12. How did people go shopping during the period without domestic mintage?
While coins were not issued in Japan, good-quality copper coins, known as "Torai-sen" in Japanese, were introduced from China.
During the mid-Heian Period, when the Court was not issuing coins, the commerce in the regions was conducted via barter exchanges or material money.
But in the capital, coins were still used for commercial transactions.
Once people became accustomed to the convenience of coins for transactions, it was difficult to return to the age of material money. Copper coins issued during the Sung Dynasty of China came into use.
These coins were very popular, utilized not only in Japan but also in the areas from Asia to East Africa.
As trade prospered at the end of the Heian Period, the demand for money increased and a number of coins were imported from China, along with unique goods.
The imported coins circulated in Japan along with the domestic Kochosen coins.
On the second floor of this Mint Museum, you can see Sung coins in those days.