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Coins of Japan

Japan, Various Mints, Edo Period, c. 1636 - 1868, Kanei Tsuho

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In 1636, the Tokugawa shogunate introduced Kanei 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 used for small payments. Although the Kanei era ended in 1643, coins continued to bear the Kanei Tsuho 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. Kanei Tsuho produced before 1668, referred to as "old Kanei" coins, are recognizable by their consistent calligraphic style. Kanei Tsuho coins produced after 1668, "new Kanei" coins, have more diverse calligraphic styles. From 1738 government authorized iron Kanei Tsuho 1 mon coins, and in 1866 iron 4 mon Kanei Tsuho were authorized.
JA87039. Copper 1 mon, Hartill EJC 4.1 - 4.219; SCWC KM 5 (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 (Ä3.52)


Japan, Musashi Province, Edo, Sendashinden Fukagawa, 1768 - 1769, Shin Kanei Tsuho, Meiwa-sen Nami, 21 Waves

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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.
JA92358. Brass 4 mon, New Kanei; Meiwa-sen (brassy alloy); Nami (wave) cash; Jones Kanei 201; Hartill EJC 4.250; Jacobs-Vermeule K601, gVF, light marks, weight 4.431 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Musashi Province, Edo, Sendashinden Fukagawa mint, 1768 - 1769; obverse kan ei tsu ho, long right leg of kan; reverse twenty-one waves; SOLD


Japan, Hitachi Province, Kuji-Gun Ota, 1774, Shin Kanei Tsuho - Ku Ni

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Hitachi-Matsuoka was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in Hitachi Province (modern-day Ibaraki Prefecture). It was centered in what is now the city of Takahagi. The 6th daimyo of Matsuoka, 1703-1711, Nakayama Nobutoshi, moved his residence to Ota, and the domain was then referred to as Hitachiota Domain. His descendants continued to reside at Ota until the time of the 10th daimyo, Nakayama Nobutaka, 1771-1819 who returned the seat of the clan back to Matsuoka.
JA92731. Iron 1 mon, New Kanei; Hartill EJC 4.212, JNDA 133.68, Ogawa 318, VF/F, light rust, weight 2.434 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Hitachi Province, Kuji-gun, Kizaki-mura, Ota mint, 1774; obverse kan ei tsu ho, claw on kan; reverse ku (Kuji-gun mintmark) above, ni below; SOLD







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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).
Masuo, T. Honpo Bita Sen Zufu. (Illustrated Catalog of Our Country's Bita Sen). (Tokyo, 1982).
Masuo, T. Ko Kanei Sen Shi. (Tokyo, 1971).
Munro, N. Coins of Japan. (Yokohama, 1904).
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 Friday, September 20, 2019.
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