ShokageSeikage (vacation request form) (請假解)

Shokage/Seikage was a request form for leave in style of ''ge'' (official document), which the government officials under the ritsuryo system of ancient Japan submitted to the chief priests of Shinto shrines (Guji) they belonged to. It can also be writtten "請仮解 or 請暇解" in Chinese characters.

Under the ritsuryo system, "ka" (leave) regulations for the government officials were provided in Kenyo-ryo (Leave and Home-visiting Code). In addition to regular leave such as "Joka" and "Bekka" and statutory special holidays, leave of extra three days were allowed for the government officials of the Goefu (five guards organization) and of goi (Fifth Rank) and higher, five days for officials of sanmi (Third Rank) and higher among the officials of Capital, and ten for those who were of goi (Fifth Rank) and higher. In such cases, they submitted request forms for leave to the Guji (chief priests of Shinto shrines) who they belonged to. If they needed additional leave, there were some cases where officials were permitted to take maximum of fifteen days off by reporting to the Emperor. The vacation request form used on these occasions wsas called Shokage. There were also some cases where government officials of low ranks, who were not guaranteed "Joka" and "Bekka," submitted Shokage once in several months to request their leave. In Shosoin Monjo (document collection of the Nara period kept in Shosoin Treasure House) of Todai-ji Temple, there remain many "Shokage" by sutra-copying officials, which show different reasons for leave such as sickness of themselves or their family members, deaths of family members, laundry, religious services for their deities, and denso (rice field) tax paying.

[Original Japanese]