貞享特令写 Jokyo Tokurei
A Shiogama City-designated item of Tangible Cultural Heritage. Classified under Calligraphy / Books.
The Jokyo Tokurei, meaning Special Ordinance, was a set of rules enforced by Date Tsunamura (posthumously Kozan), the fourth feudal lord of the Sendai Domain. The ordinance was issued in order to preserve the economic welfare of the Shiogama community at that time.
As a consequence of the Ofunairibori waterway being built, instant access to the community of Gamo (in modern-day Sendai) diverted commerce away from Shiogama, leaving it burdened by unexpected economic loss.
In response, the Kozan in the year Jokyo 2 (1685 CE) issued this ordinance to elevate the status of Shiogama. The ruling included a total of nine regulations which aimed to keep the Shiogama area economically relevant. Some of the implementations included an annual land tax exemption, and monetary rewards to help stimulate commerce in the area. The most significant ruling was that any boat out at sea which possessed items such as merchant luggage, fish, or lumber, were required to enter Shiogama as the only available port of entry for commerce in the Sendai Domain.
It is believed that one possible reason for issuing the ordinance was because Kozan had deep reverence for Japan’s indigenous faith, Shintoism, as well as a way for expressing gratitude for the Shiogama community. In addition, it is also believed that while Kozan became heir to lead the Sendai Domain at Age 2, the people of Shiogama Shrine took care of him until he reached the age of maturity while his elders were in charge.
While the Jokyo Tokurei were considered to be an unusual ruling in Edo Period Japan, the ordinance was a way for Kozan to give back in his own way by helping revitalize Shiogama’s economy.
Long after Kozan’s passing, residents built a monument at Toenji Temple as a way for them to express gratitude back to their feudal lord. They continued the memorial service the day before his death every year, while also working on various activities for the development of Shiogama by forming an organization called Kozan Ko.
This material is a copy of the full text of Jokyo Tokurei (Special Order) by Koike Kyokko, born in Shiogama and one of the four great painters of Sendai, dated around the year Koka 4 (1847 CE).
It was designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Shiogama City, coinciding with Kozan’s 300th anniversary.
Designated on October 1st, Heisei 30 (2018 CE).
Storage Location: Shiogama Shrine Museum, 1-1, Ichimoriyama, Shiogama City, Miyagi Pref.
Visiting Hours: Open throughout the year, opening from 08:30. Closes at different times depending on the season.