2000 Volume 109 Issue 11 Pages 2014-2042
This paper explores the decision-making process of the Hagi Domain government during their Bunkyu era reforms, which began in March 1863 and were brought to an end in September 1869 after the bombardment of Shimonoseki and the outbreak of violence in Kyoto. Before the reforms, policy-making functions were carried out by two members of the Karo家老 class, called Ryoshoku両職, who were supported by a small group of lower level officials, the Goyogatachu御用方中. After the reforms, policy-making activities and appeals to the daimyo were both carried out at a newly established Seijido(政事堂;Hall of governance). The officials of the Seijido routinely conducted policy meetings in the presence of the daimyo. These measures aimed at involving a larger range of the warrior class in the consultative process give that process more authority, or potency. The abolition of the Ryoshoku system also aimed at better preparing the domain for war, by emphasising the military role of Karo members and moving the former Goyogatachu officers into military administrative roles.