Saikudokoro (tooling office) (細工所)

Saikudokoro (or called Saikusho) refers to an institution or craft center for handicraft industry which was permanently or temporarily established by Kenmon (an influential family) in the medieval period.

Saikudokoro appeared after the mid Heian period when a craft center under government management which was established under the ritsuryo system declined. Workmen such as Kaji (smith), Bansho (builder), Himonoshi (hinoki cypress craftsman), Imonoshi (caster) and so on were gathered under the supervision of Betto (administrator of a Buddhist temple), Azukari (an additional post to the chief of Naizenshi [imperial table office]), Bugyo (magistrate) and so on, and gave their service by manufacturing handicrafts, tools and instruments for Kenmon. After the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), Saikudokoro was dissolved along with the independence of merchants and traders, but was used as a name of za (guild) of workmen in the Muromachi period. The Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) established Saikudokoro within a castle as an institution manufacturing handicrafts under the control of Wakadoshiyori (a managerial position in Edo bakufu), in order to satisfy demand within the Edo-jo Castle.

[Original Japanese]