Polkhov S.A. Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (Law Code of Ouchi Clan) Creation Environment

Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (Law Code of Ouchi Clan) Creation Environment - Discussion Revisited

S.A. Polkhov

This paper highlights a review of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (the Law Code of Ouchi Clan - late 15th cent.), a monumental legal document of the Sengoku (Warring States) period. Specific features of the Code structure are highlighted versus other legal codes put together during the same period. The Code under review has a remarkably high number of rulings concerning the central management office of the domain, as well as court etiquette and ceremonial. A hypothesis that the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code was put together in order to assure smooth and seamless transition of power from Daimyo Ouchi Masahiro to his successor Yoshioki is substantiated.

Key words: the Sengoku (Warring States) period; Sengoku Daimyo (Warring States Period feudal lords); laws; the Ouchi Clan; Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (the Law Code of Ouchi Clan)

Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (the Law Code of Ouchi Clan - 大内氏掟書) is referred to as a monumental legal document of Sengoku (Warring States) period (1467-1590). This article is an attempt to review the Code and compare it with other legal codes of the Sengoku period. Key points of Japanese historiographers' discussions concerning the nature of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code are highlighted. In addition, this article is an attempt of the author to make the current interpretation of reasons behind the creation of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code more complete.

The Code under review is known in the modern historiography under other names as well: Ouchi-ke Kabegaki (Wall Inscriptions of the Ouchi House) and Ouchi Kaho (Ouchi House Laws). The Code is a corpus of different orders and rulings of the Ouchi clan, many of which still maintain their original documentary format. Meanwhile, other codes issued by the Sengoku Daimyo lords are corpuses of legal enactments (articles) with rather unfirmed formats. Overall, different copies of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code include 88 documents covering the period from 1439 through 1529.

The Ouchi clan ancestry was said to go back to the rulers of the Korean kingdom Baekje or Paekche (Kudara in Japanese). According to a legend found in the Muromachi period manuscripts, Prince Rinsho, the third son of the King (Won) of Baekje sailed to the Suo province in 611, made a landing in Tatarahama,[1]and was enfeoffed with Ouchi-no agata domain by none other but Prince Shotoku (577-624) himself. Moreover, his name was presumably changed for Tatarahama[2]. The first credible reference to the Ouchis dates back to the middle of the 12th century. The Suo province enactments indicate that in the latter half of the 12th century representatives of the Clan served in the capacity of high-rank officials at the Suo Governor's office[3]. During the Jisho-Juseiperiod unrest (1180-1185), the Ouchi Clan supported Minamoto, and became one of the Shogun's direct vassal clans (gokenin) during the Kamakura period.

During the period of confrontation of the Southern and Northern Courts, the Clan suffered from internal conflicts. Ouchi Hiroyo (1352-1380)[4]was the one to make a final and definite turn over to the Northern Court side. Might of the Clan grew most during the reign of Ouchi Yoshihiro (1380-1400), who played an important role in the negotiations concerning the restoration of the Imperial House unity, and made himself a hero during the subjection of Yamana clan in 1391. Ouchi Yoshihiro consolidated the positions of shugo (military governor) of six provinces. In 1399, he rebelled against the Shogun, but was defeated and perished. Ouchi Hiromochi, his younger brother, took the lead of the Clan, maintaining the positions of shugo in just two provinces - Suo and Nagato. In 1441, the Clan's head and Yoshihiro's son Ouchi Mochiyo (1431-1441) sustained a deadly wound and passed away, as a result of a successful plot by Akamatsu Mitsusuke against Shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori. The credit for a new rise of the Ouchi Clan goes to Norihiro (1441-1465), Mochiyo's successor. Just like his predecessor, Norihiro crusaded Kyushu on a number of occasions, fighting against the Shoni clan, and conquered the Chikuzen province and its main commercial port, Hakata.

In 1465, Ouchi Norihiro dared to challenge the mighty Hosokawa Katsumoto, the Shogun's Chancellor (kanrei)[5], and rebelled against Bakufu. The conflict was triggered by Norihiro's support of Kono Michiharu, shugo of Iyo province. By mid-15th century, the mighty clan of Hosokawa had three of the four provinces on Shikoku Island under control, while the Kono clan had only one. Hosokawa Katsumoto decided to transfer the position of the Iyo province shugothat had been held by the Konos, to a representative of his clan, which was challenged by Kono Michiharu. Bakufu then issued a decree ordering Ouchi to take part in the subjecting of the Kono clan. However, Ouchi Norihiro disobeyed the Bakufu order and supported Kono Michiharu.In 1465, Bakufu responded, ordering its vassals from the province of Aki to attack Suo province, which had been Ouchi's domain[6]. In the fall of that year, Ouchi Norihiro succumbed to a disease, while his successor, Masahiro (1465-1495) defeated the Shogunate troops at Iyo and invaded the domains of Bakufu vassals in the province of Aki. In 1466, Ouchi Masahiro received the Shogun's pardon, which was facilitated by the opponents of Hosokawa Katsumoto in Kyoto. Nonetheless, hostility toward the kanreipre-destined Ouchi Masahiro to join the Western Block during the Onin-Bunmeiunrest period (1467-1477); Hosokawa Katsumoto led the Eastern Block.[7]

During the unrest period, not only did Masahiro hold off the attacks of the Ouchi domain in the Kyushu Island by Shoni and Otomo clans, but also managed to suppress the riot lead by his uncle Noriyuki who had been joined by many vassals of the Ouchi Clan. In 1477, Masahiro returned to Suo. He had prevailed over internal and external enemies and managed to reinforce his power. In 1481, he was appointed for the post of the Iwami province shugo, and then the Aki province shugo. During the reign of Ouchi Masahiro important reforms took place, which helped the Clan maintain its control over wide regions in the South-Western Japan during the time of political de-centralization - up until mid-16th century. The Daimyo also patronized poets and artists. In the days of Masahiro, Yamaguchi, the principal city of the domain, became one of the major cultural centers of Japan.

Taking a leaf out of the Ashikaga Bakufu's book, Masahiro completed the creation of his own vassal system, which had been launched by his father; he made vassals (gokenin) an increasingly large number of provincial landlords many of whom had been referred to as personal vassals of the Ashikaga Shoguns. The gokenin'smilitary duty principles were defined, and the amount depended upon the revenue-generating capacity of their respective domains[8]. The status of a vassal was defined based on his services to the Daimyo, as well as acres enfeoffed, which was formalized by a special document called sodehan kudashibumi[9]. That type of document had been used by the Minamoto dynasty Shoguns. In the latter half of the 15th century, during Masahiro's reign, such documents were issued for an increasing number of provincial warriors. The issuance of sodehan kudashibumi was a tool to establish vassal relationships in the Ouchi domain[10].

