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ryōgaeya business credit, usually at 15 per cent a year, and with­ ryōgaeya so that cash flow

drew it as they needed. Commercial credit among merchants was settled periodically by their respective was almost totally avoided in any larger transaction. Osaka be­ came the financial capital of the country, and the notes and bills on which the name of one of the large ryōgaeya was written

Over time the daimyō debts accumulated so that sometimes the crop of several years ahead of time was mortgaged, and when the crop was delivered the interest charges alone could barely be defrayed. Daimyō were then tempted to default and switch to other warehouse merchants or sell the crop themselves, through their agents, on the free market. The kuramoto secured themselves by jointly refusing the handling of goods from the daimyō who had avoided paying their debts.