Tsubo-sen (the tax charged on sake dealers) (壷銭)

Tsubo-sen, which was also called shuzo-yaku and sakatsubosen, was the most ancient form of the tax imposed on "Sakaya", sake dealers.

The term tsubo-sen is thought to have derived from "tsubo", a pot (ancient Chinese vessel shaped like a vase, usually used to store alcohol), as the tax was imposed based on "tsubo-su", the number of tsubo used for brewing. Sakaya had been spread in many parts of the country since the middle of the Kamakura Period; however, the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) imposed strict controls upon Sakaya by putting "koshu no kin" (the ban on sale and purchase of sake) in force as the government believed that sake has a harmful influence on the community. On the contrary, the Kyoto Imperial Court tried to impose tax in compensation for allowing Sakaya to carry on their business in order to cover the decreased income from Koryo (an Imperial demesne). The oldest records show that tsubo-sen was imposed on Sakaya in "Rakuchu" (inside the capital) to cover the cost for constructing Ima Hie-sha Shrine during the Showa era. Later, miki no kami (Chief of the Sake Office) was responsible for collecting tax, and the Oshikoji family, who served as miki no kami, fulfilled the role. From 1322 and onward, Emperor Godaigo executed direct control over tsubo-yaku and had the tax imposed regularly; taking opportunity of the commencement of Kenmu Restoration, the emperor appointed Yorimoto GOJO as miki no kami and tried to deprive the Oshikoji family of the title, but failed to do so due to the collapse of the administration, and the Oshikoji family restored the right. In the Northern Dynasty (Japan) during Joji era (1362-1368), the Oshikoji family became Sakekojiurikayaku and was bestowed the power to levy taxes. However, conflict occurred between miki no kami, who enforced tax collection by pressing "kebiishi" (a police and judicial chief) into service, and influential temples, including Enryaku-ji Temple, which had "za" (a trade guild) of Sakaya under their control.

On the other hand, the Kamakura bakufu continued to ban Sakaya and had a negative view for imposing taxes on Sakaya, which was subjected to prohibition. The Muromachi bakufu, which was established in place of the Kamakura bakufu, had a weak financial base; so, backed up by the military force, the Muromachi bakufu began to collect "sakaya-yaku" (the tax charged on sake dealers) from Sakaya in Kyoto while intruding into the conflict between miki no kami and influential temples.

Tsubo-sen was collected each month, totaling 12 times per year as a general rule and was also collected on a temporary basis in other occasions. Prior to the collection, field research for Sakaya was conducted in order to figure out tsubo-su and business conditions. Sakaya was categorized into honyaku (the predetermined amount of tax to be the tax standard for people) and hanyaku (hankuji) according to business situations, and hanyaku was subjected to taxation of half the amount of that imposed on honyaku. Along this line, tsubo-sen was also imposed by the local government. The records suggest that Kofuku-ji Temple, which was the Governor of Yamato Province, imposed tsubo-sen on the brewing industry in the Bodaisan-ji Temple.