Chokan-kanmon (長寛勘文)

Chokan-kanmon (or Chokan no kanmon) was kanmon (written report for what the Imperial court requested) written in the Chokan era (1163 - 1164) during the Heian period. It is known by the fact that 'Kumano Gongen Suijaku Engi' was cited in its text.

It was written when the Yatsushiro no sho teihai-jiken (incident of the abolishment of Yatsushiro no sho) occurred at Yatsushiro no sho in Kai Province, which was the estate of Kumano-sha Shrine. It was the document which described the confrontation between kokuga (provincial government office) and shoen (manor) during the Heian period and officially confirmed the fact that enshrined deity of Kumano sanzan (three major shrines of Kumano) and that of Ise-jingu Shrine were different.

The origin of the incident

Yatsushiro no sho (Yatsushiro-cho, Fuefuki City, Higashiyatsushiro-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture) was shoen which FUJIWARA no Akitoki, the provincial governor of Kai Province, donated to Kumano-hongu-taisha Shrine in the Kyuan era (1145 - 1151) with the approval of the Imperial Court. Yatsushiro no sho was located in Yatsushiro-gun, Kai Province (Kai Province) and when it was donated, Kumano betto (a head Sinto priest) Tankai placed boji (signs placed at the border of territory) in order to clarify shrine's territory. As Kumano belief was popular among the Retired Emperors and their close aides in the cloister government period, the Emperor Toba issued a few years later innocho kudashibumi (a letter issued by innocho, the retired Emperor's office) prohibiting the intervention of kokushi (provincial governor) as well as imposition of koso (public tax). Thanks to the above, Yatsushiro nosho was officially certified as the shoen of Kumano Shrine. A few years later, neighboring Nagae no sho and Yasuda no sho were added to the shrine's territory as kanoden (lands located outside shoen, but cultivated by shoen's farmer) and these were also approved as tax-exempted shoen by innocho kudashibumi issued by Tobain.

In 1162, FUJIWARA no Tadashige, who was newly appointed to the provisional governor of Kai Province, got his deputy Kiyohiro NAKAHARA to go to Kai Province and ordered him to abolish the newly established shoen and kanoden based upon the Imperial decree ordering to do so. Along with local official Morimasa SAEGUSA, Kiyohiro invaded into Yatsushiro no sho commanding his force and removed boji, plundered nengu (land tax), arrested local farmers, confined or injured shrine associates while eliminating the resistance of any shrine associates.


In face of the above situation, Kumanosan Shrine immediately appealed to the Imperial Court and in the following year (1163), the Imperial Court requested Myobo hakase (a teacher of law) Gyorin NAKAHARA to conduct kanjin (research and report about Imperial rituals). Based on the details concerning the establishment of Yatsushiro no sho and the description of 'Kumano Gongen Suijaku Engi,' Gyorin reported that the conducts of Tadashige etc came under the clause of Todaishi goshinbutsu of Ritsuryo code because they neglected innocho kudashibumi and offended Kumano Gongen Deity which was identical with Ise, and that they should be sentenced to death by hanging.

When Gyorin's kanmon was submitted, a question concerning whether or not Ise and Kumano were identical was raised and it attracted attention as the more important problem than punishment. Under such circumstances, experts' opinions were sought and people like FUJIWARA no Norikane, Moromitsu NAKAHARA (these two persons; April 15th of the same year), FUJIWARA no Naganori (April 16th of the same year), FUJIWARA no Nagamitsu (April 21st of the same year), FUJIWARA no Koremichi (April 2nd of the same year), KIYOHARA no Yorinari (April 24th of the same year) provided their views. Based on these opinions, byogi (ministerial meeting held at the Imperial Court) decided Tadashige's banishment to Iyo Province and Kiyohiro's imprisonment. Chokan-kanmon was a compilation of documents which were written in the above process.

Bibliographical introduction

The incident stemmed from the confrontation between local officials and shoen in the late Heian period ended with banishment of official who attempted to place shoen under the rule of kokuga. In other words, not only the fact that the provincial governor could no more wield his authority over shoen, but also the fact that innocho kudashibumi had superiority over the Emperor's decree were confirmed by this incident. At the same time, Chokan-kanmon is a precious historical material by which we can well understand the religious philosophy of Jingi (gods of heaven and earth) at the time as well as the reality of the Retired Emperors' support for Kumano sanzan in the late stage of the Heian period.

Print books

The text of Chokan-kanmon is compiled in Gunshoruiju zatsubu. Printed books of the above are as follows.

"Gunshoruiju twenty-sixth volume," compiled by Hokiichi HANAWA, corrected by Zoku-Gunshoruiju Kanseikai, published by Zoku-Gunshoruiju Kanseikai in 1971

Bibliographical introduction by Zoku-Gunshoruiju Kanseikai is compiled in the book below.

"Gunsho Kaidai 19," compiled by Zoku-Gunshoruiju Kanseikai, published by Zoku-Gunshoruiju Kanseikai in 1961

[Original Japanese]