・Benibana Production and Cultural Exchange(紅花生産と文化交流)
34. Kahoku Town - Town of Safflower (紅花のまち河北町)
When Kahoku Town decided benibana a Town Flower, the phrase of "Benibana Country - Kahoku" came from the historic fact that Mogami-benibana was once collected and distributed here since the middle of Edo period. This Town had the old documents to show that the "beni" production during Tensho period (天正年間 1573-92) . And other two periods - Kansei period (寛政年間 1789-1801) and Ansei period (安政年間 1854-60)- Murayama area occupied the half of the whole production of Japan.
Benibana was transported from China and gradually its cultivation areas were spread to Tohoku of deep snowy districts.
The northern limit of its cultivation was the south of Iwate Prefecture, but the reason of its prosperity in such a cold land comes from the adaptability of the land, and its industry was closely connected with benibana's cost crop.
There lived more than twenty of benibana dealers in Kahoku at its highest and twenty-five to thirty "Mebayas" and "Sanbes" were counted here. Kahoku Town was the second largest collecting spot next to Yamagata City.