In addition, Masahiro aspired to reinforce the ideology basis of the Ouchi Clan's power. He managed to assure the deification of Norihiro, his father, who, with the consent of the Emperor, was first deified as Tsukiyama reijin and, in 1487, asTsukiyama daimyojin. Masahiro received support in the deification of his father from Yoshida Kanetomo, the founder of a new Shinto sect (Yuitsu Shinto - "the one and only Shinto"). In 1486, Norihiro was posthumously awarded with a third junior rank. Same year, Emperor Tsuchimikado officially made Koryji[11], the family temple of the Ouchi Clan, a chokuganji, i.e. one of the temples authorized to offer prayers for the flourishing of the Imperial House and the country. That was the time the Ouchi Clan genealogy was completed and presented to Tsuchimikado. According to the genealogy, the Ouchis were descendants of the rulers of the Korean kingdom Baekje. Historian Yamada Takashi is quite right to point out that the above-mentioned actions were supposed to reinforce the legitimacy of the Ouchi reign, as well as the claim to power of Norihiro's line[12]. Interestingly, the Japanese houses of warriors of the Muromachi period, as a rule, drew their genealogies back to the aristocratic houses of Fujiwara, Tachibana, or else to the famous clans of Taira or Minamoto[13]. However, the Ouchi Clan's case is not something completely out of the ordinary. The Ukita clan (Bizen province) also drew its genealogy back to the rulers of the Baekje kingdom[14].

During the Muromachi period, the Ouchi Clan maintained close and flourishing economic and cultural connections with Korea and the Ming empire. The legend about the Korean ancestry of the Ouchis facilitated the development and reinforcement of beneficial commercial and political connections with Korea. In the past, Ouchi Yoshihiro, at the request of the Korean rulers, had organized expeditions to fight pirates (wako). Yoshihiro freed Korean people kidnapped by the pirates and sent them back to the Korean peninsula. Through the intermediary of Ouchi Yoshihiro, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu managed to establish official diplomatic relationship with Korea[15]. Later on, Ouchi Norihiro and his son Masahiro requested information form Korea in respect of the activities of Prince Rinsho, the son of the Baekje Wan and the legendary patriarch of the Ouchi Clan[16]. Besides, in the 15th century the Ouchi domain merchants conducted trade with the Ryukyu archipelago, and from 1451 onward took part in trade with China.

Ouchi Yoshioki (1495-1529), Masahiro's son, who sent his army to Kyoto and in 1508 restored Shogun Yoshitane to power, thus becoming a key figure affecting the Bakufu politics, carried on the success of the reign of Masahiro. After ten years in Kyoto, he returned to his domain. His son Yoshitaka (1528-1551), the mightiest Daimyo of Western Japan, held sway over seven provinces: Suo, Nagato, Aki, Iwami, Bingo, Buzen and Chikuzen[17]. In 1551, Sue Harukata, a vassal of the Ouchi Clan, rebelled against him, and Yoshitaka took his own life.Harukata placed Yoshinaga, who was Yoshitaka's adopted son and nephew of Daimyo Otomo Sorin, in command of the Clan. However, Mori Motonari, Daimyo from the Aki province, confronted Sue Harukata and Ouchi Yoshinaga and defeated Harukata in the battle of Itsukushima in 1555. In 1557, Yoshinaga committed suicide, which meant the final fall of the Ouchi Clan[18].

The original naming of the law code reviewed herein is unknown; it was code-named Ouchi-shi Okitegaki (the Law Code of Ouchi Clan) in a reputable collection of Japanese law enactments[19]. Some laws included in the code are written in kanamajiribun, others - in kanbun style. There are ten copies of the Code[20], which are grouped into four versions[21]. Copies of two earliest versions named after copies Naikakubunko-bon and Maeda-bon date back to circa 1495, i.e. the end of Ouchi Masahiro's reign[22], or else 1492-1501 (years when the "Meio" motto was used by the rulers)[23]. Those are believed to be the closest to the protograph, or even its reproductions[24]. Copies included in the Nagata-bon group came into sight after the fall of the Ouchi Clan (after mid-16th century). Nonetheless, the three versions have a common feature - their final articles date back to the Meio years. The Fuse-bon copy is a later creation, and has many documents that date back to the days of Ouchi Yoshioki (first third of the 16th century).

When talking about Ouchi-shi Okitegaki, Japanese historiographers quite often point out that the Code includes 181 articles. Thus, the Ouchi Code turns out to be a corpus exceeding in terms of volume even the lengthy Jinkaishu code comprising 171 articles, which was introduced by Daimyo Date Tanemune in 1536. However, the aforementioned number of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki regulations and provisions may be misleading. In reality, the Code comprises documents in a variety of types and sizes, maintaining their original format to a great extent but combined together. There is no numeration of regulations in the original copies. At that, in the collection of warrior house codes published in 1965 under the editorship of Satoh Shin'ichi, Momose Kesao and Ikeuchi Yoshisuke[25], larger documents incorporated in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code were split into articles and numbered in sequence. However, the three editors found out that the surviving copies of the Ouchi Code pertain to four different versions, which have different numbers of documents incorporated therein, i.e. in some later copies there are rulings and provisions non-existent in the earlier versions[26]. Thus reconstructed, Ouchi-shi Okitegaki got a slightly artificial new format.

Thus, the aforementioned editors collated the copies pertaining to the four versions of the Code with different numbers of documents incorporated therein and, in addition, organized in different sequences. Then they put together documents that are uncommon for all the versions, split them into articles (clauses), numbered each article and arranged then in a strictly chronological manner. In the end, the number of "articles" became 181, i.e. the editors created a corpus exceeding in terms of size any of the surviving copies.

In reality, taking into account documents that are specific to different versions, one may count up to 88 documents in Ouchi-shi Okitegaki, varying in type and content. For instance, the editors of the aforementioned corpus of medieval legal documents refer to the ruling concerning mandatory detentions of fugitive peasants dating back to 1439 as a single article (numbered 1)[27]. Meanwhile, the statute adopted by Ouchi Masahiro in 1475 for Koryuji, the family temple of the Ouchi Clan, is considerably longer than the aforementioned ruling. The stature turns out to be split into 12 articles (art. 23-34)[28].

