During the Tokugawa shogunate it was composed of the Rōjū (Elders), the highest officials in the shogunate government, and a number of Commissioners called Bugyō, who headed certain executive departments. The role of the Council was partially executive, and partially judicial, and they served from a Council Chamber within Edo Castle.
Unlike many modern governmental councils or organizations, the Hyōjōsho members had other responsibilities and powers, outside of being members of the Council. In addition to the Rōjū, the members of the Hyōjōsho were the Machi-bugyō (City Commissioners), Jisha-Bugyō (Commissioners of Shrines and Temples), Kanjō-Bugyō (Finance Commissioners), and the Ō-Metsuke (Chief Inspectors).
- Sansom, George (1963). "A History of Japan: 1615-1867." Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.