Bushidan (武士団)

Bushidan (warrior bands) refers to the group of bushi (samurai) that existed mainly from the late Heian, Kamakura, the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) (Japan), and lasted until the Muromachi period. It was used as an academic term for studies on medieval Japanese History from the 1930's. It was treated as a synonym of 'bushi' in medieval history studies, but 'bushi' referred to those between the medieval to the modern era (Edo period), and 'bushi' theory referred to only 'samurai' that lead 'bushidan' while 'bushidan' was also concerned with social conditions that also included the roto (retainer).

The word called 'bushi' and 'bushidan'
The group formed for the battle was called as 'ikusa' (written as 軍, current word for army) during ancient times. Ikusa' later became 'ikusa' (written as 戦, current word for battle), but '軍' was called as 'ikusa' at that time. The army of the Ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code) was called 'ikusa' without question.

Although the army and bushidan under the Ritsuryo system were groups both founded for battle, they were different. The organizational form of the army under the Ritsuryo system had an open senior officer and subordinate relationship while 'bushidan' was the group of people called 'tsuwamono' that served privately in the Heian period or was the combination of such groups. As a result, post-war (World War II) historians called the latter 'bushidan' to distinguish it from the other. It did not mean that the word bushidan originated from the Heian period.

To begin with, the word 'bushi' itself was not commonly used from the Heian period. The word 'busha' appeared in the famous phrase, '松影是雖武者子孫' (Matsukage was the true descendant of busha), in "Oraimono" (a textbook for common people) during the mid-Heian period.
The "Konjaku Monogatari Shu" (The Tale of Times Now Past) is said to have been written in the early twelfth century, but it was called 'Tsuwamono' (written as 兵) or 'rich person.'
There were many 'busha' and 'Kyusen persons' (archers) while 'bushi' was rarely mentioned even during the period of the Jisho-Juei Civil War or during the late twelfth century. Even during the Kamakura period, there was 'buke' (samurai family) in contrast to 'kuge' (aristocrat).

The front running historian specialized in medieval history immediately after World War II considered 'bushi' as 'bushidan' when studying 'bushi' since bushidan formed the basis of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and paired it with the form of medieval estate control as something crucial for the 'formation of the medieval era.'
The theory of bushi lord of manor in early post-war period considered bushi the same as bushidan.

Despite this, the period of 'bushidan' was from the late Heian to the Muromachi period, and there was reference to 'bushi' during the modern Edo period, but not 'bushidan.'
The 'bushidan' was the formation of bushi itself that existed in 'medieval' Japan.

The theory of the bushi lord of a manor

Looking back at the medieval history studies conducted after World War II, we can see that the theories of bushi and bushidan shared by the first post-war generation, which started off with "Chuseiteki Sekai no Keise" (The Formation of the Medieval World) by Tadashi (also pronounced Sho) ISHIMODA, focused greatly on the lord of the manor.
It was called 'the theory of bushi, lord of the manor.'

Motohisa YASUDA, who was the main critic of that argument, considered bushidan as one form of a special structural aspect for 'a fixed period.'
Because it lasted for a 'fixed period' it meant that it had already established a fundamental existence within society, and bushi that formed the core of bushidan embodied not simply someone who practiced martial arts, but had a fixed 'social and class aspect.'
This 'social and social class aspect' was ' characteristic of a lord of a manor.'
It was called 'bushidan' when such bushi grouped together for battle. The short dissertation called "Bushidan of Togoku" (Bushidan of Eastern Japan) in 1970 stated as follows.

This type of 'bushidan' was 'a militarily ruled society that was centralized around estate owners supporting medieval feudal society, centrally formed on a master and servant hierarchical relationship.'
It could be interpreted easily from this statement that the 'bushi theory' of the early post-war (post-World War II) period of Motohisa YASUDA and others considered that bushi 'was the manor lord' and a social class that stood opposed to the aristocrats.

Furthermore, the warped theory about the origin of bushi of Yasuda and others written in textbooks in elementary and middle schools taught as follows.
Powerful farmers that protected their own lands began to appear.'
This was the beginning of bushi.'
This argument was corrected recently, but researchers have been reexamining it among themselves from nearly forty years ago.

Doubts and objection against the theory of the lord of the manor

Shinichi SATO firmly stated in "A disturbance of Northern and Southern Courts" published in 1965 that bushi was 'the vocational individual or group that served the ruling class with martial arts.'
This was not included within the main part of the developed samurai theory, but a lightly stated sentence related to how the bushi families split into enemies and allies during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) that left a great impact in later bushi and bushidan studies since that time.

In addition, Yoshimi TODA argued that bushi was on the ruling side in opposition to the peasants from the start in contrast to the argument by Tadashi ISHIMODA and Motohisa YASUDA stating that the bushi class formed by breaking free from ancient social class of peasants as influential families.

The interview was in 1974, but Yoshimi TODA announced "The Formation Process of the Kokuga Forces System" at Japan Legal History Association Conference of December 1969 and 'aristocrats with regional army,' 'aristocrats with frontier army,' and the 'kokuga forces system' debated there and greatly affected the later bushi theory.

Susumu ISHI (historian) also announced the "kokuga forces system during the period of governance by the retired Emperor" in the same study group. Although having the same kokuga forces system theme, Toda argued about the state of origin of bushi during the middle of the early Heian period while Ishii argued for the later Insei period (period of a rule by the retired emperor).

Susumu ISHI talked in "Japanese History Volume 12, Armed Groups in the Medieval Period" published in 1974 about the famous army of the governor and local ruling families as follows:

These academic theories are called the 'Theory of Samurai Function,' and Masaaki TAKAHASHI appeared later as a radical debater. However, these categories were not absolute. For example, Tatsuhiko SHIMOMUKAI who argued that bushi centered around 'the kokuga forces system' to develop 'the theory of the kokuga forces system' and greatly opposed 'the theory of samurai function' of Susumu ISHII.

The theory of samurai function

"The Establishment and Development of the Ise Taira Clan" (Taira Clan at Ise Province) published in 1975 by Masaaki TAKAHASHI who wrote in detail that they were low to middle class officials of hoefu (a collective name of soldiers in the Imperial Guard) in public, and were private 'samurai' of high class aristocrats and were a type of captain of mercenaries.

In addition, he stressed that bushi originated from aristocrats in Kyo (Kyoto), and martial arts that centered mostly around cavalry and archery passed down through aristocrats of the ruling class and their surrounding members during the Nara and Heian periods down to the medieval bushi.

Takahashi first divided social rank into 'birth' and 'job' ranks as a premise of the samurai theory. The 'birth rank' was a social rank of the 'house' and referred to lower class aristocrats and its supplying army and samurai class that served kuge (aristocrats). The 'job rank' referred to the specialized social job of the upper class during the late Heian period such as the writer or the house of yin-yang where the job function of 'art' became fixed to a 'house' as a family business, the court position became hereditary, at the same time as a similar form of bushi social rank was born. The 'house of tsuwamono' (written as 兵 - soldier) or 'tsuwamono passed down in the family' was an example of this.

Based on this classification, he challengely stated as follows.
Their economical base is not a main problem here.'
However, while the samurai theory of Masaaki TAKAHASHI said the origin theory was based on "bushi as a job performance' origin theory, he recognized the two sides of 'bushi' existence and the social background of the late Heian period.

However, Masaaki TAKAHASHI firmly declared in 1999, 'Will Answer Your Criticism, Ladies and Gentlemen' in response to constant criticism and misinterpretations from other researchers.