It appears that caution should be used when performing any quantitative calculations based upon the aforementioned number of articles (181) in the course of studies of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki. Nonetheless, the collection of 88 documents published within the corpus of materials on medieval legislation of Japanese warrior houses under the name "Ouchi-shiOkitegaki", provides a glimpse of the most significant orders and official documents of the Ouchi Clan from late 15th through former half of the 16th century. The selection of documents incorporated in the surviving copies of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code hardly looks random. The Code of laws and rulings is a very important source of information on the Warring States period; it helps cast light upon the history of the Ouchi House.

The circumstances behind the creation of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki, as well as its creators, are unknown. Presumably, high-ranking noblemen or vassals of Ouchi Masahiro contributed to the creation of the Code, since Ouchi-shi Okitegaki comprises documents of the House, no low-ranking vassal, let alone a commoner, could have accessed.

Some Japanese scientists believe that Ouchi-shi Okitegaki may have been put together by Sagara Tadatoo, one of the most educated men within the circle of Ouchi Masahiro[29]. Presumably, he was an important figure in the kirokusho - an agency of the Ouchi Clan that kept custody of court orders and rulings and administrative enactments, within the bunko - the repository of documents on etiquette and ceremonial, as well as renga poems composed with the participation of Ouchi Masahiro. Sagara Tadatoo is the author of Tadatoo-kidiary.

Meanwhile, it is unknown whether Sagara Tadatoo or some other high-ranking official (or officials) of Ouchi Masahiro's household created the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code of his (their) own motion, or at the Daimyo's order. In other words, at present there is no clear justification for the nature of that monumental document. We do not know whether Ouchi-shi Okitegaki was a "private", or an officially approved "domain-wide/country-wide" corpus of laws and regulations.

Of 88 documents incorporated in the copies pertaining to the four versions, only one dates back to the days of the reign of Ouchi Mochiyo, 6 documents date back to the reign of Norihiro, 68 - to the reign of Masahiro, and 13 - to the reign of Yoshioki. In other words, the majority of documents incorporated in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code were created during the reign of Ouchi Masahiro (1465-1495), which, in all likelihood, was a reflection of a new, more mature phase of evolution of the Ouchi Clan Daimyos local reign system during the days of that ruler.

Documents comprised in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki can be split into at least four types: 1) kabegaki (壁書, literally "wall inscriptions" or "graffiti"); 2) hosho(奉書) type documents; 3) gechijo(下知状) orders; 4) jiki-jo(直状) messages signed by the sender personally, and 5) any other documents beyond the above classification[30].

Kabegaki, many of which have no specific addressee, end with a cliché wording: "The above are the kabegaki [wall inscriptions]"[31]. Of 88 documents comprised in the Ouchi Code presented in volume 3 of the Corpus of Materials on Medieval Japanese Legislation, 41 documents pertain to the kabegaki category; 38 of them were approved in the days of Ouchi Masahiro, 1 - in the days of Ouchi Norihiro and 1 - in the days of Yoshioki.

Kabegakiare orders written on paper, or else on wooden tabulae that were posted on walls. The practice was based upon Chinese traditions. Back in the Heian period, they posted such orders and prescriptions on the2 walls of official agencies and temples, in order to notify officials and monks on new rulings or instructions. A great number of the Muromachi Bakufu laws were presented in the kabegaki format, and then compiled in corpuses in the Shogunate agencies (e.g. mandokoro kabegaki)[32]. Kabegaki were used to publish new laws. The same purpose was served by kosatsu - tabulae with inscribed texts attached to poles.Kosatsu were placed at road crossings, markets and other crowded placed. Interestingly, many laws of the Muromachi Bakufu, including the tokuseirei order of 1441 were published both in the kabegaki and in kosatsu format[33]. Kabegaki targeted a rather small audience, primarily Bakufu administrators (bugyonin), whereas kosatsu were devised to target a greater audience, including literate commoners.

Hosho is another type of legal enactment materials comprised in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code[34] (11 out of 88 documents). Their objective was to relay in writing a verbal order or an instruction of a higher-ranking official; they were a special format of a written message put together by a high-ranking official's servants or secretaries and signed by them. The ending typical of hosho was "relayed as above as per the order"[35], which meant that the drafters of the document sent it out acting on the corresponding instructions. Upon the foundation of the first Shogunate, hosho documents became a format widely and universally used by a variety of Bakufu agencies[36].

Gechijo orders (7 out of 88 documents) are a type of warrior house documents introduced in the Kamakura period; they were still in use during the Muromachi period. An especially large number of such documents signed by top officials of the Shogunate from the Hojo clan were generated during the Kamakura period. The feature of gechijo is their ending phrase - "such is the order"[37], distinguishing them from hosho. Initially, the area of application of gechijo was quite wide, but with time, it shrank to the Bakufu court rulings. During the Muromachi period, the frequency of gechijo usewas a lot lower; the format ceased to be used during the reign of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa[38].

In some articles of the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code, the influence of the Goseibai Shikimoku Code (Kamakura period, 1232), as well as the laws passed as addenda thereto (tsuikaho) and the laws of the Ashikaga Shogunate is noticeable. A document dated 1462 is a court ruling: it sentences to exile a commoner who killed his wife's lover Ishikawa Sukegoro, a servant (roju) of Iida Oinosuke[39], one of Ouchi's vassals. It appears from the document, that the sentence was based upon art.10 of the Goseibai Shikimoku code (1232). An article in the Koryuji temple statute also includes a reference to art.40 of the Kamakura code and reproduces its fragment: monks were forbidden to solicit ranks and positions they were not entitled to without due authorization[40]. There was a reference to the "Great Law of Kyoto" (Kyoto-no taiho) in a 1484 order regulating the price of gold and silver in the Ouchi domain, which, in all likelihood, meant a law of the Muromachi Bakufu[41]. "Wall inscriptions" of 1486 forbidding the Ouchi vassals to grant zuryo and suke ranks to their servants without due authorization, include some references to the Kamakura Shogunate laws - Ninji goseibai and Kenchoshikimoku[42]. Finally, "wall inscriptions" dated 1491 effectively rendering outlaws vassals, who fell from grace with their Daimyo, are based upon an order by Hatakeyama Mochikuni, kanrei[43] of the Ashikaga Shogunate[44].

