Goi no Kurodo (Chamberlain of Fifth Rank) (五位蔵人)

Goi no Kurodo was a post of Ryoge no kan (class outside of the Ritsuryo system) under the Japanese Ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code). This post was equivalent to a Suke (assistant director) at the Kurododokoro (Chamberlain's Office) and was placed immediately under the Kurodo no to (Head Chamberlain). Up to two to three personnel could be appointed to this post, and they were selected from among the Tenjobito (a high-ranking courtier allowed into the Imperial Palace) of the Fifth Rank, with particular favor for individuals from families of nobility and who were scholarly gifted.

The term "Goi no Kurodo" first appeared in the notes on Udain in the "Shikijibunin" (directory of officials) which explained, 'On January 6, 889, two persons were appointed to Goi no Kurodo, and another two persons were subsequently appointed to Rokui no Kurodo.'
The first two persons to be appointed as Goi no Kurodo were named MINAMOTO no Tatsu and FUJIWARA no Toshiyuki, after which the term appeared frequently. The post of Goi no Kurodo had existed beforehand as well, but there was also the post of Mui no Kurodo (Chamberlain with No Rank), meaning that the official ranks for eight positions of Kurodo were not always standardized. During that time, it was difficult to classify every official as a Kurodo because there was a clear distinction between the Fifth and Sixth ranks in terms of social status, as well as considerable differences between their social activities and custom rituals. As official duties of the Kurododokoro were gradually specialized, social status became closely related to who was posted where. It is believed that this lead to the establishment of the Goi no Kurodo post and the reason behind the improvements to the corresponding organizational infrastructure.

From that point on, when a person holding the post of Goi no Kurodo was promoted to the Fourth Rank, or when a person holding the post of Rokui no Kurodo (Chamberlain of Sixth Rank) was promoted to the Fifth Rank, rather than being allowed to remain as Kurodo with a new rank, their court rank and Kurodo posts became inseparable and the posts of Goi no Kurodo and Rokui no Kurodo were regarded as the names of official posts.

[Original Japanese]