After the theory of samurai function

The title indicates the trend after the theory, but it should be noted that even in 1972 before the theory was out, there was indication among scholars that 'more comprehensive view' was needed. Masataka UWAYOKOTE introduced in a keynote report of "Japanese History Symposium 5" about the 1971 short thesis of Masaaki TAKAHASHI, 'Concerning the Evaluation of Masakado's War' as follows.

However, the existence of estate owners cannot be ignored in order to understand 'bushi' existence and 'the real origin of existence' mentioned by Masaaki TAKAHASHI, but excluding 'the theory of origin of bushi performance' that he pointed out in 'this' is not a central problem.'
Masataka UWAYOKOTE continued in the following quote.

Since the 1980s, Akio YOSHIE, Yukihiko SEKI, Yasuo MOTOKI, and others have passionately debated those two arguments from their respective points of view to develop each other's theory. It is important to review 'bushidan' after understanding such movements.

Previous history of 'bushidan'


No 'bushi' was referred to during the time of TAIRA no Masakado and FUJIWARA no Hidesato.
The 'literati' in contrast to 'warrior,' 'civil officer' in contrast to 'military officer' were referred a little during Nara and early Heian periods but not as a work duty nor connected to later 'bushi.'

People we considered as 'bushi' were called 'tsuwamono' during the Heian period.
"Konjaku Monogatari Shu" (The Tale of Times Now Past) is said to have written in the early twelfth Century, but 'bushi' was referred as 'tsuwamono.'
For an example, TAIRA no Masakado, TAIRA no Sadamori, and others stated 'there is a person called tsuwamono,' and FUJIWARA no Yasumasa wrote a very brave soldier 'does not exist in the house of tsuwamono.'

The origin of the word 'tsuwamono' is uncertain, but Rizo TAKEUCHI referred to it as 'the abbreviation of tsuwamono (guard) or a weapon mentioned especially when there is a tsuba (sword guard)' in "Daigenkai" (literally, great sea of words, a Japanese dictionary) by Fumihiko OTSUKI, and applied to weapons until the ninth century without a doubt and became a synonym for 'busha' from the tenth century. There were warriors called 'tsuwamono' recorded that appear in folklore around the tenth century.

Frontier military aristocracy

Previously, there were frequent martial conflicts between the kokuga (provincial government offices), rich clans, and social classes, or posterity of a vassal including servants of previously assigned governors during the ninth century. In addition, an 'increase in robberies' occurred frequently and Kanbyo-Engi-Togoku-no-ran (Disturbance by robberies in Togoku during the period between Kanbyo and Engi) and Shuba Party in the Kanto region (area around Tokyo Prefecture) were famous.

FUJIWARA no Toshihito, who lived earlier, TAIRA no Takamochi, who was the grandfather of TAIRA no Masakado, and Saga-Genji (Minamoto clan) that entered Kanto region even earlier than all of them sent one within the aristocratic society of Kyoto that excelled in martial arts to travel to districts to deal with the 'increase in robberies' for the sake of public peace. There were no 'bushi' apart from 'aristocrats' at that time. Aristocrats of the ruling class originally trained in 'martial arts' as well, and there were many 'heroic samurai' that appeared within the 'obituaries' of aristocrats during the early Heian period.
In addition, there were 'family soldiers' along with provincial soldiers' where military power was systemized as '威猛之具.'

The social situation of the early tenth century

When looking at the social situation in districts of the early tenth century, the former gunji (district managers) force weakened simultaneously with the rise of the new power consisting of the posterity of vassals and wealthy farmers. The conflict of interests amongst those managers of shieiden (lands directly governed by powerful families), gunji started to weaken, but still held constant power, and kokushu (head of provincial governors) and kokuga (provincial government offices) powers that became stronger was more apparent.

Among such conflicts in interest seen in neighboring provinces of Kyoto was the famous "Owari no kuni Gunji Hyakusho ra no Gebumi" (Letter from a local government official of Owari Province to farmers) sent against FUJIWARA no Motonaga for Kokushi kasei joso (appeals or armed struggles against kokushi - provincial governor taken by farmers), but many did not develop into military conflict, but were rather settled with negotiations. However, Togoku (the eastern part of Japan, particularly the Kanto region) far away from Kyoto had less hope for settlement within the imperial court or among aristocrats. In addition, many of those conflicts that occurred between shieiden managers related to aristocrats of Kyoto and the classes of gunji (district managers), kokuga (provincial government offices), or amongst managers of shieiden themselves that occasionally exploded and used of military force.

One good example would be FUJIWARA no Hidesato, who became a hero by later defeating TAIRA no Masakado. There was an anti-zuryo (provincial governor) conflict in Kozuke Province in February 915 caused by KAMITSUKENU no Motomune, Sadanami (貞並), FUJIWARA no Tsurae, with the title of Daijo, and they assassinated FUJIWARA no Atsunori, who was the Zuryo. The imperial court ordered the kokuga of Shimonotsuke Province to exile FUJIWARA no Hidesato and eighteen of his party since FUJIWARA no Hidesato, who was the junin (cultivation manor lord) of neighboring province of Shimonotsuke Province may have participated in the assassination. In 929, the kokuga of Shimotsuke Province made a claim against the violent actions of Hidesato, and the imperial court sent the command to take Hidesato to kokuga of Shimotsuke Province and its neighboring five provinces, but there was no evidence that Hidesato was defeated. It was just two years before TAIRA no Masakado started to battle against his uncles.


The battles of bushi mainly consisted of mounted warrior archers from the Zenkunen War (the Early Nine Years' War) to the period of the "Tale of Heike." Of course, there was reference to foot soldiers in 'seventy cavalry and thirty foot soldiers' within the 'Story about Punishing TAIRA no Koremochi and FUJIWARA no Morotoo' in Section five of Volume twenty-five of "Konjaku Monogatari Shu," but there were no battle scenes depicted of foot soldiers. They were basically battles with cavalry, and cavalry duels were carried out before using swords after falling from horseback.

There were not many examples of single-hand to hand combat, cavalry with archers were the basic battle formation based on battles between individuals. This began to change in the period of "Taiheiki" (The Record of the Great Peace) during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts when the Kamakura period ended.

The cohort of the Ritsuryo system

While the study of samurai had two schools of theory, the 'local lord' and 'function,' it was apparent from the continuous characteristics seen from the military system under the Ritsuryo system to medieval bushi by examining the function and especially techniques (cavalry and archery).

There is a strong public image of the army under the Ritsuryo system mainly consisting of foot soldiers. Certainly, there seemed to be a higher ratio of foot soldiers by looking at mandatory military service where one member of a family (average of around 30 members for the administrative unit) had to go for less that sixty days of military training and service, but it was the confirmed presence of cavalry that held the central military power.

The 'kondei' (regular soldiers guarding kokubu - ancient provincial offices) or sekisho (checking station)) that managed the army after the dismantling cohort in 792 was basically cavalry with archers. The dismantling of cohort was the dismissal of foot soldiers, and the higher ranking cavalry continued as 'the Kondei system' in districts despite lowered in numbers. The cavalry busha was not a specific right of medieval bushi, but a tradition of having cavalry with archers as the main military force that continued uniformly throughout from the cohort of the Ritsuryo system to medieval bushi.

Special skill unit forces and cavalry with archers

Only a handful of special skill unit forces existed during the late Heian period, that could go through horseback training, wear armor, and practice horseback skills that could stand battle, and could shoot arrows while riding a horse. Shinichi SATO wrote in "The Confusion of the Southern and Northern Imperial Courts" as follows.

In addition, one will led to the 'busha' or 'the house of tsuwamono,' who performed a distinguished service during Tengyo era, by following the 'toryo' (head of the clan) level bushi, but it is not definite by following 'bushidan.'
For example, all small bushidan that were called Musashi-shichito Parties (seven parties of samurai in Musashi Province) during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) did not originate from the 'house of tsuwamono.'