A 1462 order regulating payments of annual quitrent (nengu) in the Ouchi domain, the measure of length of hemp fabric was defined based upon "ancient regulations" (koshiki) - as per a law dating back to the 7th year of Wado (714)[45]. References to laws and regulatory enactments of the Nara period are extremely rare in the legal documents of Sengoku period.

Based upon the use of legal provisions of Bakufu in the text of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki, Omori Mihoko makes a statement that at the time of creation of the Code (i.e. circa 1495) Ouchi fell back on the authority of the Muromachi Bakufu and still maintained the power of military governors (shugo) within the system of political coordinates of the Ashikaga Shogunate[46].

However, Ouchi Norihiro rebelled against the Shogun before the Onin-Bunmei period war (1467-1477), and successfully resisted the troops of his vassals. He managed to hold the power even after dismissal from the shugo position. After that mutiny, which weakened the Bakufu, the Ouchis became even more independent. Fujii Takashi was quite right to point out that even before the Sengoku period the power of provincial lords, such as Ouchi, was not based upon the shugo jurisdiction. In addition, they could be appointed to that position[47]. The reign structure of Ouchi Norihiro and, especially, Masahiro has little in common with the shugo authority.

The overwhelming majority of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki laws and enactments dates back to the days of reign of Ouchi Masahiro - period that saw a step change in the evolution of domain power of the Ouchi clan. Issuance of laws became the most important means of domain management and ruling for the Ouchi daimyos[48]

Overall, the number of references to the laws of Shogunate in Ouchi-shi Okitegaki is limited, and quite often, new legal provisions are based upon orders of the preceding daimyos[49]. Virtually all documents within the Code are, either the orders legalized with the monogram of daimyo Ouchi himself, or the rulings drafted by his officials on his orders. Ouchi-shi Okitegaki reflect a domain management structure independent of the Shogunate. The Ouchis put it together by the end of the 15th century, after a period of violent feud and wars. Daimyo acted in the capacity of principal bearer of sovereign administrative power, legislator and judge, though the council of his vassals and high-ranking officials (hyojoshu) played an important court role too[50]. Moreover, Ouchi Masahiro never claimed absolute independence de-jure: in some orders there are indications of recognition of the Shogun's authority. In 1489, Masahiro announced amnesty across his domain, and banned the killings of living things for the sake of posthumous calming of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshihisa[51].

A legitimate question is who were the original addresses of the documents comprised in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code? The majority of the documents and enactments incorporated in the Code were generated by the domain power-holders: the Daimyos, their noblemen and officials working for the central administration office located in Yamaguchi, the capital of the domain. Some instructions or prescriptions were issued on specific occasions and addressed to particular temples or estates;hence, they are not legal provisions or enactments targeting the entire domain. It is unclear whether such specific enactments could become precedents for the domain administration upon the inclusion in Ouchi-shi Okitegaki.

For instance, a document dated 1475 defined a ferriage fee for the Saba-gawa river in the province of Suo[52]. "Wall inscriptions" dated 1475 are rules of a military post located in the Kagami-jo castle in the Province of Aki[53]. Kabegaki dated 1483 obligated the community of Akamagaseki town to provide ships for the transfer of Ouchi troops to the isle of Kyushu[54]. Hosho dated 1492 regulated the use of damaged coins in the province of Buzen[55]. "Wall inscriptions", like documents of other types, could be such orders with no universal legal application (within the domain) issued on special occasions.

With that, there are generic regulations in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code, which were laws of the entire Ouchi domain. For instance, a hosho document dating back to 1461 introduced time frames for the deliveries of court subpoenas from the city of Yamaguchi, as well as response consent documents returned to the capital from different areas of the domain[56]. An order (gechijo) dated 1486 introduced certain rules and bans for the residents of Ouchi domain, in respect of their behavior on roads, during night time, attire, as well as settlement of immigrants from other areas of Japan[57]. Finally, a series of kabegakidated 1491 prescribed confiscations of land identified by the Daimyo envoys in the course of court litigations in respect of estate boundaries and classified as land that had not been duly recorded in the domain cadaster records[58].

A ban on the use of turtle meat as food for falcons can be considered another example of kabegaki[59] that were applied universally across the entire Ouchi domain[60].



Ban on feeding turtles to falcons.[61]

It is henceforth forbidden to feed turtles and snakes to falcons. [They are] true envoys of the Mount Hikami [deity].[62]Those who do not show proper respect [to them] shall not be spared an immediate divine punishment. A strict injunction is henceforth introduced [in respect of feeding turtles and snakes to falcons]. When they [feed] birds at fowl-yards[63], only poultry and game [meat] should be used. Those incapable of properly feeding their falcons are henceforth forbidden to keep them. It is henceforth ordered as follows: should a samurai break the above ban and [feed] turtles to falcons, all land enfeoffed to the samurai in question shall be confiscated, and those who have no land shall be exiled. Should it become clear that a commoner [does that], the guilty party shall be apprehended immediately, or else, depending on the circumstances, executed. The above are "wall inscriptions".

1st year of Chokyo (1487), 9th month, 4th day.



As discussed, in all likelihood, the Ouchi Code was compiled by the representatives of political and military elite. The Code includes both ad-hoc orders and laws applicable universally across the entire domain. However, it is quite possible that certain legal regulations and provisions had been communicated to general literate public prior to their inclusion in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code. First of all, this hypothesis may be true in respect of bans and prohibitions (kinzei)[64], which were written in characters and kana alphabet letters, rather than the kanbun style, which made them more comprehensible to non-privileged social groups. "Wall inscriptions" dating back to 1459 and 1487, as well as instructions dating back to 1486, introducing certain bans and prohibitions for the residents of Ouchi domain, in respect of their conduct at night, behavior on roads, as well as settlement of immigrants from other areas of Japan are examples of such documents[65].



Monogram of Tsukiyama dono[66]

Supreme bans (gokinzei).[67]

No walking on major roads at night.

No sumo competitions at road intersections.

No copulating with women on road shoulders.

No bathing in hot springs at night. However,[those who] receive hot spring treatment, as well as women and farmers, may do so.

No taking of fugitives[68]from different provinces, as well as those whose true nature is unknown, into service.

[No mimicking of]Kyoto [in wearing of] exotic garments.

Caution should be used, when hiring residents of other provinces into service.

