Ometsuke (inspector general) (大目付)

Ometsuke was a governmental post in the Edo period belonging to Roju (the second highest post in the Edo bakufu government) in the government system, and played a role of an inspector who watched daimyo (Japanese feudal lord), koke (privileged families under Tokugawa Shogunate), and the Imperial court to protect the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) from rebellion of these powers. This post was also introduced some domains as well.

In the early Edo period, Ometsuke officers were selected from daimyo, such as Munenori YAGYU, but later, from Hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which was a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) earning 3000 to 5000 koku (approx. 180 liters/koku) rice yields. Ometuse was one of the highest post among Hatamoto, being equivalent to Edojo-rusui (the post of housekeeping the Edo castle while the shogun was absent from the castle) and Karo (the chief retainer) of the gosankyo families (three privileged branch families of Tokugawa). Although Ometsuke was a Hatamoto, he watched daimyo, who earned a rice yield of at least 10,000 koku. Therefore, his social status in office was equivalent to that for a 10,000-koku class daimyo with the title of XX no kami conferred on him as well.

Entering the middle of the Edo period, the jobs of this post became more like Denrei (the post for informing daimyo of instructions from the bakufu) or Gireikan (the post in charge of etiquette) in Denchu (the Edo castle), rather than the original post for inspection. The officers in this post also took five additional posts (called Kentai), including Dochu-bugyo (the post in charge of road-related matters), shumon aratame-yaku (the post in charge of the persecution of Christians), and teppo-aratame (the post for monitoring and checking guns owned by ordinary people). The number of officers in this post was five. The Ometsuke officer in charge of Dochu-bugyo was placed in the head of the five officers. The officers functioned as a deputy of seii-taishogun (literally, great general who was to subdue the barbarians), as Kyoto shoshidai (the Kyoto deputy) and Osaka jodai (the person sent for controlling the Osaka castle) did. The Ometsuke post was placed above the Metsuke post that belonged to the Wakadoshiyori post (a managerial post in Edo bakufu), and the Ometsuke's power became increasingly stronger.

In a domain, the Ometsuke officers were mostly selected from the retainers of the domain who were placed under Churo (the post immediately under Karo), Ban-gashira (a post in the domain government) and Kumi-gashira (also a post in the domain government). In Satsuma domain, the post was called Yokome-gashira, and was placed after Karo and to Wakatoshiyori. The officers were appointed from samurai in such high classes as Issho-mochi (literally, a one-place holder) or Issho-mochi-kaku (the Issho-mochi level).

[Original Japanese]