The bushi of the Heian and Kamakura periods were a 'functional group that specialized in martial arts,' and the 'center of martial arts was cavalry and archery.'
The Shuba Party was the military group that used cavalry as the basis for maximizing their mobile power, and the 'tsuwamono' that tried to defeat it should have been samurai with cavalry. The presence of the horse was the first requirement for being tsuwamono, and the 'meiba' (famous horse) was the most important property of a bushi.

Maki' and 'bushi'
The requirements for the bushi of Heian period were horse back riding and archery, but it did not mean that one had to have just any horse. Indigenous horses of Japan from that time were as small as a modern day pony, but bushi sought a good horse that was the biggest and strongest among them. The 'maki' (pasture for horses and cattle, written as '牧') was originally defined as a horse farm (written as 牧場) in Kanto region and provided the condition where a handful of bushi with special units could formalize if only a few of those horses could stand training. The "Engishiki" (an ancient book of codes and procedures on national rites and prayers) during the early tenth century designated maki around Japan, but maki was concentrated around Shinano, Kozuke, and Musashi provinces. Oshu was the largest breeding place.

The military officers of the imperial court were represented by Konoehei Rokuefu (Six Imperial Guards) Sayu Konoefu (the left and right divisions of the Inner Palace Guards), Hyoe (palace guard), emon (Outer Palace Guards), and Meryo (the section taking care of imperial horses) formed part of being a military officer, and many 'maki' connected to meryo that existed in the Shinano and Kanto regions.

The jurisdiction of meryo was 'Mimaki' (chokushiboku - mandate or imperial pastures) and those 'Shokumaki ' (maki of various provinces) called 'Kanboku' (state-owned sock farm) were under the control of Hyobusho (ministry of the military), but the management of horses from there was done by meryo, and meryo was entrusted with a care of maki related to it, and Kanboku of Kinai region (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara).

The powerful bushidan of the Kanto region had many managers of 'maki' horse pastures for the imperial court. TAIRA no Masakado also used two Kanboku of Nagasu and 大結馬 as his base. When MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto, who had the title of Musashi no suke (vice governor of Musashi Province), reported the actions of Masakado as treason to Kyoto, Morooki ONO with the title of Ononomaki betto (Chief officer of the Onono Farm), FUJIWARA no Korenaga, who had the title of Chichibunomaki betto (Chief of Chichibuno Farm) and owned the Ishida Farm and Akuhara Farm were those that mobilized to chase and capture a gang of robbers in Musashi Province. Bushidan called Musashi-shichito Parties merged later from these maki.

The powerful gokenin (immediate vassal of the shogunate during the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods) of Yoritomo and Oyama clans that claimed being the direct descendants of FUJIWARA no Hidesato, faced a similar situation as well.
The Chiba clan, which is mentioned later, was also famous for owning meiba and Sueshige HIRAYAMA boasted in the "Tale of Heike" that his horse was bought from the Chiba clan and donated a horse to associates of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in the early Kamakura period, and gave the impression of managing good quality 'maki.'
As could be seen, the origin of bushi in Kanto region had the background of horse breeding grounds.

As a result, MINAMOTO no Suenori, MINAMOTO no Suezane, MINAMOTO no Chikayasu of Montoku-Genji (Minamoto clan) that represented northern bushi of the period of Emperor Shirakawa surrounded Kyoto, and made their main headquarters in Sakamonnomaki, Koshi County, Kawachi Province of the regent family estate, and called as Sakado-Genji (Minamoto clan). FUJIWARA no Noritsune of roto (retainer) of MINAMOTO no Yorinobu was adopted by FUJIWARA no Kinnori, who had the title of junin Sakamonnomaki, Kawachi Province by the orders of his master. The term, 'junin,' at that time was defined as the kaihatsu-ryoshu (local notables who actually developed the land) who developed that area. Since it was 'Mimaki,' Sakamonnomaki was probably a neighbor of the mimaki of the imperial court and the regent family or both who were close by. Nevertheless, the relationship between 'maki' and 'busha and bushi' could be observed here as well.

After MINAMOTO no Yoshie declined, TAIRA no Masamori, who became the first 'choka no soga' (retainers of the imperial family or household called as fangs and claws of imperial family), served as governor of Kingoku (provinces close to Kyoto) (taigoku (major provinces) and 熟国 back then) as well as being the Uma no gon no kami (Provisional Captain of the Right Division of the Bureau of Horses). Furthermore, his son, TAIRA no Tadamori became the Mimaya-Betto (chief of Umaya-no-tsukasa, ministry of the stables) of Emperor Shirakawa and unified the Mimaki of Shirakawa-in (Retired Emperor Shirakawa) and bushidan that used it as their base. Mimaya-betto was not only general manager of the pasture, but also held the rank as a guard called 'Kurumajiri' and rode '後騎' on horseback along with kebiishi (a police and judicial chief) that followed behind the ox carriage of a retired emperor during his gyoko (imperial visit).

The mimaya-betto was later considered to be the top officer in military aristocracy of in no cho (the office of the abdicated monarch) and was passed down to TAIRA no Kiyomori. The 'maki' was the base of 'Musha (warrior)=a mounted warrior' (busha=cavalry busha) and the high quality 'maki' was mainly for the pasture of court officers or imperial court Kanboku (state-owned stock farm) and Mimaki that Mimaya-Betto of in no cho had the important post of publicly putting many bushidan under its control as well as sending them for private matters.

The 'bushi' qualification
The first qualification of samurai not as a retainer but as 'bushi' was to be a military officer. After the war of TAIRA no Masakado, people who distinguishingly served in battle, FUJIWARA no Hidesato, TAIRA no Sadamori, TAIRA no Kinmasa, and the descendants of MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto, became the 'choka no soga' after defeating TAIRA no Masakado, but a uniformed process was required for them to be considered tsuwamono. An individual must first gain the rank of a military officer. Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards) and Hyoe-fu (Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guards) fell to ruins and they were Emonfu (Headquarters of the Outer Palace Guards), Saemon no jo (third-ranking officer of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards) that had additional duties of kebiishi, meryo, Takiguchi, Mushadokoro (place where Samurai of guard of the Imperial Palace is staffed), and hokumen gero (北面下臈)(or so called Northern bushi) during insei period (during the period of the government by the Retired Emperor).

What should not be forgotten in a formation process of 'tsuwamono-no-ie' (house of soldiers) as the family line was that 'choka no soga' mobilized in the late tenth century without the presence of a military officer. The descendants of those who did distinguished services and called Oanakuri,' 'Nusubitoanakuri' and '五位巳下 that show courage in battle' were summoned.

The following measurements were taken due to rumors of a child of TAIRA no Masakado entering Kyoto as written in the October 2, 960 (October 29, 960 in new calendar) entry of "Fuso ryakki" (A Short History of Japan).

In other words, being apart from original Kebiishi duty, they were summoned wearing Kyusen (Bow and arrow) that was forbidden for others except for military officers and military horses were supplied by Meryo during their duty. The imperial court appealed its 'bui' (military force) to the city and tried to stabilized its security. On the other hand, the family line that was summoned self-promoted as the 'choka no soga' and began to be recognized as the 'house of tsuwamono.' in a later period. Oanakuri' could be said to be the first qualification ceremony of the 'house of tsuwamono' carrying 'mu' (military) without the concern for a court position.

