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Diane Publishing Books
Moneylenders of Late Medieval Kyoto
Suzanne Marie Gay (au)
Examines the large community of “sake” brewer-moneylenders in Japan’s capital city, focusing on their rise to prominence from the mid-1300s to 1550. Their guild tie to overlords was forged early in the medieval period, giving them a protected monopoly and allowing them to flourish. While maintaining overlord ties, they engaged in activities that brought them into close contact with every segment of Kyoto’s population. The more socially prominent brewers served as tax agents for religious institutions, the shogunate, and the imperial court, and were actively involved in a range of cultural pursuits, including tea and linked verse. “Gay has fully and convincingly depicted this important group of medieval commoners.” Illustrations.
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