Daijō-daijin or Dajō-daijin (太政大臣, Chancellor of the
Realm) was the head of the
Daijō-kan (Department of State) in Heian
Japan and briefly under the Meiji Constitution. Equivalent to the
Chinese Taishi (太師) (Grand Preceptor).
3 List of the Chancellors of the Realm
4 See also
Emperor Tenji's favorite son, Prince Ōtomo, was the first to have
been accorded the title of
Daijō-daijin during the reign of his
Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial
appearance of the Daijō Daijin in the context of a central
administrative body composed of the three ministers: the Daijō Daijin
Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), and the Udaijin
(Minister of the Right). These positions were consolidated under the
Code of Taihō
Code of Taihō in 702.
As the Fujiwara clan—which dominated the regency—gained influence,
the official government offices diminished in power. By the 10th
century, chancellors had no power to speak of unless they were
simultaneously regent, or otherwise supported by the Fujiwara.
Although the position continued in name until 1885, by the beginning
of the 12th century, the office was essentially powerless, and was
often vacant for lengthy periods. Substantial administrative power
over the government was in other hands.
This prominent office was briefly resurrected under the Meiji
Constitution with the appointment of
Sanjō Sanetomi in 1871, before
being abolished completely in 1885 in favour of the newly created
office of Prime Minister of Japan.
The Chancellor presided over the Great Council of State, and
controlled the officers of the state, in particular the
Udaijin, as well as four great councillors and three minor
councillors. The ministers in turn controlled other elements of the
List of the Chancellors of the Realm
List of Daijō-daijin
Sesshō and Kampaku
Imperial Household Agency
^ Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited,
^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 53.
^ Hall, John Whitney et al.. (1993). The Cambridge History of Japan,
^ Dickson, Walter G. et al.. (1898). "The Eight Boards of Government"
in Japan, p. 60., p. 60, at Google Books
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Dickenson, Walter G. (1869). Japan: Being a Sketch of the History,
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(in Japanese) Ozaki, Yukio. (1955). Ozak Gakudō Zenshū. Tokyo:
Hall, John Whitney, Delmer M. Brown and Kozo Yamamura. (1993). The
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Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1959). The Imperial House of
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Sansom, George (1958). A
History of Japan
History of Japan to 1334. Stanford: Stanford
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