The time when that 'house of tsuwamono' concept began to settle in society was from the period of FUJIWARA no Michinaga, and 'family blood' and 'family business' started to be fixed in among all aristocratic without being limited by 'mu.'
It was because the military force required to sustain peace in Kyoto was not enough with just a military officer and zuijin (a guard) from old, and the 'house of tsuwamono' that served as the 'choka no soga' during TAIRA no Masakado's War started to provide 'mu' as a 'family business.'

The 'Story of Mitsunaka, who was the Settsu no kami (lord of Settsu Province) that underwent shukke (become a Buddhist monk)' of the Volume 19 Story 4 of "Konjaku Monogatari Shu" began like this.

There was an impression that MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka served under the main branch of the Fujiwara clan since the Anna Incident, but it could be interpreted from this that mercenary army that served all ranked ruling people was mobilized as needed by the emperor, minister, and kugyo (court noble).

They who provided 'mu' as a family business raised the child of the family and retainers in order to supply their private military power. The Tada-no-sho estate of the Settsu no kami (the governor of Settsu Province) MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka was such a commissariat base and was once the place of military training (hunting) of Ienoko (followers) and retainers.
At this step, they were low to middle ranking officers living in Kyoto or zuryo as well as being the chief of one 'bushidan.'

However, each 'bushidan' did not have many members. The story of Mitsunaka, the lord of Settsu Province' in "Konjaku Monogatari Shu" stated 500, but it is assumed to be just an exaggeration and flowery words following the impression of bushidan of the biggest capital back in early twelfth century when "Konjaku Monogatari Shu" was written.

The reason why it might not be as big was because military power required at that time was for sustaining the peace of Kyoto, guard a person upon request, followed as a retainer when one left a post due to zuryo, and arrest the Zaichokanjin (the local officials in the Heian and Kamakura periods), but there was hardly any turmoil. In addition, they allied with other military aristocrats (kyobusha - Busha in Kyoto) or made them leader or a retainer in Kyoto. There was a need for 'tsuwamono' but not a great one.

The qualification of 'bushi' in districts

On the other hand, theory of the kokuga forces system of Yoshimi TODA and Susumu ISHII (historian) discussed in detail about the qualification of the 'bushi' in districts. However, military aristocrats with a main base in districts submitted the Myobu (identification) to central powerful aristocrats, held the private master and servant relationship, and many went directly to Kyoto to serve (that was 'samurai'), and obtained the court position of military officer by their recommendations. TAIRA no Koremoto with the title of Saemon no taifu (Master of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards), and TAIRA no Tadatsune with the title of former Kazusa no suke (Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province) held on to such an existence in the diagram of the kokuga forces system of Susumu ISHII. TAIRA no Koremoto served FUJIWARA no Sanesuke, who wrote "Shoyuki," and TAIRA no Tadatsune served FUJIWARA no Norimichi. The number of their mobilized military members far surpassed the army of governors.

Direct provincial army of the governor
It differed from '館の者共' (private servant of the governor and Zaichokanjin) in the way that '兵共 (soldiers) of the province' were registered in things such as 'Fudaizu' and 'Yanagui chumon' (list of warriors), participated in hunting hosted by the governor, yabusame (horseback archery) at Ichinomiya (shrine with the highest ranking in the area), summoned with need, and did not fight to death if their interests were not directly involved. Even during the later the Genpei War, they negotiated through either Kokuga or shoen (manor in medieval Japan), called as 'Karimusha' when mobilized due to civil rights, and were not a central fighting force of a battle.

The 'kaihatsu-ryoshu' and 'bushidan'

The 'Shieiden Managers' and 'Tsuwamono'

The concept of 'Shieiden Managers' and 'Lord of Shieiden' settled academically from "The Formation of Medieval Period like World" by the Tadashi ISHIMODA, who was among the first generation born post-World War II.

It is said that TAIRA no Takamochi, who was the grandfather of TAIRA no Masakado, and others went to Kanto region to capture gangs of robbers in Bando during the period of 'Shieiden Managers,' but military aristocrats like them that came from capital had the main duty to settle the conflict between the governor and the lord of Shieiden. The greatest incident of that was TAIRA no Masakado's War. However, military power during this period was just for the purpose of gathering farmers under their control and make them hold onto weapons.

As a result, they were similar to rabble except for a few johei (upper class soldiers) (cavalry busha).

In addition, fighters and normal peasants were not segregated, the battle at Kanto was to not only to attack the 'camp' of the enemy, but was to 'burn down the residence and servants' and used the battle technique to burn everything to ashes. It was because there were such a great amount of land in Kanto, and the labor organization that cultivated the land was a problem, and damaging and scattering yoriki (police sergeant) consisting of both the military and labor force of the enemy was required in order to annihilate the enemy.

This situation did not differ during TAIRA no Masakado's War (930-931) or in the Revolt of TAIRA no Tadatsune (1028-1031) a hundred years later because several neighboring provinces became 'ruined provinces' after the Revolt of TAIRA no Tadatsune and the imperial court had to exempt kanmotsu (tribute goods paid as taxes or tithes) for four years in order to recover.

The former academic theory of Motohisa YASUDA referred to the period of TAIRA no Masakado when local land managing was shieiden management of TAIRA no Tadatsune during the period of 'tsuwamono' and 'bushi' was the next step. Definitely, the military style of this period differed greatly from that of the medieval bushidan.


Toyohiko FUKUDA stated that a 'lord of shieiden' is 'the huge estate owner that directly managed a large parcel land, summarized in just a few words.'
Of course, this did not fully explain the 'lord of shieiden' and 'manager of shieiden' but pointed out their special characteristics in contrast to later 'kaihatsu-ryoshu.'
The academic theories by Motohisa YASUDA sought the difference between 'bushi' and 'tsuwamono' as the ruling formation of the 'estate'
As a result, one could be referred to as 'bushi' once the local economics shifted from the 'management of Shieiden' to 'kaihatsu-ryoshu' step.

According to Toyohiko FUKUDA, the 'kaihatsu-ryoshu' that later became the basis for the Kamakura bakufu differed in a fundamental management methods from 'shieiden management.'
While they definitely directly held cultivation land such as tsukuda (directly-managed rice fields by a lord or an officer of shoen), tezukuri (handmade), or kadota, their biggest characteristic was leaving the farm management to a genuine 'manor lord' that collected 'kajishi' (land rent) from peasants.
That period ranged from late eleventh to the early twelfth century when the Revolt of TAIRA no Tadatsune ended in the Kanto region, and when reconstruction and reestablishment started from the ruins of what was called almost a 'dead province.'

The creation of the 'kaihatsu-ryoshu' started with the cultivation of the wild land not only by children and brothers of the powerful clan, but neighboring peasants and people who escaped and travelled from their registered domiciles of various provinces to organize into a new village as followers. Furthermore, the newly cultivated land and its village became the private estate of the person who cultivated it. Even though it is called a private estate, it did not mean that one was exempt from tax, but Kokuga were treated differently from former districts as a separate tax unit, lowered tax under a special order, permitted cultivating land owners to have their own private estates, and the kaihatsu-ryoshu gained the responsibility to collect other taxes simultaneously. That property was called as 'beppu' by taking after the name of a special order (fu - tally) in addition to being called as 'go' (village) for the tax collection unit.

The 'go' by beppu was not the 'go' of the 'district' and was at the same level with a 'district' as an independent tax collection unit. The district and go formed after the Ritsuryo system was reestablished into the new district and go by that process.

Since legal ownership or a permit by Kokuga was required to cultivate a domain, they became the Zaichokanjin of Kokuga, or were military aristocrats that shifted from ryuju (the place they stayed) to dwellers, children of former governors, descendants of imperial families and nobles, and a few local clans connected to governors, in order to become the kaihatsu-ryoshu. The kanboku from the Shinshu to Kanto regions, managers of mimaki, and those that went to the country side as the shokan (an officer governing shoen (manor) of shoen of Kyoto aristocrats made it as their base and cultivated the surrounding area.

