Kujigata-osadamegaki (the law of the Edo bakufu) (公事方御定書)

Kujigata-osadamegaki were the fundamental codes in the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). Kujigata-osadamegaki was developed and completed provisionally in 1742 under the eighth Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") Yoshimune TOKUGAWA, who promoted Kyoho reforms. It consisted of vol. 1 and vol. 2 and vol.1 recorded the fundamental law and vol. 2 recorded the criminal law. Vol. 2 is especially called "Osadamegaki Hyakkajo" (law code).

Roju (senior councilor) Norisato MATSUDAIRA was the chief editor and three magistrates from kanjo bugyo (commissioner of finance), jisha-bugyo (magistrate of temples and shrines) and Masatomo ISHIKO from Edo machi-bugyo (Edo town magistrate's office) played a central role. Although vol. 1 was completed in 1738, additional work was needed and Tadasuke OOKA, Echizen no kuni no kami (Governor of Echizen Province) and others were involved. After Yoshimune retired in 1745, the project was terminated.

Bakufu's law, especially for crimes and trials
This was a secret art (penalty) allowed only for san bugyo (three magistrates), Kyoto shoshidai (The Kyoto deputy) and Osaka jodai (the keeper of Osaka Castle). However, a manuscript called "Toin shikan" was produced in Hyojosho (conference chamber) managed by Bugyo (magistrate) in 1841, and this was utilized at court trials. In addition, "Toin shikan" was distributed to various domain secretaries, and personnel in the domains captured the contents and referred to it when they established laws in their own domain. The book itself was applied only in Bakufu, but it was a kind of Japanese uniform law applied across the nation in a certain way.

But it gradually became progenitor law and produced negative effects like denpataietaibaibaikinshirei (a ban on buying and selling fields [of rice and other crops]), which was abolished in effect the year after the enactment of Kujigata-osadamegaki but remained in force until 1871 since it was described in Kujigata-osadamegaki.

Major laws

Article 20
Persons who passed through a mountain without passing checkpoint must be crucified on the scene. The same applies to guides.

Law regarding divorce and letter of divorce

Laws of criminal negligence
Although no one had been punished when they killed or injured someone by car or ox-drawn carriage, Kujigata-osadamegaki provided that it was subject to deportation.

[Original Japanese]