Toiyaba

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  • Other Names: 伝馬所 (denmasho; post horse station), 会所 (kaisho; meeting place)
  • Japanese: 問屋場 (toiyaba)

Toiyaba were offices, located at post-stations (shukuba) along the major highways of early modern Japan, which provided porters and horses for travelers, as well as facilitating the passing along of letters and packages, especially for samurai and other elites. Post-horses known as denma were typically used only between one post-station and the next, in a relay fashion; couriers or others carrying packages or luggage along the highway would stop at the toiyaba in each town to change horses. This relay system was known as shukutsugi 宿継.[1]

These toiyaba were sometimes attached to the residence of the head official of the post-station, and were sometimes separate buildings. As the name implies, they were typically associated with toiya or tonya, officially authorized wholesalers who managed the trade in a given good. When a post-town had multiple tonya, there was typically one toiyaba operated by each.

Often, officials in charge of managing porters, post horses, etc. took turns running the office, but at times of heavy traffic, they all might cram into the space. When the porters or horses maintained by the toiyaba were insufficient, as might often be the case with large sankin kôtai entourages for example, they relied on sukegô (corvée) from neighboring areas.

References

  • "Toiyaba," Sekai daihyakka jiten 世界大百科事典, Hitachi Solutions, 2013.
  1. Gallery labels, Futagawa-juku honjin shiryôkan.[1]