Dochu Shohatto (道中諸法度)

Dochu Shohatto, also referred to as Dochu Jomoku, is traffic regulation issued by the Edo bakufu to people of specific status, such as daimyo (Japanese feudal lord), Court nobles and officials of the bakufu. In a broad sense, Dochu Shohatto is a collective term for various kinds of traffic regulations issued by the Edo bakufu and domains to people (including common people).

In journeys of Seii Taishogun to Kyoto conducted in 1626 and 1634, regulations on accompanying people's manners during the journey were established and it was stipulated that those who violated the regulations were punished severely, and sometimes sentenced to death (Edo period). When Sankinkotai (a system under which feudal lords in the Edo period were required to spend every other year in residence in Edo) was established in Buke Shohatto (code for the warrior households) in 1635, the number of followers of Daimyo-gyoretsu (feudal lord's costumed procession) was limited as well. When Shogun visited Nikko in 1642, regulations on accompanying people, as established at the time of Shogun's journeys to Kyoto, were established, and after that the establishment of regulations on accompanying people was regarded as usual practice for Shogun's visits to Nikko.

Later, in 1656, a law on manners during journeys was issued for Nijo Banshu (guards), and in 1657 the law was revised to include Osaka Banshu as well. Furthermore, regulations on accompanying people, usage of a man or a horse, and accommodation during sankinkotai were established in 1704.

Dochosuji Jomoku (articles), issued in 1712, is the culmination of such laws and regulations. These Jomoku (articles) were applied to daimyo, hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu), zaibanshu, machi-bugyo and ongoku-bugyo (the collective name of the magistrates placed at important areas directly controlled by the government in the Edo period) and controlled various illegal acts including use of 添人馬, nonpayment of wages, unreasonableness of ninsoku (coolie, laborer) hired for a whole day, overloading of sando-hikyaku or townspeople carriers. Dochosuji Jomoku were announced to shukueki (post town, relay station, stage) and villages of sukego (labor which was imposed to the neighboring village to help the primarily imposed village) along the main roads including Go-kaido Roads, along with the attached articles. After that, Dochosuji Jomoku was revised in 1747, 1758 and 1789, and in October, 1821 it was announced officially in combination with Dochu Seiho and Dochu Torishimari Furegaki (which was actually announced officially in November). In addition, the bakufu regulated people accompanying sankinkotai based on rokudaka (stipend) in 1721, and revised Dochu Torisihari Furegaki mentioned above in 1836.

In accordance with such a policy of the bakufu, domains voluntarily established regulations on people's behavior during journeys (The name of the regulations varied according to domains).

[Original Japanese]