Jisharyo (Lands of local temples and shrines) (寺社領)

Jisharyo was a classification of fief that once existed in Japan.

The Jisharyo mainly meant shoryo (individual holding) settled for maintaining and operating temples and shrines.

In ancient times, in addition to shinden (also referred to as kanda; land held by a shrine) and jiden (also referred to as terada; land held by a temple), fuko (households of temples and shrines) granted by the Ritsuryo state (state based on ritsuryo code in the seventh century) and the early time shoen (estate) which was established by konden (development of fallow land or creation of new rice paddies) were the main source of income for the temples and shrines (Some big temples and shrines had systems such as zojishi (officials responsible for building temples, and shingun - also referred to as kamikoori; deity district). As the statutory ritsuryo system became slack, fuko and the early shoen systems were only in name. Replacing the systems, after the mid Heian period, the government dispatched azukari dokoro (estate custodian) to the local estates based on shoen that consisted of donated lands that had been granted Fuyu no ken (the right of tax exemption) or the like as a business foundation, and also appointed the local magnate or influential farmer to shokan (estate officer) or myoshu (local landowner and cultivator) to oppose the rule of kokuga (provincial government office).

The state of rule differed between the temple and shrine -- In the temples, the right of shoen ryoshu (estate proprietor) was not divided into multiple positions in a system and the estate was put under centralized control, or alternatively, the right was divided between the main temple and inge (temple next in rank of monzeki that had imperial connections), that belonged to the main temple, to prevent an invasion from outside; but in fourteenth century, as the temples were exposed to invasions of bushi, the temples enhanced its direct rule in the shoen near the precinct of the temple to secure its kajishi (additional tax). On the other hand, in the shrines, shake (hereditary priest at a shrine) divided and ruled the shoen to secure stable income, but gradually privatized the shoen as its own karei (hereditary land), even sold the shoen to the others in some cases. Then, the government issued various jisha kogyoho (Shrine restoration policy) to prevent an invasion from outside the religious institution and embezzlement from inside the religious institution, but was little effective.

When the shoen system collapsed in the disturbances during the Nanbokucho period (North and South Dynasties period) and the Sengoku period (Warring states period), many of the jisharyo were lost -- In the Toyotomi administration, kenchi (cadastral surveys) was strengthened, whereby merely a part of shuinchi (estates of temple and shrine confirmed by the shogun and exempted from tax) was protected under the bakuhan system (power structure of bakufu and daimyo domains).

Under the land reform accompanying the chisokaisei (revision of land-tax) during the Meiji period, the Jisharyo was broken up.

[Original Japanese]