Jigatachigyo (地方知行)

Jigatachigyo was the administrative form during Edo period that Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") or a lord of domain gave chigyo (enfeoffment, or the right to direct control of a certain asset) in the form of shoryo (territory) including the peasants living there to their vassals as a stipend and made them control it. The form of territory provision to a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) by a shogun was especially called daimyochigyo.

Although this section directed to the discussion about jigatachigyo does not include further comments on daimyo-chigo, some cases of daimyochigyo are touched on below as necessary.


Generally, jigatachigyo was given to high/middle-ranked hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and gokenin (shogunal retainers) in the Edo bakufu or to high-ranked vassals of each daimyo (a feudal lord).
They were called jito (manager and lord of manor), and the given territory (chigyo) was called chigyosho or kyusho (in the bakufu, the given territory belonging to gokenin was specifically called kyuchi in order to distinguish it from chigyochi, the given territory belonging to hatamoto who are higher- ranked retainers)
Each one's stipend was called kokudaka (a system for determining land value for tribute purposes in the Edo period), and it often happened that kokudaka did not correspond to actual administrative unit, and accordingly, aikyu was a commonly practiced to divide one village among several jitos.

A vassal who was given chigyo was called 'jito', but unlike the jito of the medieval period, he had an obligation to live in a rural castle town (hatamoto and gokenin were obliged to live in Edo) except when he had some official duties (as an exceptional case, sankin-kotai [a system under which feudal lords in the Edo period were required to spend every other year in residence in Edo] was exercised in Sendai Domain, and vassals had to live alternately in chigyo-chi and Sendai castle town alternately). Additionally, although some hatamoto or high-ranked vassal of large scale domains had their unique legislation (law for jito), exercise of chigyo-ken (right to enfeoffment) over shoryo (territory) including tax collection right, judicial power and other administrative power was usually controlled by a shogun or daimyo as a lord, and that tendency became stronger with the time (however, binding strength was different depending on the policy of a master or a vassal (jito).

In the case of daimyo chigyo, daimyo, a vassal of shogun, was called 'ryoshu (feudal lord) ' and his chigyo-chi was called 'ryobun.'

On the other hand, chigyo (enfeoffment) which was not given in a form of shoryo but in a form of kuramai (rice preserved in a depository by Edo Shogunate and domains) was called kuramaichigyo (in case of daimyochigyo, some daimyo received their part of chigyo in a form of kuramaichigyo, but there was no daimyo whose entire chigyo was provided in the form of kuramai).

Jikata-meshiage and Jikata-naoshi

Change of the chigyo's form from jigatachigyo to kuramaichigyo by a shogun or a daimyo was called 'jikata-meshiage' (territory expropriation), while the change from kuramaichigyo to jigatachigyo was called 'jikata-naoshi' (territory readjustment). The samurai class traditionally preferred to receive shoryo as the form of territory (jikata); accordingly, jikata-meshiage sometimes contained a certain punitive sense, and on the contrary, jikata-naoshi sometimes implicates a kind of reward.

In the early Edo period, jigatachigyo (provision of land) was generally conducted in the domains, while kuramaichigyo (stipend provision in rice) was limited to lower-ranked vassals; later on, however, the domains gradually changed the provision form of chigyo to kuramaichigyo even for their higher-ranking vassals by carrying out jikata-meshiage in order to strengthen the daimyo's authority and consolidate the territory and financial base of the domain. According to "Dokai Koshuki, " a compilation of reports which is said to have been written in the Genroku era (1688-1707), jigatachigyo was conducted in only 39 domains out of the 243 domains in those days, and a majority of them were the domains of tozama daimyo (outside daimyo who were not hereditary vassals of the shogun). However, as mentioned before, jikata-meshiage was a measure that sometimes had a punitive meaning, and therefore, the transferring to the other form of provision might provoke a family dispute.

On the other hand, the Edo bakufu, which had relatively affluent resources, tried to win the favor of hatamoto, and at the same time, to raise their allegiance by changing the provision form of chigyo to hatamoto from kuramaichigyo to jigatachigyo, and applied jikata-naoshi to them in the name of the reward for their past achievements and services.

The following measures that Ieyasu TOKUGAWA carried out were somewhat similar to jikata-naoshi: the redistribution of shoryo (his vassals' territories) after his move to the Kanto region; and the extensive increase and transfer of territories in favor of Shinpan (Tokugawa's relatives), fudai daimyo (hereditary vassals to the Tokugawa family) and hatamoto who served on his side that took place after the Battle of Sekigahara and Osaka no Jin (The Siege of Osaka). However, among the measures implemented by the Edo bakufu with the aim of jikata-naoshi, those carried out in 1633 and in 1697 were noteworthy for their scale.

The characteristic of jigatachigyo

Opinions about the characteristic of jigatachigyo differ among historians, but it can be broadly divided into two. The first one is the theory that providing chigyo in a form of territory was a medieval practice and chigyo, which was a legacy of the medieval system, was gradually transferred to a form of kuramaichigyo in the early-modern times. The second theory argues that jigatachigyo was the basis of the shogunate system in the early-modern times and kuramaichigyo was no more than a supplementary system, based on the fact that in case of daimyochigyo the territory was indispensable and the entire or at least some part of chigyo was always given in this form.

Akinaiba chigyo system

Among the domains, Matsumae Domain was the only domain in which there was no yield from rice crop, akinaiba, in other word, koekiba (trading right) with the Ainu was given as a substitute of chigyo. This is called akinaibachigyo system.

[Original Japanese]