- 東洋学報 = The Toyo Gakuho (ISSN:03869067)
- vol.96, no.4, pp.31-65, 2015-03
After the fall of the Northern Wei Dynasty in 534, the Western Wei and subsequent Northern Zhou Dynasties abolished the current bureaucratic system in favor of the six ministries system (Liuguan-Zhi 六官制) originally laid out in the Zhouli 周礼.However, even today there are many things we do not know about this system, although in recent years research comparing the Liuguan and Sui Dynasty bureaucracies has progressed. Unfortunately, our insufficient knowledge about the former has posed a hindrance to such comparative research.Moreover, in order to improve our understanding about the political history of the Northern Zhou Dynasty, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between the Liuguan system and the Bafu 覇府, the military headquarters from which Yuwen Tai, Yuwen Hu and Yang Jian (founder of the Sui Dynasty) wielded actual power.Although research is progressing on the institutions close to the emperor, like the Neishi 内史(governor of the capital) and Yuzheng 御正 (chancellors of the imperial household), during the first half of the Dynasty’s reign, these posts did not form the core of governance, due to the hegemony of Yuwen Hu. In order to contribute to the growing research, the present article takes up the Imperial Ministry’s (Tianguan天官) post of Sihui Zhongdaifu 司会中大夫, who during the era of Yuwen Hu acted as his assistant in coordinating the affairs of the Liuguan ministries.The research to date had understood Sihui as the minister of fiscal affairs and its control over the Liuguan System was thought to have been a temporaryone. On the other hand, Jiao Peimin 焦培民, identifies the Northern Zhou Sihui as performing the same duties as the head of the Executive Branch (Shangshu-Sheng 尚書省) of the Northern Wei’s three ministry system; however, since the Northern Zhou purposefully dismantled that ministry, it is difficult to conceive of the Sihui performing the same function.Instead, the purpose of this article is to analyze the functions of and appointees to the post of Sihui, in an attempt to clarify the relationship between the Northern Zhou’s Liuguan system and the Bafu.Based on the main text of the Zhouli and commentaries on it written by Zheng Xuan 鄭玄 during the last decades of the Later Han Dynasty, the author concludes that while the Northern Zhou Sihui was an appointment similar in function to the head of the former Shengshu Ministry, his authority was much diminished compared to his Northern Wei counterpart and consisted of coordinating proposals submitted by the Liuguan bureaus and reporting back the policy decisions made concerning them.Nevertheless, the post of Sihui was indispensable to the maintenance of the regime, ensuring the smooth functioning of government.For this reason, the Sihui was also appointed by the Yuwens and Yang Jian as a trusted member of the Bafu general staff and put in charge of administrative affairs, clearly showing an intimate relationship between the Liuguan system and the Bafu, as well as revealing one important characteristic of the Northern Zhou Dynasty’s bureaucratic structure.