Omagaki (a list of candidates) (大間書)

Omagaki refers to Myobo (identification) listing names of vacant government posts subject to appointment and candidates for such government posts at the time of appointment in Jimoku (ceremony for appointing officials) regularly held in Spring and Autumn. The list came to be called Omagaki because a blank space (between lines) was set as large, in advance, in order to enter Ikai (Court rank) and Shisei (name) of candidates (Jugan (completion of document only with information on Ikai or government post by entering names) when listing names of vacant government posts in order to create the original copy.


Firstly, Geki (Secretary of the Grand Council of State) created the original copy before Jimoku, and made a list of vacant government posts (Shitokan (four classifications of bureaucrats' ranks) and Honkan (ranks)) in a range from Jingikan (officer of the institution for dedicating to religious ceremony) and Dajokan (Grand Council of State) to Hassho (eight ministries and agencies), Hikan (low-level bureaucrat) of Hassho, Danjodai (Board of Censors), Kyoshiki (the Capital Bureau), Jusenshi (administrative officer who oversaw the minting of coins), Kokushi (provincial governor) of Ryoseikoku (province), Dazai-fu (local government office in Kyushu region) (in order of Goki-Shichido (five provinces and seven circuits), Efu (place of guard), Meryo (the section taking care of imperial horses), Hyogoryo (Bureau of Military Storehouse) and Chinju-fu (Pacification and Defense Headquarters). After the personnel was decided through deliberations for Jimoku, a minister in charge of Shuhitsu (writing) conducted Jugan of filling blank spaces with notes such as Ikai, Shisei and pension of candidates, addionally described a date in the last line of Omagaki, and submitted Omagaki to the Emperor for inspection. Thereafter, Shokei (court nobles who worked at Imperial Court as high rank post) in charge of kiyogaki (making a fair copy) who was appointed separately wrote out on white or yellow paper.

Since it was a necessary document for the Emperor to conduct Bunin (appointment of government post), there were many and very complicated manners for Omagaki such as how to write, how to fold, how to seal and so on, and Omagaki was created with extra care. Therefore, Omagaki became a target of study as Yusoku kojitsu (knowledge of court rules, ceremony, decorum and records of the past), and books to create Omagaki were made such as "Jimokutaiseisho" (book for perfection of Jimoku) (Omaseibunsho (book for how to write Omagaki)) by Yoshitsune KUJO, "Gyorogusho" by Kinkata TOIN and so on.

As to the oldest existing Omagaki, Omagaki transcribed in 996 during the Kamakura period ('Tsukamoto Monjo' in the Iwasaki Collection possessed by Toyo Bunko (Oriental Library)) exists, and Omagaki created in 996, 1159, 1453 and 1551 were selected and recorded in "Gunsho ruiju" (Collection of historical documents compiled by Hokiichi HANAWA) and "Zoku Gunshoruiju" (Collection of historical documents, second series).

[Original Japanese]