Shoen Seiri-rei (orders given to consolidate manors) (荘園整理令)

Shoen Seiri-rei is a set of acts issued during the Heian period.

Most renowned is the Enkyu-no Shoen Seiri-rei (an order given in the Enkyu era to consolidate manors) issued in 1069 by Emperor Gosanjo to consolidate all manors together nationwide, but from the days of Emperor Daigo, 150 years prior to this, it had been issued every time the Emperor changed.

An increase in the number of manors brought enormous income to powerful nobles such as sekkan-ke (regent family), as well as temples and shrines under their protection, but on the other hand, tax collection by kokushi (provincial governors) became impossible (in other words, imperial demesne decreased), causing serious harm to national finance. Thus, the purpose was to recover imperial demesne and regenerate national financing by regulating the establishment of new manors and suspending illegal ones. However, since actual government affairs were performed by sekkan-ke and powerful nobles who were also the most powerful manor lords, and kokushi, towards the end of their term, who had a tendency to approve manors by powerful nobles as a form of office-seeking activity to secure their next post, it was not very effective with many exceptional cases.

Therefore, in the 'Enkyu-no Shoen Seiri-rei,' for a more solid execution compared to traditional Shoen Seiri-rei, all duties that depended upon the kokushi in provinces were performed centrally. Additionally, it is noteworthy that the target manors for deregistration were extended to the territories of sekkan-ke. Furthermore, unlike traditional orders, detailed regulations were added.

Fields within manors that were low quality could not be exchanged, without notice, for fertile fields administered directly by a ruler.

Fields administered directly by a ruler, where the resident of the manor is cultivating outside the manor, cannot be included in a manor.

Fields administered directly by a ruler that kokushi allocate to temples or shrines as a means of generating a source of revenue to defray expenses cannot be treated as manors (muteitsubotsukisho) without permission.

Seiri-rei in those times are said to have relatively had accomplishments, partly because of the disorder in response due to feud within the sekkan-ke.

However, when insei (rule by a retired emperor) began, manors concentrated around the retired emperor, who was virtually at the top of the Imperial court; for example, despite efforts at regulation by Emperor Shirakawa and Emperor Toba, such a contradiction caused the manor consolidation agenda to fail.

Shoen Seiri-rei in history
Engi-no Shoen Seiri-rei 902 Emperor Daigo Manors after this seiri-rei were called 'Kakugo manors,' and were targeted for consolidation.

Eikan-no Shoen Seiri-rei 985 Emperor Kazan Manors after Engi Seiri-rei were consolidated.
Chokyu-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1040 Emperor Gosuzaku
Kantoku-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1045 Emperor Goreizei Suspended only the manors that were established while the previous kokushi held office.

Tengi-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1055 Emperor Goreizei
Enkyu-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1069 Emperor Gosanjo
Joho-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1075 Emperor Shirakawa
Kanji-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1093 Emperor Shirakawa
Kowa-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1099 Emperor Horikawa Suspended the establishment of new manors (name of era changed to Kowa this year).

Tenei-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1111 Emperor Toba
Hogen-no Shoen Seiri-rei 1156 Emperor Goshirakawa Restricted the number of farmers that can be used on manors ('Hogen new administration').

[Original Japanese]