Surrounded by mountains, and lacking cultivatable land, the Hida Region has long dealt in sericulture. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), increased involvement in sericulture led to mulberry markets being held regularly. This was the origin of the morning markets today.
In accordance with the new government’s policy following the Meiji Restoration (1869), silkworm cultivation and silk mills sprang up everywhere. Takayama also had its share of silk-reeling factories. It was at this time that the young girls of Hida went across the border to Okaya (Nagano Prefecture) as thread factory workers.
At present, although you can no longer see sericulture, various tools are on display at the Hida Folk Village. Sericulture became widespread in the Hida Region partly because the architecture of the large rural houses peculiar to Shirakawa-go which lent themselves well to the raising of silkworms. Consequently, sericulture prospered.