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Home » 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices » The Emperor
Shikibushoku
(the Board of Ceremonies)
The Board of Ceremonies was created and attached to the Kunaishō in 1884, replacing the original Board of Ceremonies. The original Board was established in 1871 and responsible for rites and rituals held in the Imperial Palace, supervising audiences with foreign dignitaries, managing internal bureaucratic documents, and administering over gagaku performances. The new Board of Ceremonies was responsible for ceremonies and rites, international relations (ceremonial rites for friendly nations, audiences with foreign dignitaries, and commemorative rites for deceased foreign dignitaries), translation, gagaku, and imperial hunting. However, the shōtenbu (office of ceremonies) was renamed the shōten and split off from the Board of Ceremonies in 1939. The shikibushoku was renamed the shikiburyō in 1946; however, with the establishment of the Kunaichō in 1949, it reverted to its previous title. Under the current system, the shikubushoku is run by the chief of ceremonies (a position often held by former foreign diplomats) and two vice chiefs (one responsible for rites and rituals and the other for foreign dignitaries). The vice chief in charge of rites and rituals is also responsible for gagaku and Western-style musical performances and imperial duck hunting. The other vice chief is responsible for relations with foreign dignitaries, translation, and interpretation.

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