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Idea and trade method of Ohmi merchant

Birthplace of Ohmi merchant,
who put his dreams on carrying pole and strove for trade,
is Higashiohmi.
Ohmi merchant is a general term for teader, who made Ohmi his principal residence,
and headed to other provinces for peddling.
These traders appeared especially from Ohmihachiman, Hino and Gokasho.
Most of traders companies Ohmi traders established during the years feom last years
of Edo period to Meiji period, are still doing active trading this day.

"Sanpouyoshi"

For doing business in other provinces, opening a shop at foreign land was Ohmi merchant!s duty.
For that reason, gaining trust of people at destination, was most important.
That knowledge is called "Sanpouyoshi", meaning good buyer, good seller, good society.
Original meaning of "Sanpouyoshi", emphasized meaning that business was not important only to parties concerned,
but it should become for sake of society.
This was originally written in letters of Jihie Nakamura.
Ohmi merchants did business in distant provinces, and instead of being rejected as outsider,
they were welcomed warmly.

"Shimatsushitekibaru"

This word describes mental attitude common for Ohmi merchant.
It means economizing; futility is kept at minimum, everyday life's expenses are cut dwon,
working industriously, are increasing income.
Word "Shimatsu" means that it is important not only save money, but make the best use of goods.
"Kibaru" is familiar to greeting usual for Ohmi area "Okibariyasu", which is used both intimate and formal relations.
Ohmi merchant's nature is represented by this single word.

Honesty and trust

Regardless of era, trust is considered as most important facter in business by merchants.
Source of this trust, is honesty.
In book, called "Kokoroesho" written by Yozaemonke Sotomura, is written that honesty is path of humanity,
and those who understand this while young, they will succeed in life.

"Intoku-zenji"

Even without other people knowing about it, good deeds done will be revealed to society before long.
As a part of contributing to society, Ohmi merchants gave donations frequentky,
mainly supporting forget conversation, flood control, road repairs,
relief for poor people, temples, and school education.
In 1818, with laed of Shojiuemon Nakai, repair of bridge located in Seta, called Karahashi, was finished.
He himself, worked as control and supervisor of construction work, which required 1000 ryou.
After finishing the bredge, in order to gain wealth, he gave the goverment 2000 ryou as charity.

Characteristics of Ohmi merchant

Hachiman
merchant

Time years of Activity started

First years of Edo period

Main goods

A mosquito net, facing of tatami mats, Hemp cloths, rosaries, wicks of a lamps, candles, folding fans

Trading area

Three capitals (Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto), Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chugoku, Kyushu

Special features

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During the years from 1615 to 1624 shops were opend extremely fast in Edo

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"Hachiman no daiten" large-sized store management.

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"Hokkaido koueki"(a group called as "Ryouhamagumi" was made between merchants originating from Yanagawa and Satsuma)

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Before national isolation, trading was expanded to Vietnam, Thailand and other countries nearby.

Hino
merchant

Time years of Activity started

The middle of the Edo period

Main goods

Hino bowls, lacquerwares, medicines, smoking pipe, Hinokire(textile)

Trading area

Shops were mainly concentrated in Kanto region and Osaka, along the area of Edo-Kyoto highway called "Tokaido".

Special features

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"Hino no senryouten" had numerous small scale stores

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Three capitals, as other big cities were avoided, and instead, rural areas wre mainly the tradeing regions of merchants.

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Merchant's attendant association "o-toban chuugen" was made.

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Making Kantou region as main palce for business, alcoholm soy sauce and other products of brewing industry, were briskly managed.

Gokasho
merchant

Time years of Activity started

The late Edo period

Main goods

Kimono fabric, cotton fabrics, braided hats, hemp cloths
(Takamiya cloths and Yasu bleached cottons)

Trading area

Three capitals (Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto), Kanto, Shinano, Ou, Kinai, Kyushu

Special features

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As merchants wanted to stay in good terms with people of vallage, they often offered work during the winters to farmers, who then went to trade, as side business to their farms.

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13 stores, established during Edo-period, wre still after Meiji period, wanted to expand their trading to foregin lands.

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Merchants, who did active business even after Meiji period, wanted to expand their trading to foregin lands.

 

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