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Koka nature is rich in medical herbs

Koka nature is rich in medical herbs

Nowadays Toyama Prefecture is famous because of the medicine trade. However,the medicine trade was Shiga prefecture. During the Keichou era (1596.10.27-1615.7.13) Koka medicine was famous. Mankintan (Tiger balm) is a famous medicine which was invented by Buddhist monks in Koka.

「茜さす紫野行き標野行く」(Akane sasu murasakino yuki shime no yuki) is a highly well-known love song. Princess Nukata and Prince Oama composed this song when they were invited by Emperor Tenji to take a part in a hunt. But it was not only hunting. They also collected medical herbs in Gamouno (Shiga prefecture). During the Heian period,Ibuki Mountain was a well known place for collecting medicine.


Nobunaga Oda is well known for his herb garden. 300 species of herbs in his garden were brought by Portuguese missionaries, and another 250 species of herbs were native to Japan. There are several reasons why Koka developed a pharmaceutical industry: ninja brought special knowledge back with them from their journeys, since ancient times medical plants were brought from Ibuki Mountain where the soil and climate were suitable for growing them, comparable ingredients from Toyama and Shinshu were more expensive, and finally the region was close to the capital, and medical knowledge developed quickly. The head of the Koka clan the Mochizuki Family, sold amulets and medicine to Myouou Hospital in Ise until of the beginning of the Meiji period. It was a cover under which ninja worked. Even now in Koka there are a lot of pharmacies and medicine factories.