History of Japanese Coins

ANCIENT TIMES Around B.C.1500 A barter system
Commodities like rice, clothes and salt and etc played a role of money. (Material money)
ASUKA
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HEIAN
PERIOD
621 "Kai Yuan Tong Bao" was minted by Tang Dynasty.
"Fuhonsen" was minted by the government, modeling after the "Kai Yuan Tong Bao".
708 "Wado Kaichin" or " Wado Kaiho" was minted by the government.
Image of Wado Kaichin
Wado Kaichin
A gold coin, two kinds of silver coins and twelve kinds of copper coins were issued by the government during 250 years or so following the mintage of the "Wado Kaichin". These copper coins are referred to as "Kochosen". Coins had not been minted until Toyotomi Hideyoshi minted gold coins.
Coins imported from China were circulated as money in the late Heian period (latter half of the 12th century). Placer gold was exported to China in exchange for the coins.
Image of Traisen ( Coins imported from China)
Traisen
KAMAKURA
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MUROMACHI
PERIOD
1404 The trade between the Muromachi shogunate and Ming Dynasty started.
The shogunate imported a lot of copper coins.
Especially, "Yong Le Tong Bao" coins were circulated. "Shichusen" (privately-minted Japanese coins) were circulated and called "Bitasen" (bad quality coins).
At the Sengoku Period, Lord Takeda minted gold coins.
Image of Koushukin
Koushukin
AZUCHI
MOMOYAMA
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EDO
PERIOD
1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi minted various coins which are composed of gold and silver, such as "Tensho Naga Oban". But the common people used the coins imported from China and "Bitasen".
Image of Tensho Naga Oban
Tensho Nagao Oban
1600
1601
The monetary system was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Tokugawa Ieyasu established "Kinza" gold mints and "Gvinza" silver mints to manufacture gold and silver coins.
1636 The Tokugawa Shogunate government established "Zeniza" to mint copper coins.
1670 "Eiraku Tsuho" was prohibited from circulation, the government unified copper coins by minting "Kanei Tsuho".
1695 The coins were reminted and the currency system was largely damaged by degradation of fineness of the coins.
Image of Oban
Oban
Image of Koban
Koban
Image of Kanei Tsuho
Kanei Tsuho
Image of Tyogin
Tyogin
Image of Mameita Gin
Mameita Gin
MEIJI
ERA
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1868 The first nationally-accepted paper money called “Dajyo Kansatu” was issued by the Meiji Restration government.
1871 The Government established Japan Mint at the peresent site of its Head Office.
1871 The new coins regulation was promulgated. The gold standard was adopted (1yen = Gold 1.5g). The Government issued three kinds of coins, gold, silver and copper.
Image of 20-yen gold coin
20-yen gold coin
Image of 20-yen gold coin
20-yen gold coin
1882 The Bank of Japan was established.
1897 Coin law was promulgated. (1yen = Gold 0.75g)
1932 The gold standard was substantially discontinued and shifted to a managed currency system
1938 "Temporary Currency Law" was enacted, based on this law, subsidiary coins were issued.
1964 Tokyo Olympic prize coins were minted. (The first commorative coin)
Image of Tokyo Olympic prize coins (100 yen)
Tokyo Olympic prize coin (100 yen)
Image of Tokyo Olympic prize coins (1,000 yen)
Tokyo Olympic prize coin (1,000 yen)
1987 The law concerning a unit of currency, issuance of coinage was enacted.

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