The seven articles [recorded] above were duly approved at the last Council seating on the 20th day. Therefore, everyone across the domain, whether they are in high or low [positions], shall obey their provisions. The above are "wall inscriptions".[69]

3rd year of Choroku (1459), 5th month, 22nd day

[Order] humbly executed by

Saemon-no jo Hideaki

Uemon daibu Masayasu

Nonetheless, it is obvious that the majority of individual documents, as well as their collection, were circulated in the central management office of the domain and were, by default, accessible to a very limited number of noblemen and vassals[70]. Kawato Takashi concluded that kabegakiwere only posted in Yamaguchi, the capital of the domain, whereas hosho signed by the Ouchi Clan officials were sent out to the outskirts of the domain[71].

According to Omori Mihoko, in the Ouchi Clan enactment materials there are no names of the Ouchi Clan laws corpus, which are present in its surviving copies (okitegaki, kabegaki). That makes it doubtful that Ouchi-shi Okitegaki, as a whole, functioned in the capacity of a laws corpus[72]. At the same time, individual laws and regulations from the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code were used in that capacity - e.g. provisions of the Imahachiman shrine statute dating back to 1478, in respect of duty payable to the Daimyo in case of building an estate on the shrine's land[73].

With all due respect to the conclusions made by Omori Mihoko, it needs to be pointed out that upon the compilation, presumably in 1495, noblemen and administrators of the Ouchi House working in a variety of positions in central agencies in Yamaguchi could use Ouchi-shi Okitegaki. The absence of terms kabegaki and okitegaki in the Ouchi Clan sources does not mean that the corpus could not have been mentioned under different names. Even more so, because the initial (original) name of the document is yet to be identified.

Looking back at the administrative practice of the Ashikaga Shogunate, one should notice that "wall inscriptions" (kabegaki) were posted in its agencies, for instance in the mandokoro, or estate of the Chancellor (kanrei), i.e. in places where justice was administered and sentences were passed. That means that rulings and regulations reflected in them would be referred to as court litigation precedents, or else as material for court verdicts. A variety of Muromachi Bakufu agencies put together corpuses of kabegaki. Maegawa Yuichiro concluded that in the days of Ashikaga Shogunate kabegaki were laws closely connected with court litigation proceedings[74]. By analogy, kabegaki comprised in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code could be stored in the custody of administrative agencies in Yamaguchi and have a similar meaning. The fact that the name of a code or a laws corpus is not mentioned in legal enactment materials of the Ouchi Clan does not mean that laws and regulations comprised therein could not be used when court verdicts were passed.

In terms of topics, legal enactments comprised in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki can be categorized as follows[75]: 1) Function rules for the administration staff: principles behind operations of bugyonin officials, court functions and agencies; paper workflow (15 documents); 2) Court etiquette and ceremonial: banquettes, corteges, strolls of the Heir; ban for outsiders to tour the Daimyo palace (8 documents); 3) Regulations for vassals: rules of adoption, military service and a variety of duties (19 documents) ; 4) Court litigation: court proceedings; justice; amnesty declarations (7 documents); 5) "Virtuous Rule Orders" - tokuseirei (2 documents); 6) Economic and taxation policy (16 documents); 7) Fugitive peasants (1 document); 8) Land ownership: land confiscations, effeoffments, litigations; concealment of lands (3 documents); 9) Temples and shrines, religion policy (10 documents); 10) Ban on luxury and prodigality (2 documents); 12) Official bans in respect of conduct, attire, etc. (5 documents).

Matsuoka Hisato pointed out that, compared to other law codes, Ouchi-shi Okitegaki lacks regulations on vassal relationships - there are no provisions governing yorioya-yoriko[76]relationships, restricting the management of vassals' estates, as well as bans on unions between vassals, etc.[77]. However, the Ouchi Code provides for confiscation of land plots whose information was concealed from the Daimyo by his vassals[78]; vassals who committed serious crime would lose their enfeoffments to the Daimyo[79] . At the same time, there were clear rules in respect of adoption within the clan of vassals[80], as well as strict bans on brawls and disputes between vassals and people in the service[81]; there was a ban on sending younger sons to serve other vassals of the Ouchi Clan without due authorization[82]. As far as the yorioya-yoriko system is concerned, it was not mentioned in the Code, but it was in effect in the Ouchi domain[83], and was replicated by the Mori family later on[84].

Hence, it is hardly possible to follow in the footsteps of Matsuoka Hisato and declare the regulations on relationships between vassals and their seniors in the Ouchi Code incomplete. On the contrary, there are articles in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code emphasizing the supremacy and greatness of the Daimyo power, which are non-existent in other legal provisions of the "Warring states" period: regulations of court ceremonial and etiquette[85], bans on tours of the Daimyo palace[86], etc. The Code introduces the notion of Supreme disgrace, whose consequences would be ruinous to the disgraced vassal[87]. A vassal who fell from grace with the senior could be exiled from the domain and killed, with no punishment for the killer.

Another feature of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki is the presence of quite detailed regulations in respect of work proceedings for officials and central management agencies of the Ouchi domain, which are absent in any other code of the Sengoku period[88]. With that, the Code does indeed have very few legal provisions on the Ouchi Clan policy in respect of farmers and peasants.

In conclusion, it needs to be stressed that data and information that we have seem to be insufficient to clarify key circumstances behind the creation of the Ouchi Code. We can only make more or less substantiated assumptions in respect of the intentions of the Code's creators. However, it would be safe to declare that the Ouchi Code was not referred to as a "domestic relations code"[89].

Even if the compilation of individual legal provisions of the Ouchi family was initiated by one of high-ranking officials of the Clan, rather than by Ouchi Masahiro himself, the Code could very well have had practical application and have been used in court litigation proceedings. Nitta Ichiro pointed out that there were books of laws and orders in the Ashikaga Shogunate that were put together by individual officials (bugyonin) and used in the capacity of reference books for their activities[90]. The Japanese historian emphasizes that the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code could have been used in a similar way[91]. In that case, legal provisions incorporated in the Code could have been used as examples for the creation of new laws. If that assumption is true, the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki must not have been perceived as a single corpus of laws. In addition, if the version of the "unofficial" origin of the Code is true, it can hardly be brought into line with legal codes of other clans: Imagawa, Date, Takeda, Yuki and Rokkaku, which were duly approved by the respective Daimyos as single uniformed law codes.

