Hyakuryo Kunyosho (百寮訓要抄)

Hyakuryo Kunyosho was a book on the study of ancient courtly traditions and etiquette which Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) Yoshimoto Nijo wrote for Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians) of the Muromachi bakufu. The book consisted of one volume.

The book is believed to have been written while Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA was in office, and therefore it should have been completed by 1338 at the latest.

Yoshimitsu was promoted to Sangi (councilor) in 1373, five years after he was inaugurated as shogun, and to Naidainjin (Minister of the Center) in 1381, and he indicated his willingness to act as the member of the Imperial Court. In response to Yoshimitsu's request, Yoshimoto, who intended to maintain the Northern Court through cooperation with samurai family, wrote this book in order to explain the ancient practices and official duties concerning the court officials system. It seems that Yoshimoto hoped to restore the Imperial Court as well as its officials system by giving practical knowledge of the court officials system needed to participate in the affairs of the Imperial Court to Yoshimitsu, who held the actual power in the Imperial Court since the Eitoku era.

Along with "Kanshoku Hisho" and "Shokugensho," this book is a typical instruction manual of the court official system during medieval times. Unlike two other books written in kanbun (classical Chinese), however, the characteristics of this book is that it was written utilizing the mixture of kanji (Chinese characters) and kana (Japanese phonetic characters). Also, this book was written based upon the court official system that was actually implemented during the era of Yoshimoto's administration. As a result, some of its descriptions are different from those of the Ritsuryo system or other instruction manuals and the explanations of fourth grade Sakan (secretary) or Hangan (inspector), to which none were appointed at the time, were omitted. Although some mistakes are seen in this book, it was referred by posterity as a simple and easy-to-understand instruction manual. During the Edo period, Yoshiki OTSUKA etc. wrote the commentary of this book.

Currently, its transcripts are in the possession of the Cabinet Library and Seikado Bunko Art Library, etc.

[Original Japanese]