August 8, 2022

Kanpaku is a government post that assists the adult emperor. He was a ryokan, and was in fact the highest rank of court nobles. His honorific title is His Highness.


Unlike the regent, in which the emperor is young or infirm and takes over the prerogative, the Kanpaku is in a position to assist the emperor when he is an adult, and the final decision-maker is the emperor. Therefore, regardless of whether the emperor or the chancellor takes the initiative, it is fundamental that the emperor and the chancellor carry out government affairs while reaching an agreement through consultations. In most cases, the regent continues to be Kanpaku. In light of this position, it is customary for Regent Kanpaku not to participate in meetings of Daijokan (or not to participate in decisions), except when the Emperor is present. When he concurrently served as Regent and Kanpaku, the second-ranked minister took charge of government affairs as the chief minister (Ichijo) of the Dajokan. However, Kanpaku has the authority to conduct private inspections (to be described later), and when the Emperor and Dajokan conduct political exchanges, the Kanpaku grasps and participates in advance the contents of the exchanges, thereby always grasping information on national affairs. However, they had the authority to control both the Emperor and Daijokan without directly infringing on the authority of the Emperor's imperial orders and imperial responses. This is called regency politics.


The word Kanpaku comes from a historical fact that Emperor Xuan of the Former Han dynasty in China had Huo Guang, a powerful person, ``pass away'' for all performances. It is said that this was done in order to prevent Emperor Xuan, who feared Huo Guang's power, from being dethroned by Huo Guang on the pretext of misbehavior of government affairs (one of the Kanpaku's aliases, ``Bolu'', means that Huoguang was Marquis of Bolu. derived from what happened). In addition, the former Kanpaku, who handed over the position of Kanpaku to his children, was called Taiko in his Chinese name, and when Taiko entered the priesthood, he was called Zenjo (abbreviation of Zenjo Taiko). However, ironically, in 887, Emperor Uda ordered TACHIBANA no Hirosuke to write an imperial edict to appoint FUJIWARA no Mototsune as Kanpaku, and over the meaning of the word 'Ahira,' Mototsune was at odds with the emperor in political affairs. There has been an incident of temporary refusal to participate in the (Ahei Incident).


Origin of Kanpaku

FUJIWARA no Mototsune was the first to be appointed Kanpaku. However, there are three main theories about when he took office. November 8, 880 (December 13, 880) of Emperor Yozei ... This is a theory adopted by "Kugyo Hashii" (Kugyo Hoshino), and it is said that he became Kanpaku at the same time as Emperor Yozei came of age. Many books adopt this description as it is, because "Kugyo Assistance" is the basic material on the career of kugyo. However, although the official history ('Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku') was being compiled by the state at that time, it is unnatural that there is no article about the appointment of Kanpaku on that date, and that when the emperor comes of age, it is unnatural. It is believed that the custom of becoming Kanpaku was established 60 years later, when Emperor Suzaku came of age, when Fujiwara Tadahira came of age. It is an addition, and it is not a fact.” June 5, 884 (July 1, 884) by Emperor Koko On this day, the emperor issued an imperial edict delegating state affairs to Mototsune, which later became the starting point for imperial edicts when appointing Kanpaku. Since Rizo TAKEUCHI, this theory has been supported by many researchers of the history of the Heian period. The imperial edict at this time is described in "Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku," but this edict is not mentioned in "Kugyo Houin." Emperor Uda's November 21, Ninna 3rd year (December 9, 887)...This is the etymology of "kanpaku".