In the Edo era, lighter which carried a large quantity of products at a time developed with the development of economy, and many supplies gathered to Osaka (Osaka) who was the center of economy. Called cargo boat which bound Edo and the upper part said to have had world's best population together with wicker-fenced cargo boat, barrel carrier, and cargo-vessel for the northern districts which played an active part in the Sea of Japan side again was called "goods-carrying merchant ship" from people of Setouchi and Osaka in those days. It is said to be when it came to be greatly called "in front of north" by words for land of the San-in district later including the Sea of Japan.
In the early period of Edo era, merchant from Omi carried trade product that was dripped by merchant and reason, Ezo place reclamation that entered Ezo place at the inland first to Kyoto and Osaka. People of Hokuriku were employed as boatman and seaman at first, but they begin to gradually show business talent as voyage is left and experiences product buying and selling. And we stocked product of each place and came to sell from Osaka to Ezo place and gave big profit from Ezo place to Osaka by oneself.
Route changed by area and the times, but shipowners of Hashidate, Kaga loaded suburban products such as Osaka, Kyoto, Setouchi from the late Tokugawa period to the Meiji era and left from the Sea of Japan for Ezo place. It was fully loaded with refuse, manure of herring and sardine in Ezo place and called at a port of Osaka and returned to Hashidate of home town on foot. Goods-carrying merchant ship played a big role for living environment improvement of Japanese batter, meal, house in addition to daily necessities by carrying high-quality articles such as hina dolls and various culture.
Benefit of master of goods-carrying merchant ship was said to be approximately 1,000 cars by one ship in last years of Edo era. How much thing is this if we compare with other occupations? Goods-carrying merchant ship main owner seven flat (Segoshicho) was 26,500 yen for yearly income 326 yen, famous doctor 800 yen, famous mercer 400 yen in the best income earners of hot-spring hotel, and, according to the report income investigation by (1898) Ishikawa, the top, Nishide grandchild Court Security Office (Hashidate-cho) were high income as 2,440 yen, Sakedani length flat (Hashidate-cho) were 2,230 yen, and 3,239 yen, Kubo Hikobee (Hashidate-cho) were incomparable with other occupations in 1898.
2,044 (annual profit) = 60 (downbound profit) +2,181 (upbound profit) -197 (ship trivial routine duties)
It is profit of approximately 200 million yen at one voyage
※When exchanging fief at the time in current average price
As for "the goods-carrying merchant ship, courage and boatmen more than angry waves of the Sea of Japan with seamanship had enormous wealth in their hand"
If ship at the time did not have operation to know break in the weather, and even sailor who had expert operation technology met storm, All is finished was always adjoining with danger. We were usually doing "ship votive tablet" and various gifts including "ship model" in Shinto shrine which was holy in God. This time with many sea disasters, sailors pray before departure in Shinto shrine, and they are one which they are prepared for it and started on of the last parting every time saying "say hello afterward if there is mistake".
At the Sea of Japan coast, port town taking mountain in a part of the scenery is thought to be points. Alley abreast of port runs everywhere there, and very large merchant's family and magnificent shipowner mansion are built in just what. In addition, votive tablet and model of dedicated ship are left in shrines and temples, and festival with the origin is carried out for distant place including Kyoto, and similar folk song of intonation is sung. These port towns produce enormous wealth across angry waves as moving general trading firm and cannot help still attracting people as different space that repeats time at port of call, shipowner village of goods-carrying merchant ship which brought prosperity in each place, and was colored.
This story was authorized by cooperation of 11 municipalities of Hakodate-shi, Matsumae-cho, Ajigasawa-machi, Fukaura-machi, Akita-shi, Sakata-shi, Niigata-shi, Nagaoka-shi, Tsuruga-shi, Minami-Echizen-cho and Kaga-shi.
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