However, bushi in districts existed as kaihatsu-ryoshu, the financial basis, but kaihatsu-ryoshu was bushi and did not necessarily lead bushidan. It is necessary to take into consideration that there should be no records of previous generations, except for records of those that survived the Genpei War and became bushi during that period, gokenin during Kamakura period, those who participated in the Genpei War, and followers of a lower ranked officer in some shoen. The fact that 'soldiers of the province' was recorded in registers such as 'Fudaizu' and 'Yanagui chumon' (a list of warriors) said that they had a special existence among the kaihatsu-ryoshu under the Kokuga rule.

The 'bushidan' that mediated the 'manor'

When the bushi became kaihatsu-ryoshu and formed the 'bushidan' military group in the Kanto region, they were not peasant soldiers, 'mercenaries,' but a privately contracted fighting group of manor lords. The smallest group consisted of a leader, child of that house, and a retainer.
When the powerful bushi group became the kaihatsu-ryoshu, its brothers, children, and relatives cultivated the surrounding area into small cultivating land owners, and that clan gathered to form one 'bushidan.'

For example, the brothers and children during that period were scattered across the go and myo in the surrounding area and they named their surnames after that myo when observing the family tree of the Hitachi no Daijo (Daijo clan of Hitachi Province), Chiba, and Kazusa clans. The younger brother of Yoshiaki MIURA, who was the family head of Miura clan that appeared at that time, named himself Yoshizane OKAZAKI and his legal son took the name of Yoshitada SANADA (written as 佐奈田 as well as 真田). The eldest son of Yoshiaki took the name of Sugimoto, and his eldest son named himself Yoshimori WADA. The branch family spread to cultivate their own estate, raised retainers, and the clan gathered when an incident happened. The forces of Yoritomo right after mobilization consisted of such Miura, Chiba, Kazusa, Edo, Kawagoe, Toshima, Hatakeyama, and Chichibu clans.

Smallest unit of bushi

The 'bushi' as a 'samurai' fought on the front lines during the Battle of Ichinotani in "The Tale of Heike." However, there were Sueshige HIRAYAMA, who was a resident of Musashi Province, Naozane KUMAGAI and his son, Naoie KUMAGAI, that did not have retainers with cavalry skills except for themselves and their children.

However, HIRAYAMA no Mushadokoro Sueshige (Sueshige HIRAYAMA of Mushadokoro - place where Samurai guards of the Imperial Palace are staffed) and Kumatanijiro Naozane KUMAGAI, were masterless independent busha, but Sueshige HIRAYAMA was a 'samurai' and military officer that served the imperial court and kugyo as he called himself as mushadokoro. Perhaps they were lords of the small village owned by Kokugaryo (territories governed by provincial government office) concerning their residence.

The gozoku type lords and small lords

While being called gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate during the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods) under MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, Shimokobe no SHOJI Yukihira, Kiyoshige KASAI of Kasai no Mikuriya, and Shigetada HATAKEYAMA, were manor heads of donated shoen on a grand scale. Furthermore, Tsunetane of Chibanosuke (vice minister of Chiba Province), Hirotsune of Kazusa no suke (vice minister of Kazusa Province), Yoshizumi MIURA, and Tomomasa OYAMA were Zaichokanjin of kokuga in addition to being the kaihatsu-ryoshu of multiple districts, beppu villages, and manors. Tomihiko FUKUDA called the latter 'Gozoku' (local ruling family) to separate them from a lord that based himself in villages, manors, and districts. It applies to a regional gozoku army of the diagram of Susumu ISHII (historian).

There were several letters discussing nengu (land tax) exchanged between Intonosho manor owned by the father of Hirotsune of Kazusa no suke (vice minister of Kazusa Province), Tsunezumi, SUGAWARA no Sadataka, who was the 'azukaridokoro' (a deputy of "Shoen" manor lord), in shihai monjo (an old document which was written on the other side of a piece of used paper) of "Daigo-zojiki" (records of the history of Daigo-ji temple) that clarified that 'villages' that formed Intonosho manor had Goji (a local government official under the ritsuryo system) and Sonshi (村司) with surnames of 'Fujiwara', 'Nakatomi,' 'Funya,' 'Taira,' and 'Katta.'

Taira' maybe the same clan of TAIRA no Tsunezumi with the title of Kazusa no suke (Vice Minister of Kazusa Province), but 'Fujiwara' from the beginning, and 'Nakatomi' and 'Funya' that appeared in early Heian period were middle ranked aristocratic clans. Katta' was not known as an aristocrat of the capital, but a person with the same surname appeared as gunji hogandai (a district manager and administrative official of the Retired-Emperor's Office) in "Katori Monjo" (Katori document). None of them were peasants. They were also the estate owners of that 'village' at the same time they were lower ranking officers of Shoen that ruled over peasants despite being in a small scale unit. They may not have been bushi but many were in a position to rush in while wearing armor, holding bows, and staffed as cavalry busha leading dozens of retainers when mobilized by TAIRA no Tsunezumi, who was Kazusa no suke (vice minister of Kazusa Province) that also served as Into no Shoji (administrator of a manor of Into no sho).

The 'gozoku-style lord' that owned a great estate that spanned over multiple counties and manors also ruled over counties, villages of beppu, manors and villages under it and each step consisted of small 'bushidan.'
They then gathered to work as 'daibushidan' (large brigade of bushi).
According to "The Tale of Heike," Taro KAWARA and Jiro brothers, who were the junin (kaihatsu-ryoshu) of Musashi Province, and were told, 'a daimyo could gain the honor of deeds made by servants even if a daimyo does not directly become involved, but someone like us must get involved ourselves firsthand.'
The 'daimyo' mentioned was a 'gozoku-style lord' that led that 'daibushidan.'

From this, researchers of the first generation born after World War II focused greatly on multilayered combination relationships between manor lords and 'bushidan' as well as the growth of social and district economics mediated by the estate that led to it.
Of course, it was believed to be the driving force of the Kamakura bakufu or the 'period of samurai.'
The 'bushidan' that established the multilayer relationship from there became 'bushi' and the earlier steps from there was called as 'tsuwamono' and these became customarily used as academic terms.

The ranks of kaihatsu-ryoshu

An incident that occurred during the mid-twelfth century involving a disturbance at the Obamikuriya estate of Sagami Province and Soma-mikuriya (private estate of Soma ranch) of Shimousa Province realistically depicted the transfiguration of the Zaichokanjin being the local lord at that time, harsh conflicts between governors and mokudai (deputy provincial governor), and the fragility of the lord of the manor class.

First, the territorial possession of kaihatsu-ryoshu was guaranteed by governor and kokuga as a 'job structure' called as gunji (district managers) and goji (a local government official under the ritsuryo system), but the governor side had the power to dismiss them from the position as in the case of Soma County. In addition, other kaihatsu-ryoshu around them looked for an opportunity to take over the position. Soma-mikuriya were owned by Tsunezumi of Kazusa no Gon no suke (provisional governor of Kazusa Province) of the same clan and were owned by MINAMOTO no Yoritomo.

The kaihatsu-ryoshu donated manors in order to stabilized that unstable condition. The common form of donated manors did not just involve a private manor, but (Kano) a style that carved out Kokugaryo and was not under control of the local lord. As this was already explained, we will begin to take the point of view of a local lord, but the incidents of this Soma-mikuriya (private estate of Soma ranch) and Oba no mikuriya (private estate of Oba ranch) indicated that donation of manors did not always provide security.

