Hyakkan na (百官名)

Hyakkan na refers to an official-rank-style name that samurai called himself.

After the Muromachi period, there appeared some cases in which shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords) issued written appointments to hikan (a low-level bureaucrat) and gave them zuryomei (an official title of kokushi, provincial governor), which were unjustified titlles the Imperial Court had nothing to do with. Therefore, in formal occasions, such official names of the government office as given by shugo daimyo were omitted or replaced by different names. Also there appeared other cases in which offspring succeeded government posts which their ancestors had been appointed to, and thus a new custom of jikan, in which samurai used a government post at his own initiative without permission from the Imperial Court, became established.

Since around the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan), a custom in which samurai used a name without his government post as his own name occurred among the samurai class, and continued by the end of the Edo period. This was developed into azuma hyakkan (eastern-style titles conferred on daimyo and samurai) in the Kanto area (Eastern part of Japan) and was called buke hyakkan (titles conferred on daimyo and samurai), while hyakkan na based on government posts was called kuge hyakkan (titles conferred on samurai warriors based on the official names). Samurai used hyakkan na putting it after the name of his clan or surname, and before his imina (a personal name) (In Japan a surname comes first, and followed by a first name).

Reading of hyakkan na is a little different from that of the official name of a government post, so it is necessary to be careful (for example, 蔵人(Chamberlain) is read "kurodo" for a government post, but "kurando" for hyakkan na).

[Original Japanese]