Saibanshiyosho (裁判至要抄)

Saibanshiyosho is a law book compiled by SAKANOUE no Akimoto on the Imperial command of the retired Emperor Gotoba in 1207, the beginning of the Kamakura period. One volume in total.

It consists of thirty-three cases, mainly civil legal ones, which include citation from Laws of codes and ethics (conduct) as well as texts for interpretation by the author, SAKANOUE no Akimoto. It puts emphasis on explanations about Suiko (government loans made to peasants), inheritance, buying and selling, borrowing and lending, landholding and assignment of property. Especially inheritance and assignment of property are explained in as many as nineteen cases. This law book refers to Laws of codes and ethics (conduct) and "Hossoshiyo-sho" (The Essentials for the Judiciary) which is said to have been compiled by SAKANOUE no Akikane and revised by his grandson Akimoto, but in some cases provisions and texts different from the interpretation in "Hossoshiyo-sho" are presented, and it is highly valued in that it tries to interpret laws in accordance with the actual situation of society instead of sticking to rigid literal interpretation of laws. It is believed that this law book was created as an example used for preparing Myobo kanmon (written reports to the Imperial Court by scholars of the law) and practical documents, as a part of the efforts to reinforce responses to lawsuits under the cloister government of the retired Emperor Gotoba. SAKANOUE no Akimoto had close ties with the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), being said to have picked out articles concerning civil affairs from "Hossoshiyo-sho" to submit them to the bakufu at the request of the Kamakura bakufu, influenced not only kugeho (laws issued by the imperial court) in the later generations but also Goseibai-shikimoku (code of conduct for samurai) in the Kamakura period, and had an impact on studies of the transition process from kugeho to bukeho (the law system for the samurai society and the military government).

[Original Japanese]