1993 年 102 巻 11 号 p. 1973-2001,2069-
In this article the author examines the trade in silk goods carried out at the market in Kiryu (桐生), Kozuke Province (present day Gunma Prefecture) during the Edo period and the monopolistic character of the silk buyers guild (kinukai-nakama 絹買仲間) there. These buyers, through their right to stand at the buying platform (kinukai-dai 絹買台) of the market, were able to exclude non-guild members from dealing directly with silk sellers and thus monopolize all the silk brought to Kiryu. Also, as middlemen, they used their connection with special customers to buy silk for wholesale houses in urban areas, and, as wholesalers, they enjoyed a monopoly in selling silk to retailers and other middlemen, thus employing two routes for reaping the fruits of their exclusive right. There were two types of guild members: those who owned shops in Kiryu and those who did not. During the nineteenth century, when the amount of silk goods dealt in the market at nearby Ashikaga (足利) began to increase, guild members without shops in Kiryu began to participate in the Ashikaga market, while dealing at Kiryu and also travelling around to silk weavers to buy directly from the point of production. The inhabitants in Kiryu, fearing a decrease in market activity there and resulting economic decline of the whole town, opposed these activities carried out by non-shop owning members. However, the guild retained as before their exclusive right to the buying platform at Kiryu, thus preventing other middlemen from buying Kiryu silk, which was the supply base for wholesalers in Edo. With the opening of Japan's ports to foreign traders, both silk production and silk supplied through markets decreased. In 1862 the guild and the inhabitants in Kiryu agreeded that guild members could buy silk anywhere they wished for a fee, and thus brought about significant changes in guild organization and the character of the silk market itself. From the above observations, the author shows how important the buying and selling market structure based on control over product access and resulting unique transactions practices were to the existence of the silk buyers guild and also how urban wholesalers were influenced by rural merchants and rural market practices.