Jimoku (ceremony for appointing officials) (除目)

Jimoku (aka Jomoku) refers to a ceremony to appoint officials of kyokan (an official of the Capital) and gekan (a provincial official) after the mid Heian period. It also refers to an annual event in the Imperial Court, a ceremony for appointing officials itself, as well as a book listing the names of appointed officials (also referred as Josho). Ji or jo means removing the former official and appointing a new one, and moku means recording in a list.

The ceremony for appointing was an annual event that was usually performed in the spring and the autumn, which were called haru no jimoku and aki no jimoku. In addition, small irregular jimoku was performed as needed. For the ceremony of jimoku, very minute rules were established through the event, including the way of a sheet of paper was to be folded and the way in which caked ink was scrubbed.

Types of Jimoku
Haru no jimoku
Gekan including kokushi (provincial governors) of provinces were appointed. Kugyo (the top court officials) gathered in front of Seiryoden (Literally "Limpid Cool Hall," an imperial summer palace) to deliberate and assess the appointment for three nights from February 28 (January 11 in old lunar calender) every year. The appointment started from officials in lower ranks, and proceeded to higher ranks by the day. Since officials of agata are also appointed, which is an imperial estate, it is also referred to as agatameshi no jimoku (ceremony for appointing local officials), as well as gekan no jimoku because officials other than central officials are appointed.

Aki no jimoku
Mainly government officials of ministries in Kyoto except ministers were appointed. Some provincial officials were also appointed. It used to be performed in the spring, but this jimoku was performed in the autumn since the mid Heian period. It is also referred to as Tsukasameshi no jimoku because government officials were appointed. Furthermore, because Kyoto officials were appointed, it is also referred to as kyokan no jimoku, and naikan no jimoku as opposed to gekan no jimoku.

Tsuinameshi no jimoku
It was performed during the tsuina (an year-end ceremony to drive away Oni devil) on February 6 (December 30 in old lunar calendar). Officials who missed being appointed in the agatameshi no jimoku in the spring and the tsukasameshi no jimoku in the autumn were appointed. It is also referred to as tsuina no jimoku.

Small-scale jimoku irregularly performed in addition to the regular jimoku in the spring and the autumn. It is also referred to as rinji no jimoku.

Ichibumeshi no jimoku
Shikibu-sho (the Ministry of Ceremonial) appointed low ranking local governmental officials whose salary was one bu, such as Shisho (a person doing miscellaneous duties about documents), Kunihakase (political advisor), and Kuniishi (local governmental doctor). It is also referred to as Ichibumeshi.

Kenkan no jimoku
An irregular jimoku for determining officials who filled two positions after Sechi-e (seasonal court banquets) for appointed ministries.

Nyokan (Court Lady) no jimoku
Jimoku for appointing female officials who served kokyu junishi (twelve offices belonging to kokyu, empress's residence) and others.

Matsuri (Festival) no jimoku
An irregular jimoku for appointing gubukan (a special monk who holds a position in the Imperial court) for Aoi Matsuri, Hollyhock flower Festival (the annual festival of Kamomioya-jinja Shrine)

Bokan no jimoku
A jimoku for appointing officials for the ceremonial of investiture of the Crown Prince.

Guji no jimoku
A jimoku for appointing officials related to the empress and the second consort of the emperor at investiture of the Empress and the like.

[Original Japanese]