Toyama has more than 300 years history in the household medicine delivery business. It started when Toyama-han during the Edo Period was separated from Kaga-han. They used their business savvy to survive and this industry became an important industry of modern Toyama. The glass industry is another example of an enduring business which arose from the need for containers for the medicine.
Their medicine system was the same as using a credit card. And amazingly this worked in the Edo Period. They have strict traditions like not criticizing doctors, and not playing parlor games.
In Toyama, there is a museum of medicine peddlers as part of the Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village. And there are a lot of tools which show their effort and process. I went there this September and it was amazing. I felt that the medicine peddlers’ passion and acheivements were huge. Realizing this made me cry.
It looks like one of my ancestors lived in Toyama. I don’t know their names but I felt them behind me. And I felt that I am strongly supported and encouraged by them. The culture of Toyama is known as sober and down-to-earth, but modern Toyama is also very sophisticated. We can experience both down-to-earth and sophisticated culture in Toyama. And I am happy to see it because sometimes we think they don’t go together.