Kanjo bugyo

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  • Japanese: 勘定奉行 (kanjou bugyou)

The kanjô bugyô, or Finance Magistrates, were among the most powerful officials in the Tokugawa shogunate, overseeing the shogunate's revenues and expenses, as well as administering shogunal lands (tenryô) and playing a prominent role in foreign relations policy. Their power was tempered somewhat by being officially lower in rank than the jisha bugyô (Magistrates of Temples and Shrines) and Edo machi bugyô (Town Magistrates of Edo).

There were typically four kanjô bugyô at a time, divided into kujikata kanjô bugyô (公事方勘定奉行), who handled judicial matters relating to finance, and kattekata kanjô bugyô (勝手方勘定奉行), who handled most other financial matters. The latter served as an intermediary between the various administrative organs of the shogunate and the kattegakari rôjû (勝手掛老中), a member of the rôjû council who oversaw financial matters. Under the supervision of the kanjô bugyô were six kanjô ginmiyaku (勘定吟味役), who oversaw twelve kanjô kumigashira (勘定組頭, finance section heads), who in turn supervised around 250 kanjô (勘定, finance officials) and about ninety shihai kanjô (支配勘定, financial administrators). These latter positions were among the lowest-ranking posts in the entire shogunal administration to be directly appointed by the shogun and to enjoy rights to shogunal audiences. Three of the kanjô ginmiyaku were also in charge of handling petitions and lawsuits, while the other three were also in charge of monitoring matters of accounting.

The administration of shogunal lands was effected through a network of daikan (intendants) who were based in each territory.

The Bureau of Finance, or Kanjôsho, had two main offices, one within Edo castle, and one outside of the castle.

Selected Kanjô Bugyô


  • Mitani Hiroshi, David Noble (trans.), Escape from Impasse, International House of Japan (2006), xxix.
  1. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 5, (1937), 207, 252.