Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


Expansion of Shifu Kayocho in the late medieval age
—focusing on the advent of the Sa Konoefu Kayocho “Inokuma-za”—


(The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, School of Cultural and Social Studies,
Department of Japanese history)

Key words;

Shifu Kayocho, Inokuma-za, Za, Trade of fishes, festival of a Kitano Shrine, rakuichi rakuza

Previous studies on Shifu Kayocho have focused on the analyses of used items and the determination of the features of Za, and researchers have put little attention on the dynamic aspect of the inside of the organization.

Although the “Shifu Kayocho” has been recognized as a group, it was in the mid-15th century when Sa and U Konoefu Kayochos and Sa and U Hyoefu Kayochos were aggregated and started their activities under the name of “Shifu Kayocho.” In the mid-15th century, this organization conflicted with the Oshikouji clan, a leading family, over rice trading.

In this instance, their litigation option was shifted from duty desertion to status abandonment, and it is considered that the social and commercial footings of Shifu Kayocho were established. However, inside the organization, internal conflicts occurred intermittently, in 1446, 1453, 1541, and 1611. Particularly, during the internal conflict, which began at Kitano Festival in 1453, the organization divided into the emperor-side faction and the samurai-side faction, and each absorbed low-class warriors, making the conflict a large one involving several tens of thousands of people.

This paper focuses on such a series of internal conflicts, and suggests the development processes of the Shifu Kayocho organization from the late Muromachi era to the Oda- Toyotomi ages.

Especially, Sa Konoefu KayochoInokuma-za” was targeted. Legend has it that the number of fish merchants of this Za was 35, which was next to the Awazu-za in Kyoto in 1578, and this Za dispatched as many as 30 workers for Emperor Goyozei’s trip to Jurakudai in 1588.

In this way, at the end of the Muromachi era, Inokuma-za overwhelmed others in Shifu Kayocho, but the first appearance of Inokuma-za was in 1459, only 6 years after 1453, in which the entire Shifu Kayocho divided into the emperor-side faction and the samurai-side faction and a full-scale conflict broke out. We cannot conclude that the first appearance of Inokuma-za and this conflict had no relations, considering the closeness in time. The author attempted to elucidate the background of the development of Inokuma-za, by analyzing lawsuits frequently witnessed in Shifu Kayocho. In parallel, the author tried to unveil the organizational logic of Inokuma-za, discussing how this Za established its organization in its early period.

In addition, the author analyzed the reason why Inokuma-za came to operate outstanding commercial activities in Shifu Kayocho from the late Muromachi era to the modern age, from the perspective of broad distribution of commerce, and suggested the situation of commercial groups in Kyoto, using the case of Shifu Kayocho.