I have a rather 細かい question to ask about a particular material; I am hoping that someone might know a good term in English to refer to 蛎殻灰.
Here's the context it's coming up in for me:
An entry in the Ishin Shiryo Kôyô 維新史料綱要 Database which indicates that on 万延１年１２月１０日 (20 Jan 1861 fwiw), 「 幕府、関東八州に令し、更に明年より十箇年間、会所「深川新大橋際」をして石灰蛎殻灰を江戸市中に専売せしめ、且会所加入を自由ならしむ。」
So, very roughly, "The shogunate issues orders for the kaisho clearinghouses (at Shinōhashi in Fukagawa) to hold a monopoly on the sale of coal and oyster shell fertilizer within Edo for a period of ten years beginning the following year. The shogunate also orders that merchants in the eight provinces of the Kantō can join the clearinghouses freely."
The issue is, I am told that this substance was used not just for fertilizer, but in construction and in other ways. So, do we have a standard term in English to refer to it that doesn't limit it to fertilizer? Can we say "oyster shell ash" or is that an incorrect too-direct translation?
Thanks so much.
Postdoctoral Project Researcher
UTokyo Historiographical Institute