Daizenshiki (Office of the Palace Table) (大膳職)

Daizenshiki was a government office belonging to Kunaisho (Ministry of the Sovereign's Household) in the Ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code) in Japan.
The Japanese way of reading was 'okashiwade no tsukasa.'
It was an institution which served hospitable foods to subjects in the Imperial Court.

Official duties

Before the Taiho Ritsuryo (Taiho Code), it was a government office called Zenshiki, but when Taiho Ritsuryo was formulated it was divided into Naizenshi (Imperial Table Office) which served Emperor's food and Daizenshiki which served hospitable foods. However, dietary staple was served by Oiryo (Bureau of Palace Kitchens under the Ministry of the Imperial Household) and Daizenshiki was in charge of delivery, production, cooking and provision of supplementary dishes or condiments and so on. According to the "Yoro-ryo" (Yoro Code), 'Kaheisho,' which provided salted food (of meat or fish), condiments such as Chinese sauce and misho (original form of miso or say sauce), fruits, rice cake products (millet and so on) and so on and dealt confectioneries and rice cakes under the jurisdiction of it, and 'Shoin' (section in charge of primitive soy sauce, sho) were established. According to the "Kanshoku Hisho" (a text describing rules of ceremony and etiquette to be observed in the imperial court and by samurai that was written during the early Heian period in around 1200), "Shokugensho" (A book on Japanese government officials written by Chikafusa KITABATAKE), "Hyakuryo Kunyosho" (practical guide on Yusoku kojitsu [court and samurai rules of ceremony and etiquette]) and so on, it was described that increasingly, Daibu, who would become Kami (director) for years to come, was selected from Shii (Fourth Rank) and Suke, the assistant director, from Rokui (Sixth Rank) conversely. And by Kyakushiki code (amendments and enforcement regulations [of the ritsuryo]) on August 25, 808, the fixed number of Shojo (Junior Secretary) and Shosakan (Junior Clerk) was increased by one member.

Daibu (corresponding to Shogoinoge [Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade] and later Jushiinoge [Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade]) one member. Gon no daibu (provisional master) one member. Suke (corresponding to Jugoinoge [Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade]) one member. Gon no suke (provisional assistant master) one member. Taijo (Senior Secretary) (corresponding to Jurokui [Junior Sixth Rank]) one member. Shojo (corresponding to Shoshichiinoge [Senior Seventh Rank, Lower Grade]) one member. Daisakan (Senior Clerk) (corresponding to Shohachiinojo [Senior Eighth Rank, Upper Grade]) one member. Shosakan (Junior Clerk) (corresponding to Juhachiinojo [Junior Eighth Rank, Upper Grade]) one member.

Hishio no tsukasa government official (honkan, corresponding to Shoshichiinoge [Senior Seventh Rank, Lower Grade]) two members. Kudamono no tsukasa (maker of confectioneries and rice cake products) (honkan, corresponding to Shoshichiinoge [Senior Seventh Rank, Lower Grade]) two members.

Kashiwadebe (working in the imperial kitchens) (tomo no miyatsuko [Servant of the Court administering a group]) 160 members. Shibu (low rank bureaucrats) 30 members. Jikicho (factotum) two members. Kushibe (caddie or maid) 80 members.

In addition, there were Zatsukuko (dealer of fisheries) such as ukai (cormorant fishing), ebito (fisher), abiki (fisher), misoto (miso maker) and so on.

[Original Japanese]