Gobugyo (magistrates of Toyotomi Administration) (五奉行)

Gobugyo indicates a system consisting of five government officials (whose duties can be called magistrate or commissioner), that mainly took charge of practical businesses of the Toyotomi Administration at the last days of the administration during the Azuchi Momoyama period. In those days, the specific name 'Gobugyo' was not used, and they were called by their posts like 'Toshiyori' and the like.

It is supposed that the Gobugyo system was established in 1585 after Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI took office of Kanpaku ("Taikoki" by Hoan OZE) or in 1593 when Hideyoshi established the Gotairo system in his illness. Under the Toyotomi Administration, there were a lot of figures who took charge of administrative affairs, including Yoshitsugu OTNI and Yukinaga KONISHI, and the most prominent five among them were later known as Gobugyo (five bugyo, or five commissioners or five magistrates). The number of this bugyo system seemed not always to be regulated as five, as there is a case to have six members, when Keijun MIYABE and Ippaku TOMITA substituted for Nagamasa ASANO, who temporarily lost his position in the aftermath of the Hidetsugu Incident ('Shosho Keppan Kishomon' made on July 20, 1595.).

In 1600, when Mitsunari ISHIDA of Gobugyo supported Terumoto MORI of Gotairo to open the Battle of Sekigahara, Mitsunari and Masaie NAGATSUKA took part in a campaign, whereas Nagamasa ASANO belonged to the troop of Hidetada TOKUGAWA in the Army of the East. The two of MAEDA and MASUDA stayed in the Osaka castle.

Nagamasa ASANO, mainly in charge of judicial affairs (Chief of the system, possessed land worth 220,000 koku of rice in Kofu in Kai Province)
Mitsunari ISHIDA, mainly in charge of administrative affairs (possessed land worth 190,000 koku of rice in Sachiyama in Omi Province)
Nagamori MASUDA, mainly in charge of civil engineering and construction (possessed land worth 220,000 koku of rice in Koriyama in Yamato Province)
Masaie NAGATSUKA, mainly in charge of public finance (possessed lands worth 50,000 koku of rice in Minaguchi in Omi Province)
Geni MAEDA, mainly in charge of religion (possessed land worth 50,000 koku of rice in Kameoka in Tanba Province)

MAEDA was responsible for the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Court, the court nobles, and the temples and shrines; NAGATSUKA was responsible for the special field of the public finance, and ASANO, MASUDA, and ISHIDA were responsible for the general political affairs.

There are various other opinions about about the members of the Gotairo; one theory says that Yoshitsugu OTANI was a member of the Gobugyo, as Geni MAEDA was treated specially as Kyotoshoshidai. (Fuyuji DOMON, a novelist, gave a remark about this situation that still includes disputes about the member, describing this system as "a flexible system with adaptable duties that can allow people to enter and exit freely," unlike the one of the Edo bakufu, a Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun, in which every duty was systematically organized in a strict manner.

[Original Japanese]