Medieval Hakata - Japan-Ming trade (the tally trade) (Part 4)

Medieval Hakata - Japan-Ming trade (the tally trade) (Part 4)

Medieval Hakata - Japan-Ming trade (the tally trade) (Part 4)...Exclusive trade of silver and raw silk

 


- In 1533, Kamiya Jutei succeeded in introducing a new smelting technology and realized the mass production of silver. The smelting method was a new mining and metallurgical technique imported from the continent called the "haifukiho(ash-blown method)," and the application of this method is said to have been epoch-making in increasing silver production.

 


- The development of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine,which could be called the "silver rush," and the rapid increase in silver production, greatly changed the domestic economy as well as the trade structure of East Asia. (There is a theory that Japan's silver production at that time was the largest in the world.)

 


- The dispatch of ships to Ming Dynasty China in 1539 is said to be the first case of silver being used in Japan-Ming trade. From then on, silver, not copper, became the main export product from Japan. In addition, it seems that Hakata merchants, led by the Kamiya family at that time, traded almost exclusively in Japanese silver and Chinese raw silk with the Ming Dynasty. In this way, the Kamiya family brought enormous wealth to Hakata and contributed greatly to its development.

 


*The photo shows the streets of the Omori-cho, Iwami-Ginzan Silver Mine.

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中世博多-勘合貿易(その4)…銀と生糸の独占的取引

 


- 神屋寿禎は1533年に新しい製錬技術の導入に成功し銀の大量生産を実現させました。その精錬法とは、「灰吹法」という大陸輸入の新しい採鉱冶金技術であり、この精錬法の応用で銀生産量の増産に画期的な成功を収めたといわれています。

 


- シルバーラッシュともいうべき石見銀山の開発と銀生産量の急激な増加は、国内経済はもとより東アジアの貿易構造を大きく変えました。(当時の日本の銀生産量は世界最大だったという説もあります。)

 


- 1539年の遣明船派遣は、日明貿易に銀が使用された初めての事例といわれています。それ以降の日本からの輸出品は、銅ではなく銀が主力となりました。また、当時の神屋家を代表とする博多商人の対明貿易では、日本の銀と中国の生糸のほぼ独占的取引が行われていたようです。こうして神屋一族は博多に莫大な富をもたらすとともに博多の発展に大きく貢献しました。

 


*写真は石見銀山・大森町の街並みです。