Ministry of Revenue (imperial China)

The Ministry or Board of Revenue was one of the Six Ministries under the Department of State Affairs in imperial China.

Ministry of Revenue
Literal meaningGoing Over Expenses
Literal meaningMinistry of People
Census Ministry
Traditional Chinese戶部
Simplified Chinese户部
Literal meaningHousehold(s) Ministry
Census Ministry
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᠪᠣᡳᡤᠣᠨ ᡳ ᠵᡠᡵᡤᠠᠨ
Möllendorffboigon i jurgan


The term "Ministry" or "Board of Revenue" is an English gloss of the department's purview. It is also similarly translated as the Finance Ministry or Board of Finance. In Chinese, the various names of the department never referred to the government's monetary income. Instead, prior to the Sui dynasty, it was known as the Dùzhī from its role in overseeing government expenses. Under the Sui, it was known as the "Ministry of People" (Mínbù) from its role overseeing the census and its associated taxation. From the Tang to the Qing, it was known as the "Households Department" (Hùbù), again from its role in overseeing a census reckoned in households and its associated taxation.

Administrative levelEdit


Charles O. Hucker wrote that the Ministry of Revenue was "in general charge of population and land censures, assessment and collection of taxes, and storage and distribution of government revenues." The ministry was usually divided into specialized bureaus:

Each bureau was headed by a director (郎中). The ministry was headed by a minister (尚書).

See alsoEdit




  • Hucker, Charles O. (1985). A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. Stanford University Press. p. 258.
  • "Ministry (Board) of Finance," H.S. Brunnert, V.V. Hagelstrom Present Day Political Organization of China (1912: reprinted: Routledge, 2012), pp. 119–121.