That being said, the nature of laws and rescripts incorporated in the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code gives evidence against the "private" status of the corpus. It comprises orders of topmost importance issued by the Ouchi Daimyos, as well as laws governing routine and proceedings of the palace, the Daimyo and his Heir,including rules for the organization of official Daimyo banquettes and corteges, as well as rules for the discharge of functions of the Daimyo's confidant officials, etc. It is highly unlikely that Ouchi, however mighty nobleman he might be, could have dared to put together such legal compilation at his own will.

Omori Mihoko does not consider Ouchi-shi Okitegaki a corpus of laws; she points out that its introduction in the end of the Ouchi Masahiro reign was not accompanied by cardinal internal reforms, nor did it lead to a reinforcement of the domain's political system[92]. Accepting that observation, we could point out that the introduction of the OuchiCode was likely one of the signs of completion of formation of the Ouchi family power, independent of the central government. The Code does not comprise one single legal provision of the Ashikaga Shogunate, but some orders do have evident or less evident references to the legislation of Kamakura and Muromachi Bakufu. In addition, by the end of his life journey Ouchi Masahiro managed to assure a stable situation in his domain and made the neighboring domains consider his position on a variety of matters. Under such circumstances, an introduction of a corpus of laws does look quite natural.

Along with that, Omori Mihoko proposes a thesis that the creation of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki conducted on the instructions of Ouchi Masahiro was supposed to eternalize the political accomplishments of the Daimyo. The Code was put together in order to pursue purposes similar to those of poetry collections, which Masahiro - a poetry devotee and an arts patron - edited[93].

The desire to be remembered by future generations could have been one of the motives of the Daimyo. At the same time, independent issuance of laws or law codes was quite often pursued for reasons of prestige, or else a desire to add legitimacy to the power of one's dynasty (clan)[94]. It is likely that Ouchi Masahiro had those intentions as well.

In addition, the prestige motive, probably, was secondary to a more important goal. The Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code may have been the means of assurance of power continuity and succession, as well as finalization of the rule of Ouchi family across the domain. In 1494, Ouchi Masahiro passed the power on to his son Yoshioki, who had turned 17. It appears that shortly before the death of Masahiro (9th month of 1495) they put together the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code, in order to facilitate the management of domain during the passing of power to the young Heir and, probably, reinforce his authority and stop potential internal conflicts within the Clan[95].

In this context, it is hard to ignore an analogy with the circumstances behind the introduction of Imagawa Kanamokuroku. According to the hypothesis of Owada Tetsuo, that code was put together under the supervision of the wife of Daimyo Imagawa Ujichika in 1526. At that moment Ujichika was seriously ill, and his wife Jukeini[96] took the reins of power and, later on, became a de-facto regentess of Ujiteru, her 14 year-old son. The introduction of Imagawa Kanamokuroku code may have been caused by a desire to avoid conflicts after Ujichika's death[97].

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that in all likelihood the Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code was put together at the instructions cascaded "from the top", i.e. from Ouchi Masahiro. The compilation of the legal enactment monument reflects the completion of formalization of Ouchi Daimyos de-facto independent of the Muromachi Bakufu. It is likely that the introduction of the Code was caused by Masahiro's desire to reinforce the position of Yoshioki, his young Heir. Laws comprised in the Code may well have had practical application in court litigation proceedings, though Ouchi-shi Okitegaki was not a "complete" corpus of legal enactments, unlike codes of Imagawa, Date, Takeda and Yuki. It is within the realm of possibility that the Ouchi Clan officials used orders and enactments comprised in the Code as templates or examples for the drafting of new official documents.


[1]Present territory of Hofu city in the Yamaguchi prefecture.

[2]Nihonshi daijiten (Cyclopedia of Japanese History), vol.1. Tokyo, Heibonsha, 1992, page 1008.

[3]Noguchi Yoshihiro. Bochogakukotohajime. Ouchiseisuiki-ni miruOuchi-shikodaidensho-wo kangaeru (Study of the ancient Ouchi legend in the Ouchi Sensuiki) // Yamaguchi kenritsu daigaku kokusai bunka gakubu kiyo, #3, 1997, page 37.

[4]Hereinafter, figures after the name of a shogun or daimyo refer to the respective reign dates.

[5]Years in the kanrei office - 1445-1449, 1452-1464 and 1468-1473.

[6] Arnesen P.J. The Medieval Japanese Daimyo.The Ouchi's Family Rule of Suo and Nagato. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979, p.198.

[7]Ibid.,p.199.

[8]YamadaTakashi. Chuseikokichiikikenryokuniyorubushi-noshinkakuka (Deification of bushi by local landlords during late medieval years) // Chuseishikenkyu. 2008. #33, page 64. KawaokaTsutomu. Muromachi bakufu to shugo kenryoku (the Muromachi Bakufu and the power of shugo).Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan. 2001, page 302. In the middle of 15th century, the Ouchi Daimyos had information on the revenue-generating capacity of provincial landlords (kokujin). Thedatabaseduponreportssubmittedbythekokujin, was incorporated in the non-extant cadaster records of the Ouchi Clan. Therecordswerethebasistodefinethescope of military service of the Ouchi Clan vassals. See also: Kawaoka, ibid., page 323.

[9]Sodehan kudashibumi - literally, "Effeoffment with a Crest in the Margins".The Crest (kao) was on the right side of the document. Norihiro was the first Ouchi Daimyo to issue such a document (in 1458).

[10]Kawaokapointsoutthatthegokeninstatus was defined based upon services rendered to the Ouchi Clan, as well as land enfeoffed by the Daimyo. KawaokaTsutomu. Ibid.,page 301.

[11]The temple was located upon mount Hikami near Yamaguchi city.

[12]Yamada Takashi, Ibid., page 73.

[13]Noguchi Yoshihiro, Ibid., page 27

[14]Ibid., page 28.

[15]Itoh Koji. Ouchi-shi-no kokusai tenkai.14 seikikohan - 16 seiki zenpan-no Yamaguchi chiiki to toajia sekai (Development of international relationships of the Ouchi Clan. Yamaguchi region in the latter half of 14th - former half of 16th century and the Eastern Asia world) // Yamaguchi kenritsu daigaku kokusai bunka gakubu kiyo #11, 2005, page 72

[16]Ibid., page 75

[17] Suo and Nagato were the two provinces where positions of the Ouchi Clan were the strongest. In other provinces, for instance in Aki, the position was less solid.

[18]Nihonshi Daijiten..., page 1009.

