Chamberlain of Japan
The Grand Chamberlain of Japan (侍従 Jijū?, formerly read as omobito-machigimi) is a chief functionary of the Imperial court, and aide of the Emperor of Japan. He also keeps the Privy Seal and the State Seal and has been an official civil servant since the Meiji Period. Today the Grand Chamberlain, assisted by a Vice-Grand Chamberlain, heads the Board of the Chamberlains, the division of the Imperial Household Agency responsible for organising the daily life and schedule of the Emperor. In old Japanese, the Chamberlain was also known as Maetsukimi (公卿?).
According to Taihō Code around the 8th century, it was presupposed that a chamberlain belonged to the Ministry of the Center. When the kurōdodokoro (蔵人所?) was installed during the Heian era, the Chamberlain's role was quickly reduced, limited to matters of courtesy. In 1869, the Chamberlain was brought within the Imperial Household Ministry. The position of Grand Chamberlain of Japan was placed within the merit system in 1871, and three people—Tokudaiji Sanetsune, Kawase Masataka, and Higashikuze Michitomi—were appointed. According to the Imperial Household Ministry regulations, the Grand Chamberlain supervises chamberlains who closely attend the appointed person, reports to that person and announces their orders.
After World War II, the Chamberlains were organized into the Board of the Chamberlains, within the Imperial Household Agency, through the temporary Imperial Household office (宮内府 kunaifu?). After passage of the National Public Service Law (Shōwa 22 Law No. 120), the chamberlain became a special service national public servant. Although distinctions between first-class officials, second class officials, and so forth continued, the class publication to an appointment document would no longer be carried out after the 2001 Central Government Reform. The grand chamberlain's job is that of an attestation official, and his appointment and dismissal are at the discretion of the Emperor.
The Crown Prince of Japan is also served by a Chamberlain. This official is called East Palace Chamberlain (東宮侍従 Tōgū-jijū?) in Japanese because the Crown Prince lives in the East Palace (東宮 Tōgū?, and the Crown Prince was also called Tōgū). The Chief Chamberlain to the Crown Prince is the head of the Crown Prince's Household.
List of Grand Chamberlains of Japan
(After Meiji Period)
- Tokudaiji Sanetsune (徳大寺実則), 1871–77
- Kawase Masataka (河瀬真孝), 1871–73
- Higasikuze Michitomi (東久世通禧), 1871–77
- Yamaguchi Tadasada (山口正定), 1878–84
- Yoneda Torao (米田虎雄), 1878–84
- Tokudaiji Sanetsune (徳大寺実則), 1884–12
- Hatano Norinao (波多野敬直), 1912
- Katsura Tarō (桂太郎), 1912
- Takatsukasa Hiromichi (鷹司煕通), 1912–18
- Ogimachi Sanemasa (正親町実正), 1919–22
- Tokugawa Satotaka (徳川達孝), 1922–27
- Chinda Sutemi (珍田捨巳), 1927–1929
- Suzuki Kantarō (鈴木貫太郎), 1929–36
- Hyakutake Saburō (百武三郎), 1936–44
- Fujita Hisanori (藤田尚徳), 1944–47
(After enforcing Constitution of Japan by the end of the WWII)
- Ōgane Masujirō (大金益次郎), 1947–48
- Mitani Takanobu (三谷隆信), 1948–65
- Inada Syūichi (稲田周一), 1965–69
- Irie Sukemasa (入江相政), 1969–85
- Tokugawa Yoshihiro (徳川義寛), 1985–88
- Yamamoto Satoru (山本悟), 1988–96
- Watanabe Makoto (渡邉允, 12 December 1996–2007
- Kawashima Yutaka (川島裕), 2007–
- Organization and Functions of the Imperial Household Agency, official site of the Imperial Household Agency
- written "The second class is appointed". Details: Refer to ja:認証官