Ancient Japan
junizeni orkocho junisen
the oldest official Japanese coinage
Wadō-Kaichin Bronze Coin 708 AD

 

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Weight: 4.2 grams; Size: 25.6 mm; Material: Bronze

 

Wadō-Kaichin

Wadōkaichin (和同開珎, also romanized as Wadō-kaichin or called Wadō-kaihō, is the oldest official Japanese coinage, having been minted starting in 708 AD on order of Empress Gemmei.
The coins, which were round with a square hole in the center, remained in circulation until 958 AD. These were the first of a variety of coins collectively called jūnizeni orkōchō jūnisen (皇朝十二銭).

 

"Wadōkaichin" is the reading of the four characters printed on the coin, and is thought to be composed of the era name Wadō (和銅, "Japanese copper"), which could alternatively mean "happiness", and "Kaichin", thought to be related to "Currency". This coinage was inspired by the Tang coinage (唐銭) named Kaigentsūhō (Chinese: 開元通宝, Kai Yuan Tong Bao), first minted in Chang'an in 621 CE. The Wadōkaichin had the same specifications as the Chinese coin.

 

 

 

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Ancient Japan Wadō-Kaichin Bronze Coin 708 AD the oldest official Japanese coina

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