Choyobun (朝用分)

Choyobun refers to the taxation that the Southern Court temporarily imposed on the territories of temples and shrines under their control in order to secure provisions and revenue during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan).

Choyobun contrasts with the Hanzeirei (Hyoro-ryosho (grant areas for the support of troops in the field)) administered by the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) that held the North Court around the same time. While the Hanzeirei was designed to temporarily collect half of the income from nengu (land tax), Choyobun was supposed to be a tax collection of one third. Due to scarce records, however, the details are unknown. Choyobun was imposed a few times from the Shohei era of Emperor Gomurakami until just before the unification with the North Court by the Meitoku Treaty, which was applied mainly in the southern part of the Kinki region where the South Court had influence, such as the Kii Province, Izumi Province and Kawachi Province. Although marginal records of the tax have been found from Mino Province and Tosa Province, in other areas the tax was almost never conducted due to the influence of the North Court and the Muromachi bakufu.

Emperor Chokei issued a Rinji (the Emperor's command) for an exemption of Choyobun for a village in Settsu Province in November of 1383, and in October of 1384 he issued an order of the same effect in the form of an Inzen (a decree from the Retired Emperor). It is presumed that Emperor Chokei abdicated the throne to his younger brother Emperor Gokameyama during the same year, making this knowledge valuable historical material showing the activities of the Emperor with many unclear records.

[Original Japanese]