Muramai System (村米制度)

The muramai system refers to a sake rice dealing system which is concluded between sake rice production areas in Harima region and specific Kuramoto (sake brewer) including Nada gogo (five districts in Nada).


Because of the land-tax reform in 1875, the tax paid by farmers changed from rice to money, and farmers began to make a point of the harvest volume to reduce the quality of rice while demand for sake increased to have Kuramoto endeavor to secure rice for brewing sake. As a result, Kuramoto acquiring high-quality rice for brewing sake and the farmers looking for the stable buyers coincided on those desires to start this system. However, there are two theories for its birthplace; one is that in 1894 Atsujiro YAMADA lived in the present Ichinose, Yoshikawa-cho, Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture, as the originator, negotiated with Etsuzo TATSUMA who was Kuramoto presently located in Nishinomiya City and started dealings, and another theory is that from 1891 to 1892 residents lived in Kamikume settlement, Yashiro-cho, Kato City started dealings with Honkano Shoten located presently in Nada Ward, Kobe City. Even now there remains the muramai systems centering around Yoshikawa-cho, Miki City and is serving as a strong connection not only to deal rice for brewing sake, but also to help each other in the occurrences of disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes, and so on.


Ichinose, Yoshikawa-cho, Mino County, Hyogo Prefecture (presently Ichinose, Yoshikawa-cho, Miki City)

Kamikume, Yashiro-cho, Kato County, Hyogo Prefecture (presently Kamikume, Yashiro-cho, Kato City)

[Original Japanese]