Japanese Ko-Kanei Tsuho, Bun 1668 AD.Kamedo Tokyo,Buddha Coin! the Daibutsu

Japanese coin Ko-Kanei Tsuho 1 Mon 1668 AD.~
文 Bun on reverse, Kamedo Mint

Authenticity guaranteed for all items!

Rev: Bun 文
Kamedo, shouji mon (1668)
25mm wide x 1mm thick

Mintmark and additional characters on backSome new Kan'ei tsuuhou issues have mintmarks on them and many of these are common. Below are some examples of mostly common varieties. Old Kan'ei do not have mintmarks but in rare cases they have numbers and "stars" (dots really) cast on the reverse side of the coin. Below are some common examples of reverse side mintmarks.


Basics of distinguishing Kan'ei coins

The peace in Japan following 1615 encouraged the economy in Japan to grow by leaps and bounds in the 17th century and cash was needed to help commerce. The alternate attendance system forced the domainal lords to reside every other year in the Tokugawa capital of Edo--and spend vast quantities of money there. Copper, gold and silver mines were opened up all over Japan. Kan'ei Tsuuhou coins were first minted in small quantities in 1626 in the domain of the lord of Mito but in 1636, the 13th year of the Kan'ei era, the Tokugawa government ordered that large quantities be minted, and it distributed model coins to private subcontractors in locations throughout Japan. By the 1650's 16 different locations were manufacturing these coins. Even when the Kan'ei era ended in 1643 the same legend, "Kan'ei Tsuuhou" was kept in use, and was indeed used until the 1860's. So with the same words on the front how do you tell them apart? Below is a primer on some of the basic aspects of differentiating the coins. The names before the coins are the mints of issue along with the date that that issue opened up. Most issues ran for 3-5 years from the opening date. I am just a beginner myself but hope to learn by teaching.

Japanese Numismatics

Travel back in time to storied feudal Japan - to the land of samurai, daimyo (warlords) and shoguns! This much-mythologized period has been widely celebrated in the popular media and arts. From NBC's Heroes to the novel and miniseries Sh¨­gun to the Tom Cruise big-screen epic The Last Samurai, feudal Japan has captured our collective imagination for decades. The original kanei tsuho coins were made at the Edo mint, which was most likely inside Edo Castle proper, the main stronghold of the shogunate in Tokyo.

The mon was the main unit of currency in Japan until 1870, when it was replaced by the yen. It resembles and was derived from the Chinese wenor cash coin. The coins have a square hole in the middle, which allowed them to be produced using less metal than a solid coin, but which more importantly allowed them to be strung together on a piece of string, for easy transport and payment.

The "bun" mint mark is the kanji character on the reverse of the coin (ÎÄ). It indicates that this coin was cast in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). The coins are sometimes called bunsen, because of the "bun" character. The term "bun" is the second syllable of the Japanese word kanbun (Japanese: ŒˆÎÄ). The Kanbun era is the name for the Japanese era spanning the years 1661 to 1673, during which the coins were made.

Kanei Tsuho coins are named after the era in which they were introduced. Kanei (often written "Kan'ei" (Japanese: ŒˆÓÀ)) is the name of the Japanese era spanning the years 1624 through 1643. Thus the term kanei tsuho literally means "money of the Kan'ei era". Even though the Kan'ei era ended in 1643, the term for the 1 Mon coins remained in use for over two hundred years!

Despite their high grade and attractive appearance, these coins are not reproductions. Each coin is guaranteed to be an original, solid copper 1668-Bun Square Hole 1 Mon, cast in Edo (Tokyo) and grading a very nice very fine. A little bit of verdigris is typical on these coins, but they are much nicer than usually found (when they can be found at all!).

For a more detailed exploration of the Tokugawa Shogunate, as well as the city of Edo and the culture of the Floating World, please see the article further down in this presentation.





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Japanese Ko-Kanei Tsuho, Bun 1668 AD.Kamedo Tokyo,Buddha Coin! the Daibutsu Jap



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