The Ishikawa family has lived in Fussa, Tokyo for about 400 years.
The current family head, Yahachiro Ishikawa, is a member of the
17th generation of this family. During the Edo Period, the family
played an important role in community leadership as the head of
the niwaba (group of neighboring communities) and as the nanushi (head man) of Kumagawa village, which was a direct
feudatory of the Tokugawa shogunate. The family served the shogunate,
and was in charge of paying the Shogun the tribute of ayu (sweetfish) caught in the Tama River running nearby and also wining
and dining the Korean mission to Japan.
A diary recording the public and private events that took place
after the 1780s vividly depicted the life of the village and duties
for the shogunate. At the end of the 18th century, the Ishikawa
family started dealing in the lime mined in the present Nariki
area of Ome City. At the beginning of the 19th century, they became
traders covering neighboring areas and started dealing in other
products including Ome-jima (textiles produced in Ome City).
Thus, the family, not only as the nanushi but also as traders,
established relationships with people in many different areas.
In addition, the relationship as traders created cultural exchanges
with local people in numerous aspects including the field of haikai (haiku-like poetic literature). These cultural exchanges and the
relationships between different families partly helped the Ishikawa
family prepare the way for the establishment of their sake brewing
Click here to see detailed information about the Ishikawa family and sake brewing.