Additional insecurity under the rule of Heike (Taira clan)

The insecurity reached its peak after a coup d'état by Taira clan. The Taira clan became the head of several dozen chigyo-kokushu (provincial proprietor) and put the pressure on other bushidan and kaihatsu-ryoshu through bushidan consisting of Taira clan servants. This materialized for Tsunetate CHIBA as the robbery of Soma-mikuriya (private estate of Soma ranch) of Yoshimune SATAKE that supported Heike by force in February 1161. The conflict between Satake, Chiba, and Kazusa clans started here and was solved with the mobilization of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in 1180 where Chiba no suke (assistant governor of Chiba Province) and Kazusa no suke clans gathered, defeated Taira clan in 'the Battle of Fujikawa River,' attacked the Satake clan of Hitachi, and made them flee after losing the battle.

The reason why Chiba and Kazusa no Suke clans supported Yoritomo was not only because they both were the servants of Minamoto clan as beautified by "Azuma Kagami," but to repel the invasion of the Fujiwara clan of Shimousa Province and the Satake clan of Hitachi Province by supporting Yoritomo and to recover their stolen estate as a gamble to turn things around from facing a complete defeat. By looking at the progress of Soma-mikuriya (private estate of Soma ranch) not written in "Azuma Kagami," Tsunetate CHIBA was especially not the person whom MINAMOTO no Yoritomo felt 'indebted' to.

Later the army was mobilized by Yoritomo in 1180, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo did 'honryo-ando' (acknowledged the inherited estate) that his father MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo tried to snatch away by force. It was the origin for the unification of the Kanto region bushidan by Yoritomo. It could be said that 'leader of samurai family' did not exist, at least before Yoritomo in Kanto region. In addition, their estates became vulnerable as favor and service when Yoritomo submitted the 'honryo-ando' kudashibumi (edict from a senior official in government or military which had the status of a binding official document) almost without consent.

The level of unification of 'bushidan' during the 'tsuwamono' period

The level of unification of bushi and bushidan was very mild and completely unrelated to bushidan imported from Confucianism during the Edo period such as 'be faithful to one's master and be dutiful to one's parents' as well as being far from the image of Sengoku period (Japan).

However, there were two types of master and servant relationships of the bushi at that time. For an example, MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka had his base in Tada-no-sho estate of Settsu Province and MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka performed the military training of his servants through hunting. Furthermore, MINAMOTO no Mitsutaka was grieved by his own child that went through shukke (to become a Buddhist monk) 'if there is someone who defies your will, you kill him as though he was an insect, and cut off his arms and legs for a minor crime' in the 'Story of Mitsunaka, who was the Settsu no kami (governor of Settsu Province) and underwent shukke (become Buddhist Priest)' in Volume 19 Story 4 of "Konjaku Monogatari Shu" (The Tale of Times Now Past). While bushi could easily kill his servant, the power to decide life and death of servants and kenzoku (disciples or followers of Buddha) was not limited to bushi at that time.

On the other hand, bushi that became independent to support the family had a hierarchical relationship, but were similar to being an 'ally.'
In other words, it was the subcontracted company that worked together under a contract unlike a life time worker that served their master's company. In addition, there was a case of something that was similar to union associations. It was a norm for subcontractors to receive jobs from multiple contractors, and the bushidan's hierarchical relationship was similar to this.

These two were labeled apart as the 'Kenin' (retainers) and 'Karei' (courtesy among cultured people). The words themselves were not fixed at that time, but there were examples like this.

Nagakiyo KAGAMI of Kai-Genji (Minamoto clan) saw a limit to the power of Taira clan and decided to return to Togoku (the eastern part of Japan, particularly Kanto region) by asking TAIRA no Tomomori (the fourth son of TAIRA no Kiyomori) using an excuse of the illness of his elderly mother, but his request was not granted, but TAIRA no Moritsuna, who was the Takahashi no hangan (inspector - third highest of the four administrative ranks of the ritsuryo period) advised TAIRA no Tomomori 'not to force him to stay like Kenin' despite knowing his true intention and he finally gained permission from Tomomori. Of course, Nagakiyo KAGAMI ran to the side of Yoritomo on a horse at the battle of Fujikawa River.

It was a norm to serve under several masters by submitting a register not only in the world of 'tsuwamono' but within the aristocratic society. It was not unusual when comparing it with a subcontracting firm. The vassalage had a very loose relationship during this period. The level of unity differed with the value of what could be gained by myobu submission. It was simply a ritualistic process in some cases.

There was no donation of estates (shinon-kyuyo - granting of new domains) or a guaranteed ownership of the estate (honryo-ando - acknowledgment for an inherited estate) in the world of bushi until at the end of Heian period. For an example, even MINAMOTO no Yorinobu or MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu were not in the position to do this. This applied to MINAMOTO no Yoshiie as well. The method to maintain the estate was to become the Zaichokanjin of gunji, goji, kokuga of that estate, or to donate shoen to kenmon (an influential family). It was not guaranteed as it was seen before.

The 'bushidan' union by 'blood relation'

The strongest bonding strength was 'blood relation' without a doubt if one contemplated about the unification of bushidan of the late Heian period or the mid-twelfth Century.

However, 'blood relation' should be interpreted without the modern preconception of the 'house.'
There was no notion of 'house' that is imagined in modern days until the mid-Heian period. It was like this from the emperor family to the aristocratic society. The 'blood relationship' was not a 'house' but a blood relationship of a wife and husband, parent and child as well as grandchild, and was referred often as 'ie' (currently defined as house) or 'miuchi' (currently defined as close relatives). It was the world of 'miuchi' during the period of regents and their families or a person who became the 'miuchi' of the emperor who became a regent and had no notion of a legal son. It could be interpreted easily by observing the period between FUJIWARA no Mototsune, who was said to have built the foundation of the regent family, to the golden age of FUJIWARA no Michinaga as an example.

The notion of a 'house' came out gradually from the insei period of Emperor Shirakawa. The period of 'bushidan' was mainly after that insei period, and the union by 'house' and inheritance became stronger gradually but will be misinterpreted if one is looking too much at 'a direct descendant' and 'honke' (the owner of the highest-graded patches of land under the stratified land ruling structure of Shoen) and 'paternal family system' notion of later generation.

If they had a relationship of a parent and child, child had an absolute obedience to the parent, but rivalry became stronger between brothers. It is better to think of Heian period as a time when 'paternal family structure' and 'maternal family structure' were intermingled. A good example would be the famous TAIRA no Masakado War. It originally started with the 'family the groom married into' uncles of the TAIRA no Masakado, and uncles of TAIRA no Masakado built a structure in Kanto region especially in Hitachi, Kazusa, Shimousa, and Musashi Provinces, and there was a trace that the conflict of interest between 'places where the grooms married' led to the struggle between TAIRA no Masakado, his uncle, and cousins.

The 'paternal family' notion became stronger when entering the twelfth century, but there were something similar to 'the child having absolute servitude to the parent,' and a similar strong relationship between the father-in-law and the groom by marriage. It was not a political marriage between families, but was for a private purpose, and it did not differ greatly from thinking that a father and grandfather of a partner was at a similar level as one's own father or grandfather, and brother-in-law was at the same level as brothers. In other words, the world of 'relatives' of the period of regents partially remained.

The relationship of bushidan and range of power of Sagami Province was described in detail from the disturbance in Obamikuriya estate to the Battle of Ishibashiyama Mountain by looking at the matrimonial relation of kaihatsu-ryoshu prior to the mobilization call by Yoritomo in "Soga Monogatari" (the tale of Soga) (Manabon - a book written only in Chinese characters) despite being just literature. The kaihatsu-ryoshu union of the Kanto region had a strong inclination to be maintained by marriage. The allied activities and a group that shared same fate differed from the political marriage of the Sengoku Daimyo (daimyo of the Warring States Period) the maternal relatives of Miura clan from mobilization call of Yoritomo to its fall in Battle of Hoji could be seen.

