Rokuhara Tandai (an administrative and judicial agency in Rokuhara, Kyoto) (六波羅探題)

"Rokuhara Tandai" is a job title in the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). They are the branch offices that the bakufu established in the north and south of Rokuhara, Kyoto by reorganizing the existing Kyoto shugo (Kyoto military governor) after the Jokyu War in 1221. They are called Rokuhara Tandai Kitakata (Northern Chief of Rokuhara Tandai) and Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata (Southern Chief of Rokuhara Tandai).


As the postwar settlement after the Jokyu War, the territories of the court nobles and samurai who supported the retired Emperor Gotoba were forfeited and redistributed to the gokenin (an immediate vasal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods) as rewards. These were shoen (manor in medieval Japan) which were not governed by the bakufu until then, and many were in the west where bakufu's authority was hard to reach. As a result of the redistribution, jito (manager and lord of manor) were assigned to these shoen as well. Additionally, the bakufu-side had to constantly monitor and control the movement of the Imperial Court.

Therefore, they renovated the old home of TAIRA no Kiyomori which was located in Rokuhara, south of Shirakawa City, where they could instantaneously grasp movements at the Imperial Court, into a government office, and stationed Yasutoki HOJO and Tokifusa HOJO in the north and south of Rokuhara for this task, while gokenin from the west were reorganized to guard Kyoto, monitor the Imperial Court, perform military operations, etc. This is how the Rokuhara Tandai began.

The Tandai was considered the most important post following shikken (regent for shogun) and rensho (assistant to shikken), and traditionally, one person each was chosen for Kitakata and Minamikata from the Hojo clan to perform government affairs. Young and promising personnel from the Hojo clan were often chosen for Tandai, and many were promoted to shikken or rensho after returning to Kamakura. Additionally, subordinate organizations pursuant to organizations in Kamakura such as hyojoshu (members of Council of State) were set up under it.

Rokuhara Tandai was under the direct command of the bakufu instead of the Imperial Court, and had a judicial function for dealing with trouble between jito and kokushi (provincial governor), maintained security in the outskirts of Kyoto, monitored the Imperial Court, and acted as agents in the imperial throne decision making. Additionally, in 1275, the year following Bunei Battle, the function of Rokuhara Tandai was further enhanced, and authority for punishing gokenin and the trial system was enhanced.

Meanwhile, the actual binding power for the authority was not necessarily enough in some aspects. Occasionally, the government official punishing dominant temples and shrines received punishment such as banishment due to pressure from monk soldiers who were gaining power at the time, and for example in 1229, the jinin (associates of Shinto shrines) engaging in illegal activities at Hiyoshi-jinja Shrine, which was under the umbrella of Enryaku-ji Temple, ignored the restraint order by Tamekiyo MIYOSHI (三善為清), who served under Tokiuji HOJO of Tandai North, and was killed by Tamekiyo's subordinate. Enryaku-ji Temple made a protest to the bakufu about this, and Rokuhara Tandai presented evidence to show there was no negligence on the part of Tamekiyo and the subordinate, but the bakufu condemned Tamekiyo to banishment to avoid confrontation with Enryaku-ji Temple.

Additionally, special envoys called "toshi" (messenger from the Kamakura bakufu), who were directly sent from the bakufu, were in some cases, granted authority to directly negotiate with the Imperial Court or to command the Tandai, and such authority was constantly restrained by the central power of the bakufu. Therefore, those familiar with the situation, did not favor a post at the Rokuhara.

In 1333, when the Genko War erupted from Emperor Godaigo's anti-shogunate movement, Takauji ASHIKAGA, Doyo SASAKI, and Enshin AKAMATSU responded to the Emperor's order and attacked Kyoto. Thus, Nakatoki HOJO, the Tandai at the time, and others were forced to leave Kyoto, and Rokuhara Tandai vanished. Kyoto City Rokuhara Elementary School stands now in its location, and there is the Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple nearby.

[Original Japanese]