Board of Chamberlains

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The Board of Chamberlains (侍従職, Jijū-shoku) is a department of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan.


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 was placed within the merit system in 1871, and three people—Tokudaiji Sanetsune, Masataka Kawase, and Higashikuze Michitomi—were appointed. According to the Imperial Household Ministry regulations,[1] 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.[2]


The Grand Chamberlain (侍従, Jijū) 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 Grand Chamberlain's job is that of an attestation official, and his appointment and dismissal are at the discretion of the Emperor.

Crown Prince[edit]

The Crown Prince of Japan is also served by a chamberlain; this official is called East Palace Chamberlain (東宮侍従, Tōgū-jijū) because the Crown Prince lives in the Tōgū Palace ("East Palace"). The Grand Master is the head of the Board of the Crown Prince's Household.[3]

Grand Chamberlains[edit]

Prince Katsura Tarō, Grand Chamberlain 1912
Baron Suzuki Kantarō, Grand Chamberlain 1929–36

This is a list of grand chamberlains after the Meiji period:

After enforcement of the Constitution of Japan by the end of World War II:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 「侍従長ハ親任又ハ勅任トス常侍奉仕シ侍従職ヲ統轄シ便宜事ヲ奏シ旨ヲ宣ス」・「侍従ハ……奏任トス側近ノ事ヲ分掌ス」
  2. ^ written "The second class is appointed". Details: Refer to ja:認証官
  3. ^ "Organization and Functions of the Imperial Household Agency - The Imperial Household Agency". Retrieved 24 November 2018.

External links[edit]