Online ISSN : 2424-2616
Print ISSN : 0018-2478
ISSN-L : 0018-2478
Han structure and the Edo-garo : The Case of Kaga-han
Fuyuko Matsukata
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1993 Volume 102 Issue 9 Pages 1631-1650,1746-


This article attempts to define the function of the Edo-garo (principal retainer) and to examine the structure of the han (the clan during the Tokugawa period), by looking at one domain, Kaga-han. Previous research has understood the han structure by the concepts of kaku (rank) and shoku (post). This does not seem enough to grasp the actual state of the han system. In this paper, the author intends to clarify the relations among the posts in the Edo-yashiki (the residence in Edo). The headquarters of Kaga-han, consisting of toshiyori and karo, oversaw the han personnel management through formal appointments and transmission of laws, and also dealt with the petitions from the whole office and supervised its official work. The relationships between each member of the headquarters and the officers under his supervision were more formal but looser than those between the kashira (the original chief of the personnel as a military system), or the shihai-nin (the chief making directions in the working office), and his subordinates in a department. On the other hand, the system of personnel management of the officers on duty in the Edo-yashiki was irregular, because all of the kashira did not attend the Edo-yashiki. An officer in the abosence of his kashira worked under the direction of the special shihai-nin in Edo. Therefore, the office in the Edo-yashiki cannot be regarded as a complete department. The Edo-garo forwarded correspondence from the officers in the Edo-yashiki to their counterparts in Kanazawa. Among these documents, personnel-related papers were the most important. This shows that the Edo-garo worked as a intermediary between Edo and Kanazawa, although he was not be able to break away from the directions issued by the office in Kanazawa. Finally, the author suggests that the Edo-garo possessed not only the same duties as a karo in Kanazawa but also the same as a toshiyori. The Edo-garo played the role of a "miniature" clone of the whole headquarters in Kanazawa. As a resuilt, the supervising system under the Edo-garo made it possible for the officers in Edo and their counterparts in Kanazawa to work together. Such a system, although clearly seen in the Edo-yashiki, also holds true for the whole organization of Kaga-han.

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© 1993 The Historical Society of Japan
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