Jikatasanyaku (the three officers of a village) (地方三役)

Jikatasanyaku was a generic name for village officers in the early-modern times of Japan (the Edo period). They were also called Murakatasanyaku.


Jikatasanyaku meant the three officers of a village, shoya (nanushi [a village headman]), kumigashira (toshiyori [a head of the group]) and hyakushodai (a village headman) who conducted village government in accordance with instructions from the official agents. It is generally considered that the nanushi was on behalf of the entire village government, the kumigashira was an assistant to the nanushi and the hyakushodai was an auditor, however, they actually had different roles. The roles often differed not only from region to region but also from village to village even in the same region.

From the late Edo period, there appeared some nanushi who had fallen due to tough economic changes and were not able to fulfill their duties, so elections of nanushi by votes (called irefuda in Japanese) started to be held.

In 1871

Family registration districts were established based on the Family Registration Law and an officer in charge of the family register was appointed.

In 1872

Jikatasanyaku was abolished in April. The officers and vice-officers in charge of the family register were reorganized and they took over the roles of nanushi (shoya), kumigashira, and so on.

[Original Japanese]