Court (local administrative organ) (裁判所 (地方制度))

A local court was established in 1868 as a local administrative organ by the new government in Kyoto for it to govern areas which did not belong to any feudal domains. Therefore, the local courts were different in nature from ordinary courts which exercised judicial power.

The new government appointed governors and vice governors in local administrative courts. Starting with the establishment of the Osaka local court on January 27, 1868, the government appointed governors and vice governors for each local court and set up twelve local courts by April same year. They were established in Osaka, Hyogo, Nagasaki, Otsu, Kyoto, Yokohama, Hakodate, Niigata of Echigo-fu, Sado, Kasamatsu, Fuchu and Mikawa.

Locations and governors of local courts
Osaka Court: Osaka Prefecture: Unknown
Hyogo Court: Hyogo Prefecture: Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE
Nagasaki Court: Nagasaki Prefecture: Nobuyoshi SAWA
Otsu Court: Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture: Nobuatsu NAGATANI
Kyoto Court: Kyoto Prefecture: Unknown
Yokohama Court: Kanagawa Prefecture: Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE
Hakodate Court: Hokkaido Prefecture: Kinnaru SHIMIZUDANI
Echigo-fu Niigata Court: Niigata Prefecture: Takatoshi SHIJO
Sado Court: Niigata Prefecture: Kinhisa SHIGENOI
Kasamatsu Court: Gifu Prefecture: Shigetomi OHARA
Fuchu Court: Kyoto Prefecture: Unknown
Mikawa Court: Aichi Prefecture: HIRAMATSU Kainogonnosuke Tokiatsu

As far as Edo is concerned, when the Edo-fu administrative unit was established in May 1868, Minsei (literally, civil administration) court, Shisei (literally, municipal administration) court and Shaji (literally, shrines and temples) court were established under Edo-fu.

The local courts were originally created in response to the need to fill a temporary administrative vacuum created by the establishment of the new government, and they took over the functions of Bugyosho (a magistrate's office) and Gundai-shihaijo (an administrative office for each county), both administrative offices during the Edo bakufu feudal government. When these local courts were installed, Japan was in the middle of the Boshin War, and Niigata, Sado and Hakodate did not fall under the control of the new government yet.

The new government promulgated the Constitution of 1868 on leap April 21, the same year, and declared the fu-han-ken tripartite governance system. Each local court was later transformed into a fu or ken (prefecture) administrative unit in sequence based on the system.

[Original Japanese]