Geki (government post) (外記)

Geki was one of the government posts belonging to Daijokan, which was the highest organization of the Imperial Court under the ritsuryo legal code system. It corresponds to Sakan of Shitokan. The names of Tang counterparts were Gaishi, Monkakikyoro, and Monkareishi.
The Japanese reading of Geki was 'Tono ooishirusu tsukasa.'


Geki, placed under Shonagon, took charge of revising the imperial edicts created by Naiki of Nakatsukasasho, and creating the documents to be presented from Daijokan to the emperor. Geki, under the command of Shokei of Daijokan, also supervised the ceremonies and public affairs of the Imperial Court by examining precedents and submitting a report on them to contribute to smooth operation of the ceremonies and affairs as required. Further, Geki partly took charge of the procedure of personnel affairs. For the importance of the duties of Geki, the corresponding court rank was raised in June 15, 783, and in March 7, 815, Geki began to share the duty 'Goshokiroku' of recording the emperor's daily activities that had been undertaken by Naiki. When Kurodo was established and the authority of Shonagon became a mere formality, part of duties and authority of Shonagon were transferred to Geki.

As Geki achieved so many duties, they rose to higher positions so that some Geki were promoted to as high as Fifth Rank in the middle of the Heian period. These Geki were called Taifugeki.
Later, the head of Taifugeki was called 'Kyokumu.'
Gonkan (Gondaigeki, Gonshogeki) and the like were sometimes established to compensate the shortage of personnel, but on January 4, 1188, it was decided to set the upper limit of the prescribed number for Daigeki and Shogeki in total to 6. Like Shi, Geki was originally a high ranking post to serve as a stepping-stone toward higher posts for low ranking officials who excelled at Confucianism and writing; but after the Kamakura period, the post was inherited by the Funabashi family (Kiyohara clan) and the Oshikoji family (Nakahara clan), both of which were families that had produced Myogyodo scholars for generations, and some members were appointed to Kokusoin betto which had been traditionally held by the nobles. The descendants of the branch families of the Nakahara clan were not appointed Daigeki but Gondaigeki instead. During the Muromachi period, the descendants of the Funabashi family began to serve as the instructor to the emperor to be promoted to Shonagon without serving as Geki for generations; therefore, Kyokumu was solely inherited by the Oshikoji family. During the Edo period, the Oshikoji family used the authority of Kyokumu in mobilizing not only Shisho but also Jigekanjin in the respective ministries to perform ceremonies and public affairs of the Imperial Court.
It is considered that those Jige Kannin were counted more than 60 families and collectively called 'Gekikata.'

At first, they were the members of Shonagonkyoku, which was the office of Shonagon, but later, they began to have their own office called Gekicho, which was called Gekikyoku later. Gekicho was located to the east of Kenshunmon Gate to the emperor's residence, with a Fudono building and the like built side by side. Meetings of Daijokan were sometimes held in the building of Gekicho and those meetings were called Gekisei.

Geki kept the business diary 'Geki Nikki' for future reference; but in the latter half of the Heian period, because the ritsuryo legal code system was loosened and Geki became to keep the matters regarding the official duties in their personal diaries to conceal the matters from outside so as to require the inheritance right of Geki and public authority, Geki consequently declined. FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, who was concerned about the situation, ordered Geki to keep Geki Nikki, but failed.


Daigeki (corresponding to Junior Sixth Rank, Senior Seventh Rank, later Senior Sixth Rank, Upper Grade): 2
Shogeki (corresponding to Junior Sixth Rank, Junior Seventh Rank, later Junior Sixth Rank, Senior Seventh Rank): 2
Shisho: 10
Meshitsukai: 2
Tsukaibe: 43

[Original Japanese]