Zogusho (Ministry of Making and Mending Palaces) (造宮省)

Zogusho was an extra statutory office responsible for castle building and repairing headed by Zogukyo (Minister of Making and Mending Palaces). When the Taiho Ritsuryo Code was enacted in 701, Zogushiki (Office of Making and Mending Palaces) was established, and in 708, Zogushiki was raised to Zogusho.


Although it is unknown the period of the establishment, there had been an office 'Zogukan' before the ritsuryo system was established; on September 8, 701, immediately before the completion of the Taiho Ritsuryo (Taiho Code), Zogukan was renamed Zogushiki. Later, the idea of removing the capital to Heijokyo turned into reality; on April 12, 708, Zogushiki was raised to Zogusho with OTOMO no Tauchi appointed the first minister of Zogusho.

Construction of the new castle in the new capital was considered an important project--The head of Zogusho was given Junior Second Rank, as equivalent to its government post, which was the highest among all ministers, while the head of the Ministry of Central Affairs ranked Senior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade, which was the highest among the statutory eight ministries; besides, the head of Zogusho was appointed among military clans like the Otomo clan, as their ability to supervise the laborers mobilized for the construction project was counted on. Under the four-tiered hierarchy of government officials, there were Kanjin Zonin (lower-ranking government official), Shoryo (chief), Sanshi (court official in charge of calculation), Ko (workman [a craftsman in the "chojo" rank and a carpenter in the "banjo" rank]) and so on.

Zogusho was abolished with Chokushisho on May 31, 782, as government reorganization in preparation for the administrative reform and the removal of capital to Nagaokakyo led by Emperor Kanmu. After that, Zogusho revived with FUJIWARA no Oguromaro appointed the head when the removal of capital to Heiankyo took place; however, it was abolished when 'Tokusei dispute' broke out between FUJIWARA no Otsugu and SUGANO no Mamichi in 805 and the construction of Heiankyo was canceled.

[Original Japanese]