Japan Mint was established in Osaka by the Meiji government in order to modernize the coinage system. The inaugural ceremony was held on April 4th,1871 and minting was commenced with Western style facilities that were epochmaking in Japan in those days.
Since heavy industry had not yet developed in Japan at that time, all heavy equipment had to be imported. In addition, factories were built within the Mint Compound for the production of sulfuric acid, soda, coal gas and coke. Telegraphic communication and telephones were set up and various light equipment such as balances and even a clock were manufactured wholly on the premises since most of the various kinds of equipment necessary for coinage were unavailable in Japan in those days. It was even necessary to manufacture ink. Another first was the adoption of double entry book keeping.
The Mint also took the lead in abolishing the traditional topknot and the wearing of swords, and in enforcing the wearing of Western clothes by the staff.
In these ways, as a pioneer in introducing European and American culture to Japan during the early years of the Meiji Era (1868 to 1912), Japan Mint played an important part in the rise of modern industry and culture in this country. Thus, it is generally said that Osaka, now our country's center of commerce and industry is indebted to the Mint for the city's subsequent prosperity.
From then on, with change of the times, the Mint expanded to include, in addition to the main operation of coinage, the production of orders (decorations), medals of honor and metallic art objects ; the analysis and testing of metal ores and minerals ; the fineness certification of precious metal wares (hallmarking) ; etc.
The Mint became an Incorporated Administrative Agency on April 1, 2003.
Japan Mint at the time of its establishment ( a work of C. N. Mancini )