Samuraidokoro (侍所)

Samuraidokoro was the organization that played military and police roles in the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and in the Muromachi bakufu.

In the Kamakura bakufu
It called up and commanded the gokenin who were to do event-guarding or some other jobs, and locked up criminals.

Dominant gokenin who assumed the post of shoshi (Deputy Chief of the Board of Retainers) or Samurai-dokoro no tsukasa (the officer of the Board of Retainers) controlled Samuraidokoro, and the person in the highest rank among shoshi was called betto (chief officer). Initially, Yoshimori WADA assumed the post of betto, but after Yoshimori died in the Wada battle, shikken (regent to the shogun) assumed the post as well.

In the Muromachi bakufu
Following the organization of the Kamakura bakufu, it was established in 1336 together with Mandokoro (Administrative Board) and Monchujo (a court of justice). In the early Muromachi period, the bakufu was controlled by both of Shogun Takauji and Tadayoshi, his younger brother, but since the head of Samuraidokoro was KO no Moroyasu, the elder brother of KO no Moronao who was the steward of the Ashikaga family, it is considered that Samuraidokoro was an organization controlled directly by the shogun.

As in the Kamakura bakufu, the major job of Samuraidokoro was to control gokenin and samurai, with the jos related to kendan (trial) and shomusata (trials dealing with land issues) done by Kendangata (office of criminal justice), but the latter jos were gradually transferred to Samuraidokoro as well.
In the era of the second shogun Yoshiakira, the job of Kebiishicho (the office dealing with police and judicial matters) was transferred to Samuraidokoro, and Samuraidokoro became to gain police power for maintaining security of Kyoto as well as the power to levy taxes
In the era of the third shogun Yoshimitsu, Shugo (provincial constable) was placed in the Yamashiro Province, and Samuraidokoro became an organization to control Kyoto as the area directly controlled by Muromachi-dono (Muromachi bakufu). From 1398, the Akamatsu clan, Isshiki clan, Kyogoku clan and Yamana clan assumed the post of shoshi alternatively, and a vassal of shoshi assumed the post of shoshi-dai (assistant to shoshi), with these four clans called Shishiki (Four major feudal lords who worked for Muromachi bakufu).

The person in the post called shoshi or tonin (the director) controlled Samuraidokoro, and shoshi-dai assisted shoshi. Actual operations were conducted by bugyonin (magistrate), and kodoneri and zoshiki, lower-ranked officers, were also organized. In addition, kaiko (the head of clerical officers) was placed for clerical officers, and there were also metsuke who played watching roles and yoriudo who were equivalent to interrogators.

Chronological table

In addition, descriptions of a banquet that was held and baggage that was stored, were included in Azumakagami (The Mirror of the East), a historical book in Japan.

[Original Japanese]