Azukarichi (rented land) (預地)

"Azukarichi" (or "Azukechi") indicates the land a person has entrusted to another person to keep and manage.

Originally, "azukarichi" referred to shared land or land remaining after allocation had been made, to land that the land owner entrusted as a favor to its kosakunin (tenant farmers) free of charge (or for a small fee) or to forest area land owned by villages. However, it was more commonly used to refer to land that was in the direct territories of the Edo bafuku (called Tenryo) but whose control was actually entrusted to Daimyo (feudal lords), Hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu) or ongoku-bugyo (Edo bakufu government officers placed outside Edo), who were otherwise called Azukari-dokoro.

This was derived from the kurairichi (lands under direct rule of the shogun or daimyo) system that was employed by Sengoku daimyo (daimyo in the Sengoku period) and the Toyotomi government and also adopted by the Edo bakufu. Then the bakufu entrusted as Azukarichi the bakufu territories gained after the Battle of Sekigahara to Daimyo who were made to govern instead, and the bakufu gained the land tax income. The land was entrusted for three to five years, but there were also cases of Azukarichi where the period for entrustment was unspecified. The operation to govern the land itself was entrusted to the clan, and nengu (land tax) rice crop from the land was placed in bakufu rice warehouses in key areas, after a portion of the yearly contribution was nominally given to clans such as Kuchimai or Kuchinaga. However, in the areas where lots of bakufu territories were located, such as the Kanto region, the land was not entrusted to daimyo (feudal lords) but rather controlled by the bakufu daikan (bakufu government officers sent to those bakufu territories) for those areas. Most of the land entrusted was in areas far from major cities such as Edo. The clans to whom such land was entrusted were limited to Shinpan (clans whose lords were a relative of the shogun family), fudai-daimyo (whose family was a retainer of the Tokugawa family from before the Battle of Sekigahara), and fairly large clans of tozama daimyo (nonhereditary feudal lord), such as Kanazawa and Anotsu, who were deeply trusted by the bakufu. Furthermore, the bakufu consistently avoided increasing the number of custodians, aiming to switch control through the local governors of the bakufu as far as possible, and once, in 1713, abolished all of the custodians, switching the control of the area to that by local governors. However, because it was impossible to place a local governor in every remote area, the system of Azukarichi was restored seven years later. Even so, the ratio of Azukarichi in all bakufu territories was restricted to 10% to 20%. For example, in 1757, the amount of rice crop from all bakufu territories was 4.42 million koku (approx. 180 litres/koku), compared with 580,000 for the Azukarichi.

[Original Japanese]