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Home » 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices » Shrine Economics
Jōchi rei
An edict issued by the Council of State in the first month of 1871, confiscating all shrine and temple lands except for the keidaichi. When the daimyōs (local feudal lords) returned their domains and the people living in them to the emperor in 1869, the Meiji government began a wide-ranging reform of the feudal landholding system. This reform also extended to the landholdings of temples and shrines. Had such reforms not been applied also in the case of temples and shrines, inequality would have arisen. In accordance with the edict, shrines gave up shuinchi, kokuinchi, and untaxed lands producing in excess of two-hundred thousand koku. This was a severe blow to the livelihood of priests (shinshoku) and shrine economics. To offset this loss arising from the Jōchi rei, the government agreed to support national and imperial shrines (kankoku heisha) from public funds for a period of ten years. Nevertheless, it was not feasible for shrine economies to recover from so large a shock as the Jōchi rei so quickly. The result is that for many shrines the size of their precincts now can scarcely be compared with their extent during the Edo period.

— Sakamoto Koremaru
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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