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Daigaku-no kami (大学頭) was a Japanese Imperial court position and the title of
the chief education expert in the rigid court hierarchy. The
Imperial Daigaku-no kami predates the Heian period; and the
court position continued to be filled continuously up through the
period. The title and position were conferred in the name of
the Emperor of
In the Edo period,
the head of the educational and bureaucrat training system for the
shogunate was also known by the honorific title Daigaku-no
kami, which effectively translates as "Head of the State
University." The title and position were conferred in the name of
Imperial court hierarchy
The Imperial court position of Daigaku-no kami
identified the chief education expert in the Imperial retinue. The
title arose during evolution of governmental reorganizations
beginning in 701. These pre-Heian period innovations are collectively
known as the ritsuryō-sei (律令制).
The position and the title ultimately came about under the
direction of Prince Osakabe, Fujiwara no
Fuhito and Awata no Mahito at the request of Emperor Mommu. Like
many other developments at the time, the title was an adaptation
derived from the governmental system of China's Tang Dynasty.
The somewhat inflexible hierarchical nature of the court
requires that the function of the Daigaku-no kami be
understood both in terms of specific functions and in terms of
those ranking above and below in the Ministry of Civil
In the Asuka
period, the Nara
period and the Heian period, the Imperial court hierarchy
encompassed a Ministry of the Civil Services (式部省, Shikibu-shō); also known as the "Ministry of
Legislative Direction and Public Instruction". This
ministry collected and maintained biographical archives of
meritorious subjects. Within
this ministry structure, the highest ranking official was the Chief
administrator of the ministry of civil services (式部卿, Shikibu-kyō);
also known as Chief minister of public instruction. This office is
ordinarily filled by a son or close relative of the emperor.
There were seven judges who directly assisted this minister.
Ranking just below these judges were educational
- Chief Education expert (大学頭, Daigaku-no kami).
- Chief experts on the history of Japan and China (紀伝博士, Kiden hakase).
- Chief experts on classical Chinese works (明経博士, Myōgyō hakase).
- Chief experts on jurisprudence of Japan and China (明法博士, Myōbō hakase).
- Chief experts on mathematics (算博士, San hakase).
- Chief calligrapher of the court (文章博士, Monjō hakase). There would have been many copyist
calligraphers working under the direction of the chief
- First Assistant to the chief calligrapher of the court (助教, Jokyō).
- Instructors of Japanese and Chinese literature (直講, Chok'kō) -- two positions.
- Instructors in pronunciation of words (音博士, On hakase) -- two positions.
- Instructors in calligraphy (書博士, Sho hakase) -- two positions.
In the Edo period,
this title identifies the head of the chief educational institution
of the Tokugawa state. It was conferred by the shogun in 1691 when
the Neo-Confucian academy moved to land provided by the shogunate.
In the years which followed, this academic title became hereditary
for the ten descendants of Hayashi Hōkō who were sequential heads of
Seidō. The 10
rectors of the institution who were each identified by the title
- 1st rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi
Hōkō (1644-1732), formerly Hayashi Nobuhatsu (son of
- 2nd rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi
- 3rd rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Hōkoku
- 4th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Hōtan
- 5th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Kimpō
(1767-1793), also known as Hayashi Kanjun or Hayashi Nobutaka
- 6th rector and 8th Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Jussai
(1768-1841), formerly Matsudaira Norihira, 3rd son of Iwamura
daimyo Matsudaira Norimori -- Norihira was adopted into Hayashi
family when Kimpō/Kanjun died childless; explained shogunate
foreign policy to Emperor Kōkaku in 1804., also
known as Hayashi Jitsusai
and Hayashi Kō.
- 7th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Teiu
- 8th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Sōkan
- 9th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Fukusai (1800-1859), also known as
chief Japanese negotiator for the Treaty of
- 10th rector (and Daigaku-no-kami): Hayashi Gakusai
(1833-1906), formerly Hayashi Noboru, head of the academy in
The rector of the Yushima Seidō stood at the apex of
the country-wide educational and training system which was created
and maintained with the personal involvement of successive shoguns.
The position as rector of the Yushima Seidō became
hereditary in the Hayashi family. The
rectors' scholarly reputation was burnished by publication in 1657
of the 7 volumes of Survey of the Sovereigns of Japan
Ōdai Ichiran) and
by the publication in 1670 of the 310 volumes of The
Comprehensive History of Japan (本朝通鑑 Honchō-tsugan).
In the course of the Meiji
restoration, this Imperial title was abolished; but its
position within the ambit of a reorganized government structure
would be developed further in the Meiji period
Ministry of Civil
Ury, Marian. (1999). "Chinese Learning and Intellectual Life,"
The Cambridge history of Japan: Heian Japan, p. 361.
- ^ Varley, H. Paul , ed.
(1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 272.
- ^ Titsingh,
Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp.
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Titsingh, p. 428.
Kelly, Boyd. (1999). Encyclopedia of
Historians and Historical Writing, Vol. 1, p. 522; De
Bary, William et al. (2005). Sources of Japanese
Tradition, Vol. 2, p. 69.
- ^ De Bary, p. 443.
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Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). Japan
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Jinmu, p. 218 n14; N.b., Brownlee mis-identifies Nihon
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1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-82115-X (cloth) ISBN 0-521-529918-2 (paper)
- De Bary, William Theodore, Carol Gluck, Arthur E. Tiedemann. (2005).
Sources of Japanese Tradition, Vol. 2. New York: Columbia University Press.
10-ISBN 023112984X/13-ISBN 9780231129848; OCLC 255020415
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Historical Writing, Vol. 1. London: Taylor
& Francis. 10-ISBN 1-884-96433-8/13-ISBN
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Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
10-ISBN 0-674-01753-6; 13-ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
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History of Japan to 1334. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
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History. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
10-ISBN 0-804-70952-1; 13-ISBN 978-0-804-70952-1 (cloth) 10-ISBN
0-804-70954-8; 13-ISBN 978-0-804-70954-5 (paper)
Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh
and Japan, 1779-1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon.
Isaac. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652], Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du
Japon. Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great
Britain and Ireland.
- Ury, Marian. (1999). "Chinese Learning and Intellectual Life,"
The Cambridge history of Japan: Heian Japan. Vol. II.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10-ISBN 0-521-22353-9; 13-ISBN 978-0-521-22353-9 (cloth)
- Varley, H. Paul , ed. (1980). [ Kitabatake Chikafusa, 1359],
Jinnō Shōtōki ("A Chronicle of Gods and
Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa" translated by H.
Paul Varley). New York: Columbia University Press.