The Dawn of Early Modern Hakata and Hakata Merchants (Part.9)....About another wealthy merchant, Shimai Soshitsu
- Another wealthy Hakata merchant, Shimai Soshitsu (1539-1615), was active at about the same time as Kamiya Sotan, whom I have already mentioned. Like Sotan, Soshitsu also contributed greatly to the prosperity of Hakata, such as cooperating in the Taiko Machiwari planning.
- The Shimai family, while operating liquor stores and financial businesses in Hakata for generations, was also involved in the trade between Japan and Ming Dynasty Korea, which was monopolized by the Ouchi clan, as well as the trade between Japan and Korea with the Rhee clan. There is an anecdote that illustrates just how wealthy Shimai Soshitsu was.
- Shimai Soshitsu had a relationship with Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), and owned a "Narashibakatatsuki," a tea container that was said to be one of the three most famous pieces of furniture at the time. It is said that the value of the tea container was 3,000 kan of silver at the time, when 1,000 kan of silver was enough to make a person opulently rich, and that influential feudal lords in the Kyushu area often offered to sell it to him, but he refused. How surprising that a single small tea container could be worth 3,000 kan of silver!
* The photo shows Nara's famous Japanese garden, Iisuien. There is a beautiful teahouse in that garden. /