両漢時代の商業と市 [in Japanese] Commerce and Markets in The Former and The Later Han Periods [in Japanese]
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In the first half of the Former Han, commerce was vital owing to activities of rich traders and big merchants (Fushang dagu 富商大賈) who acted as businessmen with political ties and as speculators. But in this period, there also existed a type of trade which was done outside markets and thus was not under control of the State. Moreover each of classes of the society, from powerful families to peasants, would seldom go to markets then. However, after the second half of the Former Han, some proportions of the commerce which had something to do with central or local governments were replaced by exclusive dealing (Gu-que 辜榷), carried out mainly by high officials of the State and eunuchs, and as a result of this phenomenon, vitality of rich traders and big merchants decreased. Nevertheless, commerce was still flourished at that time, for markets became well furnished with merchandise. In town markets, not only luxuries but also commodities circulated broadly and were traded by people of various classes. while the markets themselves became places of amusement. Meanwhile, there spreaded out fairs in rural communities, where commodities were traded. Such a trend led some proportions of commerce outside control of the State into under control.
- The Journal of Oriental researches
The Journal of Oriental researches 52(4), p655-682, 1994-03