents, and for local regions, an imperial order would be implemented by dispatching the Daijokanpu on a post-horse (In addition, there is also a regulation in the Kushiki-ryo for an informal imperial order given with a Nakatsukasashopu [the official document of Ministry of Central Affairs] by omitting the procedures at the Dajokan in an emergency).

In addition, according to the regulations in Kushiki-ryo, unlike the Shosho, the emperor does not perform behaviors such as direct signature; however, in actual practice, even in the case of matters which should be issued by imperial order according to the law, if the emperor considered it important, the emperor might in particular issue an imperial order with date and other items added like Shosho (imperial edict, decree).

[Original Japanese]