Job and main family line

The main family line started as the inheritance of a 'house' became fixed to an estate and was passed down generations. Since the last part of the Heian period, the manor shokan, gunji, and goji business structures based themselves on their shoryo (territory) ownership, and the main line formed by inheriting such job structure. However, other inheritance was to be divided among children as a custom from the Heian period and continued until the Kamakura period. In addition, the end of Heian period was still in the developmental period, and brothers cultivated their own territories and created new myoden (rice field lots in charge of a nominal holder) in the Kokugaryo became equal to Kokuga.

Soryo system

The Soryo system (the eldest son system as the succession of the head of the family) was made as a base to rule over gokenin (immediate vassal of the shogunate during the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods) by bakufu during the Kamakura period. The middle and small gokenin were often Soryo of that clan. The clan called daimyo each had a member who was gokenin. The soryo made a master and servant relationship with bakufu through favor and service, and indirectly ruled over illegitimate children. Although it was called a divided succession, soryo had some level of control toward that illegitimate child of a clan.

However, it cannot be said firmly that the regulating right of soryo was stronger. Although there was a right to control soryo, it was not absolute as could be seen in the case of the Miura clan during Kamakura period. For an example, Yoshimori WADA, who became Samurai-dokoro betto (the Chief Officer of Board of Retainers) during the early Kamakura bakufu. Yoshimori was a member of the Miura clan but was not Soryo. In addition, it cannot be said that he was under the absolute control of soryo of the Miura clan. During that Rebellion of Yoshimori WADA, Yoshimura MIURA, who was the Soryo of the Miura clan, made it seem as if he agreed with Yoshimori WADA by writing even kishomon (sworn oath), but stood on the side of Yoshitoki HOJO when the real war began. When that Miura clan was defeated by the Adachi and Hojo clans during the Battle of Hoji in 1247, Moritoki SAHARA of the clan stood on the side of Hojo clan and later became the soryo of the Miura clan.

The soryo system made divided succession a requirement and had a clear clan union in contrast to other clans. The patriarchal system differed later, but the union as the bushidan was close to having a clan gathering with the soryo as a leader of the clan. That soryo system and divided succession system transformed into a single inheritance by a legitimate son mainly from the end of the Kamakura period to period of Southern and Northern Courts (Japan).

Family estate system: the single succession by the legitimate eldest son

Its earliest example was Hidemoto KAMATA of the Hitachi Daijo clan, who passed his estate of four villages over to his legitimate child, Tomohide in 1234. This meant that subdivided soryo of gokenin spread as far as it could reach with the divided succession of each generation. The example of the Kamata clan was at the early stage, but the Kamata clan itself was a branch family of the Kagoshima clan branch family that deviated from the Hitachi Daijo clan, and this could be interpreted that its estate had a few, but four villages.

The single inheritance by legal son continued to later Edo period as the normal 'family estate' or 'house' connotation.

The soryo system was sustained during Kamakura period, but as heavy presence of Kamakura period disappeared, Kenmu government subdivided into south and north as well as the conflict began to rise between the legitimate child and illegitimate child as 天下三分 formed, and illegitimate child and branch family that was on the winning side started to surpassed the head family of the main line.

Party-like bushidan

The unification of bushidan by the Soryo System did not have absolute sovereignty, but there was bushidan called 'to' (party) for a looser bonding group. For an example, there were Kamakura clan, Musashi-shichito Parties (seven parties of samurai in Musashi Province), Watanabe Party of Settsu Province, Matsuura Party of Kyushu, and Kishu (area near current Wakayama Prefecture).

While that bonded the clan to a certain extent, they had characteristics similar to an alliance or a union based upon a fixed area and economic unit. It could be interpreted that Musashi-shichito Parties were completely local unions.

Takeshi TOYODA summarizes the 'common characteristic of To' into following four points.

Either way, it was one expression of the clan union of bushi.

They were unified in a relatively small area.

It formed around the same clan at the beginning, but outsiders began to join and became the regional union or the uprising clan during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). Even in such case, being aware of the same clan became the basis for unification.

The forming member of the to had a relatively conflicting relationship, and soryo had the position to represent that, but the controlling power was not so strong.

The unified 'bushidan' that was not called as 'to' also had similarities in some characteristics.


Most imagine a 'peasant's revolt' when hearing 'uprising,' and not many know about the uprising of bushi. However, the 'uprising' is defined as 'taking the same action' or take a pledge on it. The famous ones were 'Shirahata Ikki' (Uprising of the White Flag) in Musashi Province and 'Musashi hei Ikki' (Musashi Hei Uprising) during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) and 'Kikyo Ikki' (Kikyo Uprising) of Mino Province that appeared in "Taiheiki" (The Record of the Great Peace).

These small feudal bushi lords that weakened individually due to divided inheritance unified together to form a force that would not be pushed down by other forces, joined the battle as one bushidan to gain reward, and names of 'Shirahata Ikki' and 'Kikyo Ikki' came from the emblem on flags.

In addition, the Yamauchisudo clan of Bingo Province had an emblem made from a pledge in 1351, the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) to serve Fuyuji ASHIKAGA by unifying eleven members that became less unified due to divided inheritance.

Matsuurato in northern Kyushu also famous for wako (Japanese pirates) could be interpreted as 'to' from outside, but it did not have same systemized actions, and unified for the first time during the uprising of Shimo Matsuura Party (Lower Matsuura Party) by Ryoshun IMAGAWA, who participated in the Kyushu Tandai (local commissioner) during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), but the order of signature of the contract for the uprising was decided by lottery in 1384.

Several bushi of Kamimatsuura received the Kawasoe no Sho Residence of Hizen Province in 1346 for a reward for fighting along side the Ashikaga several times. They chose the place of distribution of Kawasoe no Sho Residence by lottery at that time as well. In other words, adjustment within was impossible and had to be decided by lottery.
As a result, there was no clear line between the 'to' and 'uprising.'

Pre-insei period (the period of the government by a Retired Emperor)

According to the former academic theories by Motohisa YASUDA, the master and servant relationship between the local bushidan and toryo of bushi of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) began from the time of the Gosannen War (the Later Three Years' War) of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie, but the power of Yoshiie to be master over his retainers seen in "Oshu-gosannen-ki" (A Chronicle of Later Three Year's War in Oshu) was connected with samurai in Kyoto. Kagemasa KAMAKURA (Kagemasa) and Heitaro-tametsugu of Miura viewed as the representatives of the Sagami Province may have participated due to the connection they had with samurai in Kyoto from their parents' generation.

It was hard to prove that the Fujiwara clan of Takata County, Aki Province, Taira clan of Yunogo, Tanba Province, Hasetsukabe clan of Nabari County, Iga Province, and Chiba clan of Soma-mikuriya (private estate of Soma ranch), Shimosa Province that developed as the kaihatsu-ryoshu between eleventh-twelfth century, and other examples proven by many historical manuscripts, had master and servant relationships with the military aristocrats called 'toryo of bushi' at that time.

This master and servant relationship was not found other than in "Azuma Kagami" of later periods and what was passed down through gokenin. As described above, the Chiba clan and descendants of Gongoro Kagemasa, and Oba clan considered to be a clan varied from 'transmission of Kenin' mentioned in "Azuma Kagami."