[19]Thenamingisbaseduponthe "externalnaming" (gedai) of the Nagata copy ("Regulations of the Ouchi Clan", "Recorded Regulations of the Ouchi Clan").

[20] "External naming" of the Maeda copy of the Ouchi Code is "Letter Book" (shosatsurei), external naming of the Naikaku bunko copy us "Laws of the Ouchi Clan" (Ouchi Kaho). However the latter version has a colophon naming the Code "Ouchi-ke Kabegaki" (Wall Inscriptions of the Ouchi House). Finally, the "external naming" of the Gunshoruiju copy is - "Ouchi-ke Kabegaki".Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1 (Corpus of Materials on Medieval Japanese Legislation. Warrior houses). Edited by Satoh Shin'ichi, Ikeuchi Yoshisuke and Momose Kesao. 9th edition. Tokyo. 2001, pages 411-412.

"External naming" can befoundonthetitlepageofamanuscript, whereas "internalnaming" (naidai) - directlyabovethetext. Seealso: V.Y. Klimov. TheKatohKiyomasaRules // theKyunerCollected Book: Eastern and Southeastern Asia Studies Materials. Ethnography, folklore, arts, history, archaeology, museum management studies.2008-2010. Issue #6.Saint Petersburg, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2010, page 236.

[21]Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1..., page 415.

[22]Ibid., page 416. Arnesen P.J. Op.cit., p.205.

[23]Kawato Takashi. Sengoku-ki Ouchi-shi no ishi dentate shisutemu (Order Communication System in the Ouchi Clan during the Sengoku Period) // Nihon rekishi, 2007, # 10, # 713, page 55.

[24]Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1..., page 416.

[25]Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1 (Corpus of Materials on Medieval Japanese Legislation. Warrior houses). Edited by Satoh Shin'ichi, Ikeuchi Yoshisuke and Momose Kesao. Tokyo. 1965. Text of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki - Ibid., pages 35-113.

[26] The Nagata-bon version copies are lengthier than the Maeda-bon and Nakakubunko-bon versions, which are closer to the protograph. See also: Omori Mihoko. Ouchi-shi okitegaki-no jittai wo megutte (The Essence of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki - Issue Revisited) // Hisutoria, # 108, September 1985, page 44. The article by Omori Mihoko criticizes the publication of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki conducted under the editorship of Satoh Shin'ichi, Ikeuchi Yoshisuke and Momose Kesao. Without any prejudice to the great scientific significance of the work conducted by the authors of Corpus of Materials on Medieval Japanese Legislation, I attempted to further elaborate some of Omori Mihoko's comments.

[27]Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1..., page 35.

[28]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki // Chusei hosei shiryosyu. Volume 3. Buke kaho. Part 1..., pages 47-49.

[29]Omori Mihoko, Ibid., page 60. Sagara Tadatoo signed some documents incorporated in Ouchi-shi Okitegaki with his monogram. Fordetails, refer, forinstance, tothefive-clauseinstructionsconcerning the Imahachiman shrine, as well as rules prescribed for some household agencies of the Ouchi Clan (1485). Refer to Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 49,50,62 and 63.

[30]Kawato Takashi, Ibid., page 65.

[31]Kabegaki kudan-no gotoshi, 壁書如件.

[32]Maegawa Yuichiro. Kabegaki kosatsu to Muromachi bakufu shosatsurei. Keishiki kara mita chuseiho-no kino (Kabegaki, kosatsu and letter books of the Muromachi Bakifu. Medieval legislation functions reviewed form the standpoint of format) // Shigaku zasshi, volume 104, 1995, # 1, page 3.

[33]Ibid., page 2.

[34]Kawato Takashi makes a distinction between kabegaki and hosho, whereas Matsuoka Hisato includes the "wall inscriptions" in hosho. The author deems the former approach more sensible. IntheOuchi-shiOkitegakiCode, kabegakihave distinct features, in particular absence of a specific addressee and a special set phrase ending. Matsuoka Hisato. Ouchi-ke Kabegaki // Sekai daihyakka jiten (World Encyclopedia). Edited by Katoh Shuichi. Heibonsha, 2007.Electronic edition. Kawato Takashi. Ibid., page 65.

[35]Ose ni yori shittatsu kudan no gotoshi, 仰せにより執達件の如し.

[36] Tomita Masahiro. Hosho // Sekai daihyakka...

[37]Gechi kudan no gotoshi, 下知如件.

[38] In terms of content, gechijo of that period, for the most part, were kinzei(禁制) patents. Bakufu officials (bugyo) issued such patents for temples and shrines, in order to assure their protection against pillage by troops passing by: prevent unlawful felling of tress in temple / shrine domains, etc. Another type is "traffic passes", or kasho (過所), which granted their bearers unhindered passage of turnpikes. Takahashi Masahiko. Gechijo // Sekai Daihyakka ...

[39] Ouchi-shi Okitegaki ..., page 43.

[40]Ibid. ..., page 48.

[41] Ouchi-shi Okitegaki ..., page 57.

[42]Ibid...., page 71. Order of the Kamakura Bakufu Ninji goseibai (1243) restricted the practice of appointments to court positions as well as positions in the samurai dokoro agency of the Shogunate in exchange for donations in cash or in kind. The Kencho shikimoku provision (adopted between 1249 and 1256) banned rodo (servants of warrior houses) from bearing court position ranks (kami, suke, jo and sakan). The only exception was made for rodo who got their ranks before the Oei years (1239-1240). For the texts of orders, refer to Chyusei hosei shiryoushu. Volume 1. Kamakura bakufu-ho (Corpus of Materials on Medieval Legislation. Laws of the Kamakura Bakufu). Edited by Maki Kenji. Compiled by Satoh Shin'ichi and Ikeuchi Yoshisuke. 16th edition. Tokyo. 2002 , pages 142, 210.

[43] He was kanrei in 1442-1445 and 1449-1452

[44] Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., page 92.

[45]Ibid...., page 44.

[46] Omori Mihoko, Ibid., page 59.

[47] Fujii Takashi. Muromachi-ki daimyo kenryoku-no kenkyu.Suo-no kuni Ouchi-shi no jirei toshite. Hakase gakui seikyu ronbun no yoshi (Study of the Muromachi period daimyos' power, through the examples of Ouchi Clan, Suo province. Doctoral thesis), 2009, page 6. The historian suggested such regional lords should be named "Muromachi period daimyos".

