Kebiishi (police and judicial chief) (検非違使)

Kebiishi was a Ryoge no kan post (class outside of the Ritsuryo system) under the Ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the Ritsuryo Code).
The meaning of the post was to 'do justice.'
Kebiishi was a government official within the Kebiishicho (Office of Police and Judicial Chief). The Tang name for the Suke (assistant) and Jo (military officer) was Eni (Fourth Rank of the Kyukei (Nine government posts of the Han Dynasty)). Kebiishi were in charge of maintaining security and handling civil affairs in Kyoto. For security purposes, the post was also placed in Ryoseikoku (provinces) in the late Heian period.


Kebiishi took more and more official duties from other authorities such as Gyobusho (Ministry of Justice) who was responsible for the judiciary branch, Danjodai (Board of Censors) who was responsible for police and inspections, Kyoshiki (Capital Bureau) who controlled administrative security and other judiciary branches related to the capital, and exercised enormous power.

In the late Heian period, 'Cho-Rei' (a common law called a historical custom of the Kebiishicho), different from the Ritsuryo Code, was applied in order to exercise the authority of the Kebiishi in criminal cases. Around that time, clerical work for the Kebiishicho were taken care of at the residence of Betto (Superintendent). At the end of the Heian period, Kebiishi were replaced by Imperial Palace Guards for the North Side, who were a militant organization of Insei (ruled by the retired Emperor). Furthermore, when the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) established the Rokuhara Tandai (an administrative and judicial agency in Rokuhara, Kyoto), Kebiishi were gradually weakened.

During the Muromachi period, the bakufu was placed in Kyoto and authority became held by the Samuraidokoro (Board of Retainers).

Government Inner Service

A Betto was equivalent to the Kami (director) of the Shitokan (four classifications of bureaucrats' ranks). There was only one Betto post and was held by the Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) or the Sangi (counselor) who also held the posts of either Saemon no kami (Captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards) and Uemon no Kami (Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) or Sahyoe no Kami (Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards) or Uhyoe no Kami (Captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards). Kebiishi no Betto (Superintendent of the Imperial Police) held the highest authority of the Kebiishi but was not personally a Kebiishi.

A Suke of the Government Inner Service was a post equivalent to the assistant director (also called Suke) of the Shitokan. There were only two posts of Suke which were served by the Uemon Gon no Suke (provisional assistant captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) and Saemon no Gon no Suke (provisional assistant captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards). As a general rule, Uemon Gon no Suke and Saemon no Gon no Suke were Gonkan (a powerful official post) and served as Kebiishi, but the Saemon no Suke (Assistant Captain of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards) and Uemon no Suke (Assistant Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) were Seikan (a regular official post) and never served as Kebiishi. Suke were essentially the person in charge at a Kebiishicho since Betto were often combined with other governments posts. There was also a post of Kurodonosuke (assistant official of the Kurodo) who double posted as a Kurodo (Chamberlain) and a Kebiishi no Suke (assistant official of the Police and Judicial Chief), as well as a Sanji Kentai (a post that filled three positions) that held the post of Kurodo, Benkan (official of the Daijokan) and a Kebiishi no suke.

Daijo (Senior Lieutenant)
A Daijo was equivalent to a Jo (Inspector; third highest of the four administrative ranks of the ritsuryo period; also known as Hogan) of the Shitokan. The number of Daijo posts was limited to four. Uemon no Daijo (Senior Lieutenant of Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) and Saemon no Daijo (Senior Lieutenant at the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards) held the position of Daijo as a second post. The position of Daijo became a hereditary post for the Sakanoue and Nakahara clans as Myohoka (teacher of law).

Shojo (Junior Lieutenant)
A Shojo was equivalent to a Jo of the Shitokan. There was no limit to the number of Shojo posts. Emon no Jo (Third Ranked Officers of Outer Palace Guards) were double posted as Shojo. From the late 10th century, the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan often held this post. MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune was called Kuro-hogan because he had this responsibility.

Daishi and Shoshi (Senior Assistant Lieutenants)
This post was equivalent to the Sakan (secretary) of the Shitokan. There was no limit to the number officers who could old this post and many young Myohoka assumed the post.

Kadonoosa was responsible for controlling the prison, locking up criminals, and later responsible for capturing criminals. Kadonoosa performed their duty in an atypical outfit consisting of a red Kariginu (robe), a white frock, and held a white walking stick.

Anju (officer who recorded and stored documents at a Shoen; manor)
Anju was a clerical officer of the Kebiishicho which was initially limited to one post but was later increased.

Kacho were selected from the Eshi (guards) of Emonfu (Headquarters of the Outer Palace Guards). Kadonoosa and Anju were then selected among the Kacho.

Homen was a former criminal, also referred to as a Shimobe, whose sins had been forgiven and worked for the Kebiishicho. Homen were in fact put in charge of searching for criminals and responsible for their capture and torture.

There was a player character from an early computer game called "Heiankyo" that was modeled after Kebiishi.

[Original Japanese]