Shobanshu (相伴衆)

Shobanshu was a status indicating a position in the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). They were the ones who followed the lead of the Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") and went together with him when he attended a banquet at the palace or visited somebody else's home. As they were limited to the family of kanrei (deputy to the shogun) and the influential shugo daimyo, became a valuable social status, also reflected in the office organization inside the bakufu, were given the order of precedence after the kanrei.

The custom of the shugo daimyo following Seii taishogun's lead was established around the era of Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, but it is estimated that Shobanshu as a status and position was established during the era of Eikyo of Yoshinori ASHIKAGA.

However, during the period of the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) (Japan) the appointment of more local warlords who were not from the shugo daimyo, who did not follow the Seii taishogun's lead by staying in Kyoto such as Takakage ASAKURA (the 10th family head) and Ujiyasu HOJO increased, and the meaning as a position was diluted and continued to exist only as a formal title representing the status of a feudal lord. Moreover, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, who was originally a vassal of the Hosokawa clan, was appointed as Shobanshu by Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA and, using the authority of this status, assumed control over the shogunate administration acting in the position of kanrei.

[Original Japanese]