The situation of kaihatsu-ryoshu in the Kanto region that later appeared as 'bushi' in the late eleventh century used soryo ruling through gunji, goji, and other public duties to start cultivating and forming villages and was not up to a saturated level to quarrel constantly with neighboring kaihatsu-ryoshu over the ruling and expansion of manors.

There was a written record of a military conflict at Sagami Province in the mid-eleventh century.
However, they supposedly held special existence before that 'made military art a job.'
It was just a small fight, far from a quarrel, between samurai in the case of the Chiba clan of a special existence, the clan of Gongoro kagemasa KAMAKURA, descendants of frontier military aristocracy, and even in the incident of Oba no mikuriya (private estate of Oba ranch).

However, "Gonijo Moromichi ki" (Diary of FUJIWARA no Moromichi) entry on May 3, 1099 (May 31, 1099 in solar calendar) stated the order of Emperor Shirakawa, 'have many weapon yielding warriors in various districts and used force when the imperial decree was given.'
These 'various districts' were probably those of the Kinki region, but social conditions of self-help that began around that time could be seen within direct petitions that occurred frequently.

The Genpei War

There were "Shigisan engi emaki" (Picture Scroll of the Legends of Mount Shigi) and "Kokawadera Engiemaki" (Picture Scroll of Legends of Kokawa-dera Temple) for historical documents not embellished by later generations and these mentioned the transformation of social concentration of bushidan at peasant villages.

The former were supposedly works of the early period of Emperor Toba Insei period and the early 12th century, and latter during the Insei period of Emperor Goshirakawa of the late twelfth century. These picture scrolls of Shigisan depicted the residence of the head of the Yamato Province, and Kokawadera depicted that of Kii Province, Kinai, and neighboring regions, but latter had samurai guards, karabori (dry moat) before the gate, and tower over the gate while former lacked them. Akio YOSHIE interpreted that weapon preparation (bushidan formation) of local heads or cultivation lords developed between the early and later periods despite being the same twelfth century.

"Kokawadera Engiemaki" is said to have been created by Emperor Goshirakawa, but not certain, but as for its completion, there were various theories that stated between the late twelfth century to the early thirteenth century.
Even if "Gosannene" (the picture scroll depicting the Gosannen War - the Later Three Years' War) of Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa, which was the Joan version of "Oshu-gosannen-ki" (A Chronicle of Later Three Year's War in Oshu), was written around same period of year 1171, it was close to ten years after 'Hogen Disturbance' and 'Heiji Disturbance' written in "Shigisan engi emaki" to "Gukansho" by Jien as 'revolutions in Japan that led to the world of musa (samurai).'
There certainly was a big transformation within the local society during that time.

Even if the later theory of the thirteenth century was correct, it was definitely after the Genpei War. It truly depicted a common image of lords of the Kinai region transforming from the unarmed existence to the those armed with samurai and military tools within a span of several decades, and became a servant that was similar to gokenin and jito (land steward appointed by the central military government to each of the manors into which the countryside was divided) that protected residences during Kamakura period.

Two picture scrolls were just circumstantial evidence, but the expansion of bushidan started around the time when entering twelfth century and 'Hogen Disturbance' and 'Heiji Disturbance' were the first phrase and reached the peak with the Genpei War if asked about when it started. The military power of the political structure of regent families where the samurai in the imperial capital of Kyoto was based, disintegrated after experiencing two wars, and the Hokumen no bushi (the Imperial Palace Guards for the north side) terminated its function due to a single victory of Taira family. Furthermore, the Taira family performed duties in Kyoto and Obanyaku (a job to guard Kyoto) of bushi of various provinces perhaps through kokuga in order to guard dairi (Imperial Palace) of Kyoto.
While it proved to be a heavy burden for district lords, it was the place of 'hare' (the non-ordinary space and time of ceremonies), and they were eager to obtain power and connections of the central government, and also attain the 'establishment of samurai social status.'

As a result, the Taira family collected 'soldiers' from kugyo (court nobles), Zuryo, and various manors of an influential families under the command of Emperor Takakura after mobilization of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in 1180. The invading army of Yoshinaka KISO supposedly consisted of samurai from noble families as well as 'even the Buyaku (laborer) of Togoku samurai had Kyusen' that even laborers served as archers when joining battle.
In addition, the side of Yoritomo that conquered Kyoto in 1184 extensively gathered and mobilized 'those with high abilities.'
This was probably a period when many kaihatsu-ryoshu became 'samurai.'
Masaaki TAKAHASHI expressed it this way.

The expansion of samurai during the disturbances of the Northern and Southern Courts.

However, even the Genpei War lasted only five years and gradually shifted the battle field from east to west. The next expansion of the bushi class began from the fall of Kamakura bakufu to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) and all Japan entered the period of war that lasted for a long time. Compared to it, the Genpei War seemed to last only an instant. There were no big transformations of weapons and battle formations from the Heian to the Kamakura period and the fall of the Kamakura bakufu. Yoshikazu KONDO stated that it began to change from the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). In other words, the Calvary started to shift from having swords as main weapons, instead of Kyusen.

Furthermore, Shinichi SATO described that battle formation transformation as the last spread of the 'bushi' class that had 'akuto' (rebel or a villain in medieval times) and 'aburemono' (a good-for-nothing) as their predecessors. There was an increase of people called 'akuto' and their participation in wars during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) at least from former powers, and Enshin AKAMATSU and Masashige KUSUNOKI were their representatives. However, the problem was that many 'akuto' that did not have bushi social status joined the bottom most bushi class.

Keiji NAGAHARA stated that military power of the bushi lord of a manor from the twelfth century to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) when the formed bushidan had a house of the same clan as its unit and the army unit cohort consisted of several dozen to two hundred military forces, and many militaristic conquest of a vast area structured the union of house army. They were 'Shirahata Ikki,' 'Kikyo Ikki,' and revolutions of other provinces that were already mentioned.

From Muromachi era to the Period of Warring States

However, the situation changed when entering fifteenth to sixteenth century. For an example, 'castle' was 'line the shields and pull the spiny ivy' or the emergency barricade tower to shoot arrows from until then and was not a permanent facility in contrast to a permanent 'castle' facility built after fifteenth century. Its early example was Tossaka-jo Castle (Tosaka-jo Castle) and Makabe-jo Castle of Hitachi Province. It was because the war spread nationwide and became something of a norm from instantaneous regional events between the Heian to Kamakura periods. This was the same period when lords began to accept the turmoil or war as something that they could not escape from. In addition, the battle methods greatly changed and became accustomed to. The archery battles by cavalry elite became something of the past.

The change in social economics also influenced it. Kajishi (land rent) shutokuken (right to collect land rent) was bought and gathered from even a peasant class with the development of the circulation and expansion of farm production power, and there was a wide range of classes born with the release from everyday farming. That class became connected with the feudal lord class, and they themselves became jizamurai (local samurai) as small lords to hold a master and servant relationship with the shugo daimyo (Japanese provincial military governor feudal lords) and kokujin (local samurai) (former jito), exempted from a part of nengu (land tax) and served 'Yoriko' (bushi that served under feudal lords during the Period of Warring States) class military roles during battles.

Gunekishu' (military service people) of the Takeda clan in Kai Province, 'Nakakeshu' of the Date clan, 'Ikkoshu' of the Mori clan were the daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) during the Sengoku Period that formed the outskirts of the military power. The growth of small lords from villages, and the fusion of that daimyo and kokujin ended the weakened, but bearing a lasting shoen system.

If 'bushidan' is treated not simply as a simple term but an historical term different from 'bushi,' it could be organized as it ranged from the late eleventh century to the fifteenth to the sixteenth century as a similar form of family army and replaced by 'Yoriko' originating from farming villages of the Sengoku Period.

[Original Japanese]