Vision Over Visibility (luna_glass_wall) wrote in little_details,
Vision Over Visibility

Market and Money in the early Edo Era

Cut for decency.

All right, here are my specifics: It's late 1634/early 1635 according to the western calendar, and we are in Takasaki-shuku. I need to know how much a person would expect to pay/barter for certain services and goods. Specifically I need to know how much was generally paid for a prostitute. Not a courtesan of Yoshiwara caliber, mind you; my characters are "common whores" who service mainly travelers (since they're near the Nakasendo and Mikuno Kaido) and merchants. I'm also curious if their clients would, or could, pay in goods rather than money.

Generally I would also like to know prices for food at market (fish, winter fruit and vegetables, alcohol, etc). I know that how much a ryo, mon, etc was actually worth fluctuated, but I'm assuming that no one would ever pay a ryo for a head of spinach, just to use an example. A ballpark estimate of what certain things were worth, given the time period and location, would be much appreciated. (Even if all you know is that a person might pay 5 mon for half a fish, I can extrapolate from that and come up with prices for other items. Since complete accuracy is probably impossible, I just want to make reasonable estimates.) And again, would bartering also be accepted as a means of payment?

I'm also curious as to what a market might look like. I've tried looking at Hiroshige's prints of the Nakasendo, but they aren't helping very much. I'm gathering that both stand-alone huts/stalls and actual stores were used, but I don't know what types of goods would be sold in stores and what types would be sold in stalls (if I'm even right about stores and stalls). I also can't tell if all types of goods wold be sold in roughly the same place, or if goods would be broken up by type (i.e. fish is sold in one corner while clothes are sold in another, etc).

Finally, just to be clear: haggling would occur, right?

Thanks in advance for any info. I've googled combinations of "japanese" "edo era" "market" "currency", as well as straight-up asking "how much would a prostitute cost in the edo era".
Tags: 1600-1699, japan: history

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