Junsatsushi (a circuit-riding inspector or investigating commissioner) (China) (巡察使 (中国))

Junsatsushi (a circuit-riding inspector or investigating commissioner) was a government official title which originated in the Tang Dynasty of China.
The junsatsushi was later given alternative names, such as 'azechi' and 'anbushi.'


As an imperial commissioner which was unregulated by the ritsuryo codes (ryoge no kan), 'junsatsushi' was in charge of the inspection of the operations of local governments under the command of the emperor himself, directly reporting to the emperor on the performance evaluation of the local officials, such as 'shishi' (provincial governors) and 'kenrei' (prefectural governors). For the most part 'gyoshi' (imperial censors) were appointed junsatsushi, but neither its title nor its personnel was fixed.

It is believed that the first junsatsushi were designated as early as in 634 in the Shoto period (in early Tang), which consisted of 13 'shodo chucchoku taishi' (literally, a traveling commissioner in charge of promoting and downgrading one's office and rank based on the presence or absence of his achievements), one of which was a 'kan fuzoku shi' (literally, an inspector to supervise local customs). Thereafter, many examples of junsatsushi can be seen until circa 713.

Li Qiao's report to the throne which was written in 696 referred to 44 subjects of shodo junsatushi (travelling commissioners) and 30 and more investigative visits in accordance with 'kyaku' (supplementary imperial ordinances which were augmented to revise a preceded administrative law in the statutes [Ling 令] of the ritsuryo law). Junsatsushi were sent out on the circuit in March and returned to report the emperor in November, and during that period they were required to rate thousands of local governors, which Li Qiao had described to be quite hard.

[Original Japanese]