Wednesday, November 10, 2004


In feudal Japan, any of the mercantile or craft guilds that flourished about 1100 - 1590. They did not become fully organized until the Muromachi period (1338 - 1573), when they began to monopolize the production, transport, and sale of merchandise. In exchange for certain fees, the za enjoyed official recognition and exemptions from tolls, transit duties, and market taxes. Many za were begun


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