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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Asian Coins ▸ JapanView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of Japan

Japan, Shin Kanei Tsuho, Edo Period, 1603 - 1868

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The new Kanei from Ashio, in Shimotsuke Province, were called Ashijisen (the Foot Character Coin) by the people, because the mintmark is the Kanji character for foot. From 1741 to 1745, 40,000 strings per year were cast at the Ashio-dozan copper mines in Asogori county.
JA87076. Copper 1 mon, New Kanei; Shuku Ji (compressed characters) variety; Hartill EJC 4.181, Jones Kanei 142, Ogawa 240, aVF, weight 2.752 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, Sagami Province, Fujisawa, Yoshidajima mint, 1739; obverse kan ei tsu ho; Shuku Ji (compressed characters) variety, left arm of ei horizontal, cursive tsu radical, hooked left foot of ho; reverse plain; $18.00 (Ä15.30)


Japan, Shin Kanei Tsuho, Edo Period, 1603 - 1868

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The very first four mon coins, issued in 1768, had 21 waves on the reverse. Later four mon coins, all with 11 waves on the reverse, can be dated by the type and color of the metal. Meiwa-sen, brassy alloy (68% copper, 24% zinc, and 8% tin), was used for the first 11 wave issue, 1769 - 1788. Bunsei-sen, reddish alloy (75% copper, 15% zinc, and 10% lead), was used for the second issue, 1821 - 1825. Ansei-sen, dark alloy (65% copper, 15% zinc, and 20% lead), was used for the third issue, 1857 - 1859. After 1866, all four mon coins were cast in iron.
JA87037. Brass 4 mon, New Kanei, Meiwa-sen (brassy alloy); Hartill EJC 4.252 or 4.253; Ogawa 329 or 332; Krause C 4.2, weight c. 4.88 g, maximum diameter c. 28 mm, die axis 0o, Musashi Province, Edo, Fukagawa mint, 1769 - 1788; obverse kan ei tsu ho (universal treasure of Kwan Ei); reverse 11 waves; VF or better, quality and patina may vary, minor bumps and scratches, similar to the coins in the photograph, ONE COIN; $8.00 (Ä6.80)


Japan, Kanei Tsuho, Edo Period, 1603 - 1868

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In 1636, the Tokugawa shogunate introduced official Kan'ei Tsuho coins to standardize copper coins and maintain a sufficient coin supply. These coins, the first government minted copper coins in 700 years, became the daily currency of the common people used for small payments. Although the Kanei era ended in 1643, Kan'ei Tsuho coins continued to bear the Kan-ei legend for 230 years. By the 1650s, 16 private mints were opened across Japan. The shogunate outsourced the mintage to regional and local merchants who cast them at varying weights and sizes, as well as occasionally having local mint marks. Tsuho produced before 1668, referred to as "old Kan'ei" coins, are recognizable by their consistent calligraphic style. Kan'ei Tsuho coins produced after 1668, "new Kan'ei" coins, have more diverse calligraphic styles, and the 4 mon denomination has waves on its reverse making it easily distinguishable from other coins. From 1738 government authorized iron Kan'ei Tsuho 1 mon coins, and in 1866 (just before the end of the Edo period) iron 4 mon Kan'ei Tsuho were authorized.
JA87039. Copper 1 mon, Hartill EJC 4.1 - 4.219; Krause KM5 (1606), weight c. 2.8 g, maximum diameter c. 23 mm, c. 1636 - 1868; obverse kan ei tsu ho (universal treasure of Kwan Ei); reverse plain; many varieties in the lot, near VF or better, quality and patina varies, some with minor flaws, bumps, scratches, encrustations, similar to the coins in the photograph, ONE COIN; $4.00 (Ä3.40)







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REFERENCES

Hartill, D. Early Japanese Coins. (Bedfordshire, UK, 2011).
Jacobs, N. & C. Vermeule. Japanese Coinage. (New York, 1972).
Jones, R. Attribution Guide to Shin Kan Ei Tsu Ho. (Kearney, NE, 1984).
Jones, R. History and Guide to the Copper Cash Coinage of Japan. (Kearney, NE, 2007).
Krause, C. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
Kudo, Y. Shin Kanei Tsuho Zue. (Sapporo, 1998).
Masuo, T. Honpo Bita Sen Zufu. (Illustrated Catalogue of Our Country's Bita Sen) (Tokyo, 1982).
Masuo, T. Ko Kanei Sen Shi. (Old Kanei Coin Encyclopedia) (Tokyo, 1971).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values, Vol. 3: Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies. (London, 1979).
Munro, N. Coins of Japan. (Yokohama, 1984).
Ogawa, Y. Shin Kanei Tsuho, The Catalog of Japanese Coins. (Japan, 1987).
Sakuraki, S, H. Wang, & P. Kornicki. Catalogue of the Japanese Coin Collection (Pre-Meiji) in the British Museum. (London, 2010).

Catalog current as of Sunday, May 27, 2018.
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