The Nine Courts and Five Directorates (jiusi wujian 九寺五監) were agencies of the central government of China throughout imperial times.
The Nine Courts were headed by chamberlains or chief ministers (qing 卿, see Nine Chamberlains), one or more vice ministers (shaoqing 少卿), and assistant ministers (cheng 丞) and were subordinated to the Imperial Secretariat (shangshusheng 尚書省) for most of the time.
|太常寺||taichangsi||Court of Imperial Sacrifices|
|光祿寺||guanglusi||Court of Imperial Entertainments|
|衛尉寺||weiweisi||Court of Imperial Regalia|
|宗正寺||zongzhengsi||Court of the Imperial Family|
|太僕寺||taipusi||Court of the Imperial Stud|
|大理寺||dalisi||Court of Judicial Review|
|鴻臚寺||honglusi||Court of State Ceremonial|
|司農寺||sinongsi||Court of Imperial Granaries|
|太府寺||taifusi||Court of the imperial Treasury|
What agencies counted to the Five Directorates, changed over time. The Directorate of Waterways (dushuijian 都水監), the Directorate for Imperial Manufactories (shaofujian 少府監), and the Directorate for the Palace Buildings (jianzuojian 將作監) were always part of the group. During the Sui period 隋 (581-618), either the Directorate for Armaments (junqijian 軍器監) or the Directorate of Palace Domestic Service (changqiujian 長秋監) was included. The Sui and Tang 唐 (618-907) counted also the Directorate of Education (guozijian 國子監) to the Five Directorates. The Directorate of Armaments was part of the group during the Tang and Song 宋 (960-1279) periods, and the latter added the Directorate of Astronomy (sitianjian 司天監).
|都水監||dushuijian||Directorate of Waterways|
|少府監||shaofujian||Directorate for Imperial Manufactories|
|將作監||jiangzuojian||Directorate for Palace Buildings|
|軍器監||junqijian||Directorate for Armaments|
|(長秋監)||(Changqiujian)||(Directorate of Palace Domestic Service)|
|國子監||guozijian||Directorate of Education|
|(司天監)||(sitianjian)||(Directorate of Astronomy)|