Ke (or Ka) (holiday) ()

A ke (or ka) was a holiday given to nobles and government officials under the ritsuryo system.

While in China, from the Han period to the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, they had one holiday in every five days, which was called 'kyumoku', and in the Tang period, they had one holiday in every ten days, which was called 'shunka', there were slightly more holidays in Japan. In Japan, there were two types of basic holidays and special holidays as ke. In China New Year's Day was usually a holiday, however, in Japan it was always a working day because a Sechi-e (seasonal court banquet) was held.

The Imperial Court could always cancel holidays for issuing imperial prescripts, receiving kanmotsu (tribute goods paid as taxes or tithes), and other emergencies.

Basic Holidays
常假 (Regular holidays)
常假 were government officials' holidays, given every 6 days, which were on 6,12,18,24 and the last day of month. As a principle, government offices were closed. However, officials had to keep night watch by rotation, but they were not allowed to take compensatory leave. Officials in some posts were given non-regular holidays instead of regular holidays.

別假 (Non-regular holidays)
別假, up to five days a month with application, were given to the government officials in charge of gubu (accompanying the Emperor when he goes out) of the Nakatsukasasho (Ministry of Central Affairs) and the Kunaisho (Imperial Household Ministry) and Goefu (Five Royal Guards) who had to serve everyday and did not have regular holidays.

Special Holidays
Denka (Farm holidays)
Holidays for farm work. Denka were 15 days a month given on two shifts during the period of planting seeds and rice in spring and of harvesting in fall. They were given to the kyokan (officials of the Capital) only.

定省假 (Sadamika)
定省假 (Sadamika) were holidays for 30 days in every three years given to officials who intended to visit their parents living outside the Kinai region (the five capital provinces surrounding the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto).

淋假 (Rinka)
淋假 (Rinka) were menstruation holidays given to female officials in the Kokyu Palace (empress's residence). Three days a month.

There were also other holidays, such as 喪假 (moka), condolence holidays for mourning the death of parents and 私假 (shika), private holidays for private matters.

[Original Japanese]