Gekisei (外記政)

Gekisei refers to a system that Kugyo (high court nobles) who were ministers read moshibumi (a general term for a request or petition submitted by a lower authority to a higher) from shoshi (officials), had conferences and gave decisions on them at Geki Cho, an office of Geki (Secretary of the Grand Council of State).

Under the early ritsuryo system such conferences usually took place in the chodo-den (Imperial court), however, in the Heian period, they were held more frequently closer to a dairi (Imperial Palace) as emperors led their lives mainly in a dairi. At first they were called kansei because they were held in the Daijokan Cho (Great Council of State), however, in the latter half of the Heian period they were already transferred to the closer Geki Cho.

Whether it was kansei or gekisei, a shonagon (lesser councilor of state), a benkan (a controller of the Oversight Department) and a geki gathered a little before the conference and conducted a katanashi (ritual for reading out bound documents on the government affairs before the actual work of the government affairs started) in advance. When the starting time came, kugyo entered and sat down, and then a benkan told an official to read a monjo (written material). Subsequently after kugyo discussed the cases on monjo and gave a decision to them, they set a seal on the decisions and left the room, which meant the end of the conference.

As a principle the conference was held every day excluding five holidays a month (days 6, 12, 18, and the last day of each month), however, it was reduced to several times a month in the middle Heian period, and was replaced by Jin no sadame (ancient cabinet council). Thereafter, FUJIWARA no Yorinaga intended to restore the kansei only to fail, and it was abolished due to his death in Hogen War. Gekisei was also changed into a formal court function and moreover, in "Kemmu Nenchu Ghoji" (books about annual events of the Imperial court) that Emperor Gohanazono wrote by his own handwriting, a note of 'Interrupted' is written.

[Original Japanese]