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Japanese Currency

The Chinese Neighbors Numismatics


Although the coinages of the Chinese neighboring countries had been strongly influenced by the Chinese system. I have posted below some unusual specimens from Japan. These specimens were not made in the same way as the Chinese coinage, but were oval; rectangular slabs; bars and round lumps, they were completely different from the Chinese currency. [except No.179]
I received these images from Mr. R. Inget of USA a few days before. I know only a little about their background informations. I identify them by their appearance only. If you find that I have made mistakes, and or if you want to share your knowledge and enthusism in this hobby, feel free to drop me a line. Thank you in advance.

The Additional Commentaries were written by Mr.Shuichi Yamashita of Japan. Thanks indeed!


Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E

ObverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.179
The inscriptions on the obverse is known as "Kai Ki Sheng Pao" by Chinese or "Kaiki Shoho" by Japanese. "Kai Ki Sheng Pao" or "Kaiki Shoho" (if authentic) should be a gold coin, and it is a very rare coin, as it is not including in the famous 12 Imperial cash of Japan.
According to the Chinese references, this coin was cast in 749 in Japan. The second cash cast in Chinese style by Japanese. [The first one is "Wado Kaichin or Wado Kaiho", issued by The Celestial Empress Gemmyo in 708]. But another reference suggested that this coin should be minted in 760 in Japan. I don't know which one is correct. I think I can find out the truth later.

From the view in Chinese calligraphy, I know that this is an imitation only. Because the inscriptions appeared in Sung style. The Sung style was formed about 200 years later than "Kai Ki Sheng Pao" cash was cast. (Sung Dynasty 960AD-1279AD) I have found 2 rubbings of Kai Ki Sheng Pao in Ting Fu Pao dictionary, p421. 古錢大辭典, 中華書局 (A dictionary of ancient Chinese coins), but unfortunately, Mr. Ma Ting Hsiang (1916-1991) stated that they are later minted imitations only. I can't find a genuine Kai Ki Sheng Pao image, even rubbing up to now. This cash is quite interesting to me, I would like to discuss it again, if I have time.

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

Kai Ki Shou Hou (or, Kai Ki Sho Ho). This inscription means "opening basis, victory treasure". from your point of view, up: Kai (open), right: Ki (basis), down: Shou=Sho (victory), left: Hou=Ho (treasure).
This is a gold coin and was minted in AD 760. Only 32 pieces of this coin have been found until today. All the coins were listed. One coin belongs to the Emperor of Japan. 31 coins belong to The Tokyo National Museum. All other coins are imitation or forgery.

If you want to know more about this cash, I suggest you view the "Japanese Copper Gilt Coin Kaiki Shoho" page by Mr. Vladimir Belyaev

Obverse / ReverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.180
I think these are the Mameitagin "Bean" Silver, minted in Japan in the 16th to 19th century. But I know nothing about the inscriptions or the chopmark.

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

These coins are "Mame Ita Gin (Bean Plate Silver)". Mame (Bean), Ita (Plate), Gin (Silver). "Mame Ita Gin" was made from AD 1601 to AD 1865. Because the punch mark is not clear, so I can not tell the minute types. I am sorry.

ObverseNo.181
Mint Evolution & Peculiarity
This is a Cho Gin (Long Silver) minted in Ansei period (1854-1860). There are 2 very big Chinese characters "Ching or Sei" appeared on the surface denoted the Ansei period.

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

An Sei Chou Gin (An Sei Cho Gin). This coin was minted from AD 1859 to AD 1865. Quality : Silver 135 / Other Metal 865. Chinese character inscription in the circle: Sei(Ching) is abbreviation of An Sei period (AD 1854-1860).
The small coin is a "Mame Ita Gin". But I can't tell the minute type.

Obverse / ReverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.182
This is Nisshu Kin, I think it was minted in Tempo period (1830-1844).

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

These coins are "Ni Shu Ban Kin (Two Shu Plate Gold)". Ni(2). Shu is an old Japanese currency unit. Ban (Plate). Kin (Gold). "Ni Shu Ban Kin" is divided into 2 types.

[1]
Ten Pou Ni Shu Ban Kin (Ten Po Ni Shu Ban Kin).
Minting era : AD 1832-1858.
Quality : Gold 298 / Silver 702.
Weight : 1.62g.

[2]
Man En Ni Shu Ban Kin.
Minting era : AD 1860-1869. Weight : 0.75g.

I can not tell you the minute types from these photos. But if you know the weight of these coins, you can easily tell the minute types.

Obverse / ReverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.183
This is Nisshu Kin, I think it was minted in Manen period (1859-1860).

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

I can not tell you the minute types from these photos. But if you know the weight of these coins, you can easily tell the minute types.

Obverse / ReverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.184
I can't decide this is Isshu Gin or Nisshu Gin, as the inscriptions on the obverse is not so clear.

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

This is "Isshu Gin". Ichi (one). Shu is an old Japanese currency unit. Gin (Silver). "Ichi Shu(one Shu)" is pronounced "Isshu" in Japan. So, this coin's name is written as "Isshu Gin".

"Isshu Gin" is divided into 2 types.
[1].
Ka Ei Isshu Gin.
Minting era : AD 1853-1865.
Quality : Silver 968 / Other Metal 32.
Weight 1.89g.

[2].
Mei Ji Isshu Gin.
Minting era : AD 1868-1869.
Quality : Silver 880 / Other Metal 120.
Weight 1.88g.

If you know the quality of this coin, you can easily tell the minute type. But I guess that this is "Ka Ei Isshu Gin".

Obverse / ReverseMint Evolution & PeculiarityNo.185
This is Ichibu Gin (one Bu silver). But I can't decided it was minted in Tempo, Ansei or Meiji period.

COMMENTARY FROM Mr.Shuichi Yamashita

This is "Ichi Bu Gin". Ichi(one). Bu is an old Japanese currency unit. Gin(Silver).

"Ichi Bu Gin" is divided into 3 types.

[1].
Ten Pou Ichi Bu Gin (Ten Po Ichi Bu Gin).
Minting era : AD 1837-1854.
Quality : Silver 991 / Other Metal 9.
Weight 8.66g.

[2].
An Sei Ichi Bu Gin.
Minting era : AD 1859-1868.
Quality : Silver 873 / Other Metal 127.
Weight : 8.63g.

[3].
Mei Ji Ichi Bu Gin.
Minting era : AD 1868-1869.
Quality : Silver 807 / Other Metal 193.
Weight 8.66g.

I can not tell you the minute type of this coin from this photo. If I have the more big photo, I might be able to tell you the minute type.


More about Japanese coins by Mr.Shuichi Yamashita or
A Japanese Cash of the Keicho period



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Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y.K.Leung.