Ryukyu Kingdom (now Okinawan in Japan)
Weight: 41 grams; Size: 42 mm; Material: Solid Silver
Obv: Ryuukyuu Tsuuhou, Liu Qiu Tong bao
Rev: Hanshuu, value Half Zhu
Japan RYUKYU ISLANDS 1/2 Shu C# 115 (1863)
The round Hanshuu Ryuukyuu Tsuuhou was ordered to circulate at the value of 248 mon, or twice the value of the 100 mon coin. However it weighed merely 8 monme or about 10 to 12 times the weight of the average one mon coin. Han means "half" and "shu" is a gold currency weight. Therefore the Satsuma government was trying to command an exchange rate between copper currency and gold currency. Normally the relative exchange rates of silver, gold and copper currencies were unstable throughout Japan despite government attempts to decree them into one currency system. Thus although at one half shu this coin should have circulated at 32 coins per gold ryou (one koban coin), it is unlikely that it really did so.
The Ryukyu Kingdom (Japanese: 琉球王国 Ryūkyū Ōkoku; Okinawan: 琉球國 Ruuchuu-kuku; traditional Chinese: 琉球國; simplified Chinese: 琉球国;pinyin: Liúqiú Guó; historical English name: Lewchew, Luchu, and Loochoo) was an independent kingdom which ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th century to the 19th century. The kings of Ryukyu unified Okinawa Island and extended the kingdom to the Amami Islands in modern-dayKagoshima Prefecture, and the Sakishima Islands near Taiwan. Despite its small size, the kingdom played a central role in the maritime trade networks of medieval East and Southeast Asia.
Seal from Qing China giving authority to the King of Ryukyu to rule.