Trivia - Japan

Discussion in 'Clinker - In Memoriam' started by Clinker, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    You probably know Japan dates it's coinage according to the reign (era ) of the Emperor.
    You, also, probably know Oriental (including China and Japan) nations' numerical systems read right to left,

    Do you know each ruler selects a special reference name for his ruling era?

    Do you know Emperor Mutsuhito ruled Japan for 45 years (1867-1912) and choose the name Meiji for his era?

    Do you know Yoshohito replaced Mutsuhito, reigned for 15 years (1912-26) and selected Taisho as the name of his era?

    You probably know Hirohito became Emperor in 1926 and lead the nation until 1989 (64 years), but do you know he called his era Showa? Do you know, because of worldwide influences, in the 23rd year of his rule (Showa year 23 - Western year 1948) he authorized changing the reading of the Japanese date to the Western style left to right?
    r to l:
    l to r:

    Do you know the first Japanese proof coinage was struck under his authorization in 1987 (Showa year 62)?

    Do you know Akahito became Japan's Emperor in 1989 and he picked Heisei and the current year 2006 is Heisei 17?

    Do you know Japan struck 1,500 platinum 10 Momme bullion coins in Showa year 12 (1937)?

    Do you know since every 20th Century Japanese coin bears the legend Dai Nippon (Great Japan) on it?

    Do you know, besides the official Japanese government's coinage, many provinces' shoguns issued their own coins?


    December 23 Is Emperor Akihito's Birthday (tenno no tanjobi):

    In Japan the birthday of the current emperor is always a national holiday. If the emperor changes, the national holiday changes to the birthday date of the new emperor.

    A new leader is being sworn in as the new ruler of Japan. Anyone know his name and what his "era" will be named?

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  3. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Actually I did know everything in the post except:
    This year is Heisei 18. 1989 was both Showa 64 and Heisei Gan (First), since Akihito became Emperor immediately upon the death of his father in January. To determine the Heisei year you must subtract 1988 (the last year he wasn't Emperor) from the current year.

    During and since the occupation of Japan following World War II "Dai Nihon" was dropped from the coinage, currency and other places. "Nihon Koku" (loosely translated as Country of Japan) is the current legend.

    I don't know where that came from. [​IMG] As of this morning's Japanese newscast on Los Angeles TV Channel 18, Akihito was alive and well. There wiill be no new ruler while he lives. The Emperor has been a symboll of the country, but not the head of government since Japan's surrender to end WW II.

    The recent change in Prime Ministers did not affect the Tenno Nengo (Emperor's Era). Although hHistorically a new Nengo has sometimes been proclaimed during an Emperor's lifetime, based on some fundamental change in government, this has not occurred since the 1867 Meiji Restoration, nor, to the best of my recollection, for several centuries before that.

    A couple of additional bits of interesting trivia related to Clinker's post:

    1. Hirohito became Regent in 1921 due to his father's ultimately fatal illness, so in effect he reigned for 68 years (still less than Victoria).

    2. The recent birth of a son to Akihito's younger son has prevented a constitutional crisis over whether or not to eliminate the prohibition of a reigning Empress;. There had been a movement springing up to return to the ancient law under which there actually were multiple reigning Empresses, so that the daughter of Akihito's elder son would be in the line of succession.
  4. seeker007

    seeker007 New Member

    I only have been "collecting" for about a month. So, I didn't know any of that.
  5. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Once again you have done a wonderful job. Thank you for continuing my education, and, No, I did not know most of the 'rest of the story'.
    Thank you
    P.S. Satookoto, thank you for your addendum. I was wondering when Akihito had died.
  6. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    Uh, I was going to say that 2006 was Heisei 18, but satootoko beat me to it.

    Excellent trivia, Clinker. I find the complexity of dating systems of various countries/cultures fascinating.
  7. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Acanthite,the Japanese regnal caledar gives 1989 as being both Showa 64 & Heisei 1,but Heisei 1 is what all of 1989's coins are dated as.Therefore,Emperor Akihito was in his first year at accession.The Ancient Egyptians also used a regnal calendar.

  8. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Gosh, you just made a medocre trivia article into a great trivia article!

  9. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector


    Maybe you'll get to be first to correct me in the future!

  10. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector


    At one time none of us knew anything about coins, but thanks to fellow coin club members, neighborhood coin shop dealers, articles in coin publications, the Red Book, the cOINS OF nORTH america, the Official Catalog of World Coins, and other members (including the moderators) of Coin Chat, we all can learn something new and/or interesting about our hobby.

  11. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Wrong on two counts:

    First of all, modern Japanese coins are never dated "ichi" (the cardinal number "one"). Instead they are dated "gan" (the ordinal number "first"). The total mintage of "Heisei 1" coins of all denominations was zero.

    (The Kanji character "ichi" is a single horizontal line. The Kanji character "gan" roughly resembles a fancy Greek letter "pi", with a line above it.)

    Secondly, although there were no ¥50 or higher valued coins minted with a Showa 64 date, the Japan Mint Bureau did split their production of lower value coins, minting
    • 116.1-million Showa 64, and 2.37-billion Heisei Gan ¥1 coins
    • 67.3-million Showa 64 and 960-million Heisei Gan ¥5 coins, and
    • 74.7-million Showa 64 and 666-million Heisei Gan ¥10 coins.
    I believe all three Showa 64 coins exist because the Japan Mint Bureau, the Japanese Numismatic Dealers Association catalog. Krause, and the examples of each one in my own collection, all tell me to. :D
  12. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Hey, where are the great examples of Japanese pre Edo coins, like the gold oban and koban?

    Example can be seen at coinvault's site:
  13. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    Like this? (first year)

    Attached is a picture of a Hoei Era koban.
  14. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    [​IMG] Thanks. :bow:
  15. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    gxseries, I don't know that there are any pre-Edo oban and koban coins. That system began in Edo times. Prior to this, Chinese coins were used, or those minted by various feudal lords. However, the monetary unit, called the ryo (about 15 grams), was carried over.
  16. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

  17. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

  18. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    WOW! I didn't know my little trivia piece on 20th century Japan coins would take such a turn as to go back into the past so far. However I enjoyed the tour and the wandering scenic panoramas. A great big T H A N K S !

  19. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    There is something I wondered about this,

    "Do you know Japan struck 1,500 platinum 10 Momme bullion coins in Showa year 12 (1937)?"

    Do you happen to have any pictures of such? Never really heard of it.

    As well as, you might want to know this, that is during the late WWII, I believe in 1945-6, Japan resorted to make coins in clay due to a sharp shortage of metals but this was minted only for a short period of time. There are red, brown and white version, white being much scarcer.
  20. AdamL

    AdamL Likes Silver

    Good stuff Clinker. Maybe next you can teach me about the jewish and muslim ways of dating coins..
  21. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Actually, according to Michael Cummings' Modern Japanese Coinage{ they were procuced for only a few days in early August, 1945, and circulated only in the Tokyo area.

    The white ones are more than scarce - they are almost unknown. Red ones show up periodically on EBay, and occasionally someone will auction one they call brown, that are really closer to the red.
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