Jo (Third official among Shitokan) ()

Jo was the third official among Shitokan under the Japanese ritsuryo system. The letter '掾' (Jo) indicates the third official of the provincial governor Kokushi, corresponding to '判官' (Jo) in the central government.


Especially in the highest rank of Ryoseikoku provinces called Taigoku, Daijo, meaning Higher Jo, and Shojo, meaning Lower Jo, were established. Regardless of what Chinese characters are used, the letters indicating the third official are read 'Jo', which is considered to have come from the Chinese reading of '丞' (Jo); '丞' was originally the title for the third official in some government offices in Tang dynasty. The letter '掾' is read 'En' in Japanese by onyomi, the Japanese reading derived from the original Chinese pronunciation.

Title Jo in Joruri

Based on Jo used for Kokushi under the ritsuryo system, the Imperial Court (Sagagosho during the Edo period, and branches of the imperial family after the Meiji period) gave the official title Jo to regular merchants, sword smiths, performers including Joruri performers and the like to honor their accomplishments in later generations. The title Jo remained last for the Joruri performers. After WWII, Kotsubodayu TOYOTAKE II was given Yamashiro no Shojo from Chichibunomiya-ke in 1947, and Bungoro YOSHIDA IV was given Naniwa no Jo from Higashikuninomiya-ke in 1956.

[Original Japanese]