[48]Kawato Takashi, Ibid....., page 73.

[49]See, e.g. kabegakidatingbackto 1486гissuedinthedaysofOuchiMasahiro, which refers to a law passed in the days of Norihiro, his father. The law is declared valid. Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., page 71.

[50] The format of this article does not allow a detailed review of the Ouchi Clan power structure.

[51]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 85-86.

[52]Ibid....,pages 45-46.

[53]Ibid., pages 50,51. Kagami-jo castle, also known as Kagamiyama-jo castle, used to be a stronghold of the Ouchi power in the province of Aki.

[54]Ibid.,page 56.

[55]Ibid.,page 93.

[56]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 38-42.

[57]Ibid.,pages 69-70.

[58]Ibid.,page 142.

[59]Ibid.,page 82. The original text was translated by the author of this article.

[60] The above-mentioned law was introduced in 1487 for the below reason: the shrine of Myokensha, which was under the wing of the Ouchi Clan, was dedicated to bodhisattva Myoken (Myogen), whose attribute was the Polaris. HewasperceivesasbothShintoandBuddhismdeity. Quite often, the bodhisattva would be depicted upon aturtle. Atthesametime, theywoulddepictaturtlewith a snake around it together with the bodhisattva, and the turtle would be an attribute of deity Gembu - one of the four cardinal direction deities, the Lord of the North. Ashkenazi Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology. Santa Barbara. Denver. Oxford,2003. Page 220.

[61]The original text has binominal expression 鼈亀(bekki), where the first character means suppon - Japanese turtle (Amydajaponica), whereas the second one means "turtle" in general.

[62]The Hikami district (current Yamaguchi city) was the location of Koryuji, the Clan temple of the Ouchis, as well as Myokensha shrine, which was held in especially high respect by the Clan. Together, the temple and the shrine were referred to as Hikamizan (Mount Hikami).

[63]The original text has binominal expression 鳥屋(toya). Apossible,ifnotword-for-word, translation is "falcon yard".

Falconrywasthefavoriteentertainment of the Japanese noble class and military men during the Muromachi period.

[64]Formalized in the gechijo format.

[65]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 36, 69, 70 and 80.

[66]Tsukiyama dono - Ouchi Norihiro.

[67]The original text was translated by the author of this article. Ouchi-shi Okitegaki...,page 36.

[68]Fugitives -落人 (ochiudo, ochibito). According to the Kojien dictionary, the first meaning of the word is "a person defeated in a battle and gone on the run", the other meaning is "a person on the run hiding from people".

[69]Kabegaki.

[70] We have no information whatsoever in respect of any special measures to restrict access to the Ouchi Code laws. Meanwhile, duringtheTokugawaperiod, theShogunatetriedtodenyaccesstolegislative provisions, such as the Code of a Hundred Articles (Osadamegaki hyakkajo) from profanes, primarily from commoners. A. Filippov. Tokugawa's Hundred Articles Provisions of 1616 and Code of a Hundred Articles of 1742. SaintPetersburg. PublishinghouseoftheSaintPetersburgUniversity.1998, pages 69,71. Botsman Daniel V. Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan. Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2005, page 34.

[71]KawatoTakashi. Ibid.,page 73.

[72]OmoriMihoko.Ibid., page 55.

[73]Ibid., page 56. The duty provision introduced well before the compilation of Ouchi-shi Okitegaki did not apply to any shrine or temple in the domain, but just to the Imahachiman shrine and Koryuji, Ouchi's family temple. Ibid.,page 57.

[74] Maegawa Yuichiro, Ibid., pages 10 and 24.

[75] Categorization of the 88 Ouchi-shi Okitegaki laws quite often becomes difficult, because documents touch upon a number of topics simultaneously.

[76]Theyorioya-yorikorelationshipswereintroduced and sustained be the Sengoku period daimyo, in order to reinforce military organizations and vassal relationships of their domains. YorioyaisaDaimyo'svassalappointed to lead teams of smaller landlords and reach farmers (yoriko) during wartime and act in the capacity of a court litigation facilitator for them in time of peace. Therewasavastvarietyofyorioya-yorikorelationships during the Sengoku period.

[77]Matsuoka Hisato. Ouchi-ke Kabegaki // Sekai Daihyakka ...

[78]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 91 and 92.

[79]Ibid., page 108.

[80]Ibid., pages 37 and 98.

[81]Ibid., pages 99 and 110.

[82]Ibid., page 107.

[83]Kawaoka Tsutomu, Ibid., pages 295-296.

[84]Akiyama Nobutaka. Sengoku daimyo Mori-shi no kenkyu.Tokyo, Yoshikawa kobunkan. 1998, page 112.

[85]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 53-55, 61, 74, 76, 69 and 96.

[86]Ibid., pages 89, 90 and 96.

[87]Ibid., pages 83, 92 and 100.

[88]Ouchi-shi Okitegaki..., pages 52, 53, 62-69, 71, 72, 74 and 87-89.

[89]By the way, that is precisely the way they characterized the Ouchi Code in the academic treatise "History of Japan", volume 1. Moscow, the Oriental Studies Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences.1998, page 279.

[90]Hoshakai-shi. Shintaikei nihon-shi 2 (Law and Society History. New Systemic History of Japan). Edited by Mizubayashi Takeshi, Ohtsu Tohru, Nitta Ichiro and Ohto Osamu. Tokyo, Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2001, page 200.

[91]Ibid., page 220.

[92]OmoriMihoko.Ibid.,page 58.

[93]Ibid.,page 72.

[94]TheauthorwithestoextendsinceregratitudetoPh.D. ProfessorAlexanderN. Meshcheryakov, whodrewtheauthor'sattentiontotheimportanceoftheabovefactor.

[95]Our conclusions are consistent with the conclusions of Kawato Takashi, who pointed out that to the Ouchi family lawmaking became a matter of topmost importance. The Ouchi-shi Okitegaki Code was introduced during the transfer of power from Masahiro to Yoshioki; it was supposed to become a corpus of precedents for the issuance of new laws. Kawato Takashi. Ibid., page 73. The Japanese historian, however, does not refer to Yoshioki's youth or the need to assure smooth and unhindered transfer of power as reasons behind the compilation of the Ouchi Code.

[96]Owada Tetsuo, Imagawa Yoshimoto. Tokyo. Mineruba shobo. 2004, pages 47 and 48.

[97]Ibid., page 54.