19. Nobunaga Oda Made a Present of Benibana (信長、紅花を贈る)
Benibana charmed the noble men with its beauty, but it was beyond for the common people, who were forced to bear a hard life. The history tells that the life standard was enhanced after the latter part of Muromachi period (室町時代) (the 15th～16th century). The prevalence of benibana cultivating was also increased in line with its necessity.
Now let's back the story concerning in this area, Juro Shiratori (白鳥十郎), the land lord of Yachi (谷地) , presented the excellent steed "White Lark" (白雲雀) to Nobunaga Oda, who was holding sway over this country. At that days, to present a horse meant that the presenter should be obedient to the presentee. Nobunaga was so pleased that he, in return, gave Shiratori 30 rolls of damask and so forth besides 50 kins (斤) of beni-rouge. The description are still preserved in the Makis (槙家). Damask was imported from China at that period and a kind of silk textile and other gifts were all expensive stuffs. We can easily suppose the beni is valueless things among them.
The unit of weight 1 kin (斤) is 160 monmes (匁) and 50 kins are equal to 8 kans (貫). The flower was thought dried benibanas, so 8 kans was a considerable weight. Benibana researchers say that the flower was begun to rear just at this time. Nobunaga naturally did not know the flower was already cultivating in Dewa (出羽), the remote country of northern Japan.