Hyoro (army provisions) (兵糧)

Hyoro is food supply for the army during times of war. In Japan, hyoro mainly means rice, the Japanese staple diet, and it is also called hyoromai (provisions of rice for the army). Except for rice, hyoro contains salt and soybean (which is emphasized as food supply for horses) and so on.

Jodai, mainly Nara era

From ancient times a soldier taking part in a campaign was obliged to carry army provisions and, under Ritsuryo law, they had to pay his own expenses: about 108 liter of dried rice and about 3.6 liter of salt, however, these supply would last only 60 days and carrying a large amount of food could hinder a march. Then, during the subjugation of Ezo (northerners), solders were allowed to supply food from Togoku (eastern part of Japan, particularly Kanto region) and "the Engishiki" (an ancient book for codes and procedures on national rites and prayers) provided that 40 thousand tsuka (bundle) of suiko (government loans, often seed rice, made to peasants in Japan from the 7th through 12th centuries) of Nagato Province is allotted for the military provisions. During the actual military affairs, they also relied on dedication and requisition to be supplied by locally influential people.

the Medieval Period

After the medieval period, hyoro was collected as part of Ikkoku heikinyaku (taxes and labor uniformly imposed on shoen [manor] and kokugaryo [provincial land] in a province), and especially during the Genpei War, both Heike; the Taira family and Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan) imposed military provisions. However, imposition and commandeering of military provisions in the field could cause solders' act of violence. In1185, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo asked the Imperial Court for permission to place Shugo and Jito (military governor and estate steward) and got the Bunji imperial sanction, and at the same time, he also gained a right to collect five sho (about 9 liter) of military provisions of rice from every one tan (an old unit showing the area of land of 300 tsubo; 991.7 square meters) of rice paddy of Shoen (manor in medieval Japan) and Kokugaryo (territories governed by provincial government office). However, he faced strong opposition from Kokushi (provincial governor) and lords of the manor and this right was taken back in the following year.

the period of the Northern and Southern Courts - the Sengoku period (period of warring states)

In the period of Northern and Southern Courts, the Northern Court (Japan) (Muromachi bakufu [Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun]) placed Hyoro-ryosho (See Hanzeirei) and the Southern Court (Japan) inflicted choyobun (taxation), and in these ways they both secured army provisions. In the official organizations of Muromachi bakufu and shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords), Okura bugyo (the magistrate of storehouse) undertook to secure army provisions, but in the Sengoku period (Japan), it became common to place directly-controlled land and invested energy in securing army provisions in peacetime, and prepare konidabugyo (the commissioner of rear-echelon support troops) and, under that, konidatai (caravan of men and animals carrying supplies) in wartime.

the early-modern times

When the Toyotomi Administration forwarded heinobunri (a separation of the warrior class in this domain from the soil), samurai (warriors) did their job as soldiers in principle and their obligation to carry army provisions was abolished, and then, instead of that, it became people of the domain like peasants who undertook obligations to supply and transport army provisions. Daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) also supplied and purchased army provisions as they preformed a project to supply and transport food such as rice, salt and miso, which helped their smooth military mobilization. At the same time it was prohibited in principle to supply army provisions in the field and violence and karita (to reap rice) were strictly banned by the martial law.

[Original Japanese]