2017 Volume 52 Issue 2 Pages 169-174
A wooden license engraved with the characters Saiyakuka, signifying the use of medicinal herbs, was found at the Iwami-Ginzan Silver Mine in Omori Town, Shimane Prefecture. It was registered as industrial heritage of world heritage in 2007. The license was appropriated by a magistrate’s office for the purpose of allowing residents in the area to collect the medicinal herbs that grew wild and in abundance at the foot of Mt. Sanbe. Its contents shows that the magistrate’s office supported the needy circumstances of residents, whose livelihood was selling medicinal herbs it to medicinal wholesale dealers of Osaka. The chief administrator, Masunosuke Yashiro, confirmed the license following an investigation and entrusted management of the business management to Koun Nakamura, a botanist. There is no record regarding the results, but the wooden license is specific evidence, and is worthy of attention as a document that details arrangements were made at that time. Regional cultivation focusing on medicinal herbs has also been attempted various places in modern times, but this find seems to present a pioneering project as a community-based cultivation project in that tangible procedures for preparation were taken.