29. Price of Mogami-benibana (最上紅花の値段)
Mogami-benibana was a strong cash crop and its sales was favorable to the producers and the tax of selling was a big amount of financial resource of the Shogunate and the Clan. Then, what was the price of Mogami-benibana ?
The transaction between wholesale dealers of Kyoto and producers was done by "da" (駄). Dried flowers were packed in a special-processed paper bag in the weight of 20 "monmes" (匁). Sixteen backs make one "kon" (梱) and four "kons" was called 1 "da" (駄). "Da" meant the one package to be conveyed on horse back. The weight of "da" depended on its goods.
Needless to say, price relies on demand and supply and the quality of goods. During Edo period of 260 years, the price of benibana was to be changed. Especially, benibana was much swayed by the weather.
In 1777, the price of a "da" in Yachi was 97 ryos to 105 ryos at the highest, but in 1802 the lowest was 24 ryos to 28 ryos,
However, something was on our minds that the price of Mogami benibana was 10 ryos cheaper than those of Musashi (武蔵), Shimofusa (下総), Hitachi (常陸) and Sendai (仙台). At first, Mogami's price was the highest but this proves that the quality became lower than other producers because of the indiscrete mind of the cultivators.