The Market Day When Wooden Bowls and Lacquerware Traders Come and Go
Ichibi is a day when a market is held. In the past, it was also known as Machi-no-Hi (town day). Although the origin of the market day is unknown, it was an important place for trade, with local farmers bringing produce, such as fresh vegetables, and many merchants from Hachinohe coming to sell seafood and marine products. It is said that the area was crowded at times with about 80 shops, including drapers, fruit sellers, hardware stores, fishmongers, etc. They lined the streets and brought bustle to the town.
This day was essential for the trade of wooden bowls and lacquerware produced in the Appi River basin. This is because the lacquer painters bought plain wooden bowls from the wood workers in the upper reaches of the Appi River and lacquer from the lacquer tappers in the lower reaches. The finished products were then sold to lacquerware merchants.
There are records of wood being traded between wood workers and lacquer painters here transactions took place over drinks in the kitchen of stores and private homes called yado. This was not only a place to deepen communication but also where the craftsmen, who usually worked independently, could exchange information with each other.
The market day has been carried over to the present and is held on the second day of every month in Joboji-machi, Ninohe City, and on the fourth day of every month in front of Arayashinmachi Station in Hachimantai City. Although the scale has become smaller than it was in the past, it remains a special market that has taken root in the lives of the local people. It is held from morning until noon with shops selling vegetables, seeds, seedlings, clothing, etc.
Photo by Atushi Okuyama
Photo provided by Hachimantai City, Ninohe City