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Ministry of the Treasury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Premodern Japan
Imperial seal of Japan
Part of a series on the politics and
government of Japan during the
Nara and Heian periods

Chancellor / Chief Minister
Minister of the LeftSadaijin
Minister of the RightUdaijin
Minister of the CenterNaidaijin
Major CounselorDainagon
Middle CounselorChūnagon
Minor CounselorShōnagon
Eight Ministries
Civil AdministrationJibu-shō
Popular AffairsMinbu-shō
Imperial HouseholdKunai-shō

The Ministry of the Treasury (大蔵省, Ōkura-shō) (lit. the department of the great treasury) was a division of the eighth-century Japanese government of the Imperial Court in Kyoto,[1] instituted in the Asuka period and formalized during the Heian period. The Ministry was replaced in the Meiji period.

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The nature of the ministry was modified in response to changing times. The ambit of the Ministry's activities encompasses, for example:

  • administration of public accounts[2]
  • oversight of tax collections and of offerings to the Emperor[2]
  • regulation of weights and measures[2]
  • control of the functuations in prices of commodities[2]
  • regulation and oversight of the coinage of gold, silver, copper, and iron money[2]
  • maintenance of the lists of artisans engaged in coinage-related activities[2]
  • regulation of activities in the manufacture of lacquer ware, weaving, and other kinds of industries[2]


The duties, responsibilities and focus of the ministry evolved over time. It was established as part of the Taika Reforms and Ritsuryō laws.[3] Since 1885, Ōkura-shō has been construed in reference to the Ministry of Finance, also called the Ōkura no Tsukasa.[4]


The court included a ministry dealing with military affairs.[3]

Amongst the significant daijō-kan officials serving in this ministry structure were:

  • Chief administrator of the ministry of the treasury (大蔵卿, Ōkura-kyō). This official supervises the receipt of tributes from the provinces and imposes tribute on others.[5]
  • Chief administrator of the ministry of the treasury (大蔵大輔, Ōkura-taifu)[5]
  • First assistant to the chief of the ministry of the treasury (大蔵少輔, Ōkura-shō)[5]
  • Second assistant to the chief of the ministry of the treasury (大蔵丞, Ōkura-no-jō), two positions[5]
  • Alternate assistant to the chief of the ministry of the treasury (大蔵録, Ōkura-no-sakan), two positions[5]
  • Collector of taxation from manufacturers and dyers (織部正, Oribe-no-kami)[5]
  • Assistant collector of taxation from manufacturers and dyers (織部佑, Oribe-no-jō)[5]
  • Alternate assistant collector of taxation from manufacturers and dyers (織部令史, Oribe-no-sakan)[5]

See also


  1. ^ Kawakami, Karl Kiyoshi. (1903). The Political Ideas of the Modern Japan, pp. 36-38., p. 36, at Google Books
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kawakami, p. 38 n2,, p. 38, at Google Books citing Ito Hirobumi, Commentaries on the Japanese Constitution, p. 87 (1889).
  3. ^ a b Ministry of the Treasury, Sheffield.
  4. ^ Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). "Ōkura-shō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 749., p. 749, at Google Books
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 432., p. 432, at Google Books


  • Kawakami, Karl Kiyoshi. (1903). The Political Ideas of the Modern Japan. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press. OCLC 466275784. Internet Archive, full text
  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Odai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691
This page was last edited on 24 June 2017, at 15:58
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