metsuke ometsuke inspector

. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

metsuke 目付 and oometsuke . Ōmetsuke 大目付 Inspector and Inspector General
soometsuke 惣目付 Sometsuke
daikansatsu 大監察 Daikansatsu "Great Inspector"
kansatsukan 監察官 Kansatsukan, Inspector General

江戶幕府大目付の研究 - Edo Bakufu ōmetsuke no kenkyū
山本英貴 Yamamoto Hideki

Metsuke worked under the supervision of the 若年寄 Wakadoshiyori.
Ometsuke worked under the supervision of the 老中 Roju.

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Metsuke (目付) were the censors or the inspectors of Tokugawa Japan. They were bakufu officials ranking somewhat lower than the bugyō. The metsuke were charged with the special duty of detecting and investigating instances of maladministration, corruption or disaffection anywhere in Japan; and particularly amongst the populace having status below the daimyō.

- - - - - Intelligence gathering
The shogunate recognized the need for some kind of internal intelligence-gathering apparatus and for some degree of covert espionage within its own ranks. It could be said that the metsuke functioned as the Shogun's intelligence agency or as internal spies, reporting to the officials in Edo on events and situations across the country.

The metsuke were charged with focusing on those ranking below daimyō-status; and their counterparts, the ōmetsuke, were responsible for supervising the activities of officials and members of the daimyō (feudal lords).

Although similarly engaged, the reporting protocols of the metsuke and ōmetsuke differed. The metsuke reported to wakadoshiyori who ranked just below the rōjū. The ōmetsuke reported directly to the four or five rōjū at the top of the shogunate bureaucracy. By design, the intelligence-gathering activities of the metsuke was intended to complement those of the ōmetsuke even though there was no official reporting relationship between the two somewhat independent groups.
There were at any given time as many as twenty-four metsuke.

- - - - - Ad hoc evolution
The bureaucracy of the Tokugawa shogunate expanded on an ad hoc basis, responding to perceived needs and changing circumstances. Sometimes one or more of the metsuke or ōmetsuke would have been selected to address a specific or even a unique problem. For example, Arao Norimasa in the period from 1852 through 1854 was charged with special duties as kaibo-gakari-metsuke.

The prefix kaibō-gakari meaning "in charge of maritime defense" was used with the titles of some bakufu officials after 1845. This term was used to designate those who bore a special responsibility for overseeing coastal waters, and by implication, for dealing with matters involving foreigners. "Kaibō-gakari-metsuke" later came to be superseded by the term gaikoku-gakari. These developments prceeded the Gaikoku bugyō system which began just prior to the negotiations which resulted in the Harris Treaty. First appointed in August 1858, the gaikoku-bugyō were bakufu officials who were charged with advising the government on foreign affairs and who were tasked with conducting negotiations with foreign diplomats both in Japan and abroad.
- - - - - In popular culture :
- - - - - List of metsuke:
Oguri Tadamasa (1859–1860).
- source : wikipedia

- - - - - List of metsuke:
. 柳生宗矩 Yagyu Munenori (1632 - 1636) . (the first one)
水野守信 Mizuno Morinobu(1632年 - 1636年)
秋山正重 Akiyama Masashige (1632年 - 1640年)
井上政重 Inoue Masashige (1632年 - 1658年)
加賀爪忠澄 Kagatsume Tadazumi(1640年 - 1650年)
- - - and many more
合原義直 Gohara Isaburo(1868年)(the last one)
- reference : Japanese wikipedia -

metsuke 目付 can also just mean a look or the looks of a person, not related to the Edo officers at all.


In March 10 / 11, 1641, there was a great fire in Oke-machi 桶町火事. More than 400 people lost their lives and 123 homes of Samurai were burned down.
The fire started in the home of a medicine maker (薬師 kusushi) named Matsuo 松尾, and spread fast in the strong wind.
The home of the Government official 大目付 Ometsuke 加賀爪忠澄 Kagatsume Tadazumi (1586 - March 11, 1641) burned down and he died in the fire.
After this fire, the Shogun Iemitsu established a fire brigade of the Daimyo, 大名火消 Daimyobikeshi.

. okechoo, okemachi、桶町 Okecho, "Bucket district" .


Asakusa Abekawachoo 阿部川町 Abekawa machi
Since 1636 a lot of government workers called "o kobito shuu" (okobito) 御小人衆 lived here, working for Metsuke office. At that time, the district did not have a special name yet. Since having no name was confusing as Edo grew, in the year 1696 it came under the directive of 細井九左衛門 Hosoi Kuzaemon, who gave it the name.
The leader of the Okobito, 川村太四郎 Kawamura Taishiro, had come from the Abekawa region of Shizuoka.
The ABE spelling changed from 安倍 to 阿部.

. Abekawa, Abe-Kawa 安倍川 / 阿部川 .


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Metsuke: Intelligence gathering

kangen no metsuke 観見の目付け

(the text of this page is the same as the wikipedia.
- source : america.pink/metsuke -


- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -

shooreisai kaji shoozoku no oometsuke

pine torch festival -
the inspector wears robes
of the fire brigade

Tr. Gabi Greve

Mihara Seigyoo 三原清暁 Mihara Seigyo

. shoorei sai 松例祭 Shoreisai, pine torch festival .
toshiya matsuri 歳夜祭(としやまつり)
hyaku taimatsu no jinji 百松明の神事 ritual of 100 pine torches
- - kigo for mid-winter - -

on the last day of the old year, leading into the new year.
The last day of the 100 day-long winter austerities of the yamabushi at Dewa sanzan in .
It was held in former times to ward off the epidemy of tsutsugamushi, scrub typhus, along the coast of Northern Japan, about 1300 years ago.
The epidemy demons were driven out with large pine torches.


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. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

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