Goefu (五衛府)

Goefu was the central military organization under the Ritsuryo System whose main missions were the personal protection of an emperor, the protection of Kyujo (place where an emperor lives), the night patrol in Kyoto and so on. It accompanied an emperor during his daily life and gyoko (emperor going out).

Although army corps (in ancient Japan) under the Ritsuryo System were placed in various provinces, efu (a palace guard) was stationed in Kyoto.

Goefu system which consisted of Emonfu (headquarters of the outer palace guards), Left/Right Ejifu (division of guards) and Left/Right Hyoefu (headquarters of the middle palace guards) was adopted in Taiho-ryo (Taiho Code set up in 701) and Yoro-ryo (Yoro Code set up in 718). Afterward, through struggles for succession to the Imperial Throne and accompanying power struggles among nobles, the military organization was reformed many times so as to work in their favor. Finally from 811 onward, the organization was fixed in the rokuefu system which consisted of Left/Right Konoefu (headquarters of the inner palace guards), Left/Right Emonfu and Left/Right Hyoefu.

Shitokans (bureaucrats of the fourth rank) of Toku (Captain), Sa (Asst. Captain), I (Lieutenant) and Shi (Asst. Lieutenant) were placed in each goefu. 200 kadobes (soldiers who guard palace gates), 30 monobes (military officers who are concerned with punishments) and eji (a guard) were placed under them in Emonfu. Eji was placed in Ejifu. In Hyoefu, 400 people were placed at Left/Right Hyoe (palace guard) respectively to form the military power of each efu.

Eji is considered to have been supplemented conveniently as its fixed number was not provided in the Codes. Later, the number to be levied by the province was fixed in 718.

Monobes were assigned police duties mainly. They were also placed at prison offices of Gyobusho (the department of criminal punishments) and ichi-no-tsukasa (governmental organization).

Toneri (a servant) and Hyobusho (Ministry of Military)
Various kinds of toneris were also the central army in addition to Emonfu.

Udoneri (ministerial equerry in Nakatsukasasho [Ministry of Central Affairs]) and otoneri (imperial attendants in Otoneriryo [Bureau of otoneri]) guarded an emperor.

Chugu Toneri (officer of the household of Chugu [an empress, an empress dowager and a grand empress dowager] in Chugushiku [office of Chugu]) guarded Chugu.

Togu Toneri (officer of the palace of Togu [a Crown Prince] in Tonerigen [the office of servants of Togu] of Togubo [Togu's household]) guarded Togu.

Various offices in Hyobusho including Left/Right division of Meryo (the bureau of horses), Left/Right division of Hyogo (the bureau of military storehouses), Inner division of Hyogo and Zoheishi (weapons-manufacturing office) were also the central army.

[Original Japanese]