The ''Kugyo'' were a High-ranking, Aristocratic Class which existed in Medieval Japan from the 12th Century AD. They would continue into the mid-19th Century (in a form). The Kugyo were some of the few Lords allowed direct contact with The Emperor. In European terms, The Kugyo would akin to a Chancellor or Minister of State. Their were two Groups of Kugyo. The ''Ko'' (Chancellor and His Assistants (Ministers) – and The ''Kei'' (Major Counsellor and His Minor Assistants).