Tsuji banya

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  • Japanese: 辻番屋 (tsuji ban'ya) or 辻番所 (tsuji bansho)

Tsuji ban'ya (lit. "intersections guardhouse"), also known as tsuji bansho, were guardhouses set up across Edo by the Tokugawa shogunate or by various daimyô or hatamoto households. By the end of the 17th century, there were some nine hundred such guardhouses across the city.

Roughly two hundred tsuji ban'ya were maintained by various daimyô in order to help provide security for the areas around their mansions; another seven hundred or so were operated by hatamoto families in a similar fashion, and a handful were maintained more directly by the shogunate. All, however, were supervised by the metsuke (shogunate inspectors). Generally, each was manned by two to four guards during the day, and four to six at night, who used the guardhouse as a base of operations from which to patrol the immediately surrounding area. Such guardhouses were typically equipped with a variety of weapons, lanterns, ropes, torches, and the like.


  • Katô Takashi, "Governing Edo," in James McClain (ed.), Edo & Paris, Cornell University Press (1994), 50-51.