Thursday

Mito Tora Sen

This is a very popular E-sen with an image of a tiger on the reverse. Most were cast in copper but iron issues exist. The top left image was recently auctioned on eBay and brought $138.50. It is a beautiful-looking iron issue. But, as far as I know, its seed coin is different from the one used to cast copper issues. In other words, there were two varieties of seed coins: one for casting copper and one for casting iron issue. The problem with this beautiful iron one is that it is not the correct variety for iron. I illustrate three genuine coins for comparison. Can you identify the differences? The beautiful iron one is likely a recent casting using a genuine copper issue.

Wednesday











Morioka Dozan is a real tough coin to find, unless, of course, it's an imitation. I show two photos here: one on the left is believed to be genuine; the coin on the right is from recent eBay auction where it brought $160.


The seller writes, "Japanese Morioka copper 100 Mon coin in oval shape like Tenpo Tsuho with 4 characters on both side issued in 1866. KM#50. Rare coin. VF condition. 47.8x31.8mm and 22.9g. Guaranteed genuine."

I show another Morioka that is worth only a few dollars.

Tenpo Tsuho Seed Coin? The same seller had this coin, too, in which it also brought a very high price of $160. "Unusual Japanese Lead-Tin 100 Mon coin in oval shape, Tenpo Tsuho, issued in 1835-70. Scarce special SAMPLE coin or MOTHER coin. VF condition. 49x32.1mm and 23.7g."

I really don't know what this coin is, but it is not a seed. From its color, it may be a Hakudo-Sen or white copper issue. But it could also be something that was made recently. Sometimes it is difficult to say for sure without seeing the actual coin.

Very, very obvious fake. Fraction of a second look at it all it takes. This is the piece the commentator is talking about.











Tuesday




Cracker Jack Prize - Japanese Version

This type of Tenpo Tsuho coin is often termed "Glico Tenpo." Each Glico caramel box contained a prize, which came in a separate box attached atop the caramel box. It was something very similar to Cracker Jack prize, cheap collectible toy for children to enjoy. During the coin collecting craze of the 1950s, by collecting certain points, children could send away for a genuine Tenpo Tsuho. However, because of overwheming demand for the coins, the genuine coins soon ran out. Glico company was forced to make imitation Tenpo Tsuho.

The coin illustrated is not from Edo Period. It is from the 1950s. Yes, it does look genuine. How does one tell it apart from Edo issues? The reverse characters are deeply cut, and the coin is almost medallic in appearance. This is an imitation of Honza Kokaku variety. The Honza coin has filing marks; this coin does not. Good news is that this coin is worth a bit more than the genuine coin.

Monday

I provide an useful chart below for cross-referencing Shin Kanei Tsuho. The first number is from Attribution Guide to Shin Kanei Tsuho (1984), (none left for sale); the second number is from Guide to the Copper Cash Coinage of Japan by Jones (2007), available on this site.

1 - 199, 4 - 200, 5 - 201, 11 - 202, 20 - 203, 24 - 204, 25 - 205, 28 - 206,31 - 207, 33 - 208, 37 - 209, 39 - 201, 42 - 211, 43 - 212, 44 - 213, 48 - 214,53 - 215, 54 - 216, 57 - 217, 60 - 218, 68 - 219, 71 - 220, 72 - 221, 73 - 222,74 - 223, 75 - 224, 81 - 225, 83 - 226, 85 - 227, 89 - 228, 90 - 229, 91 - 230,95 - 231, 97 - 232

100 - 233, 103 - 234, 104 - 235, 105 - 236, 109 - 237, 110 - 238, 116 - 239,117 - 240, 118 - 241, 119 - 242, 121 - 244, 124 - 243, 126 - 245, 128 - 246,129 - 247, 130 - 248, 131 - 249, 132 - 250, 133 - 251, 134 - 252, 135 - 253,136 - 254, 142 - 255, 143 - 256, 146 - 257, 147 - 258
150 - 259

151 - 259, 153 - 260, 156 - 261, 157 - 262, 158 - 263, 159 - 264, 163 - 265, 165 - 266, 166 - 267, 168 - 268, 169 - 269, 171 - 270, 172 - 271, 175 - 272, 178 - 273, 179 - 274, 180 - 275, 181 - 276, 182 - 278, 183 - 277, 184 - 279, 185 - 280, 186 - 281, 188 - 282, 189 - 283, 190 - 283, 193 - 284, 195 - 285, 196 - 286, 197 - 287, 199 - 291

200 - 292, 201 - 293, 203 - 294, 205 - 295, 210 - 296, 212 - 297, 216 - 298, 217 - 303, 218 - 299, 219 - 300, 220 - 301, 221 - 302, 222 - 304, 223 - 305,224 - 306, 225 - 307, 229 - 308, 230 - 309, 232 - 310, 234 - 311, 235 - 312, 236 - 313, 240 - 314, 243 - 315, 244 - 316, 249 - 288, 250 - 289, 251 - 290252 - 290, 253 - 320, 254 - 321

Errata: I note errors in Cash Coinage. From time to time, I will list them through a listing such as this. If you own the work, correct the text as we go. If you spot other errors, should be quite a few, let me know.

P109, #204, should read Saiji Bun Mu Hai, instead of Saiji Hai Mu Ha.
P112. #265, illustrates the character Kan 寛 but should be Ho 寶.

Tuesday

A Great Find
If you collect Japanese coins, I am sure you would be interested in all things Japanese. A few months ago, I found a very nice internet site where anyone could watch thousands of Japanese movies for free. The site is VEOH.com.

You need to download their program, which only takes 5 minutes or so. After you download it, click the icon, which opens the program, and then click search. You want to search in the VEOH box at the top, not Google or any other box.

Just type in the name of movie if you know the title in ROMAJI. If you want to browse, type in "j-movie," "jmovie," "japanese movie," "jdrama," "jdorama," "j-drama," or "j-dorama."

I have been watching the weekly Atsuhime on-line. It is about the last Shogun and his wife just before the Meiji Restoration. It is broadcast by NHK and about 45 minutes each show. Right now there are 23 shows available. Check it out. Although several people have posted this drama, one with Chinese sub., the best can be found by typing "athm." One drawback of this show is that since this is a long series, the story moves at a snail's pace.

Another fun movie is called "sengoku jieitai." It is about a modern day Japanese defence force that gets trapped in a time warp and goes back to sengoku jidai, where the battle of Sekigahara is about to take place. "Heavenly forest" is another good movie.

Also, a must see is "Grave of Fireflies." The non-anime version is available but has not been on VEOH yet. It is about two kids who go through hardship after the dropping of atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Yes, this is cartoon but like any other Japanese anime, it is so realistic. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry!

NOTE: Sometimes the VEOH program does not work. In that case, go to their website and input the title of the movie there. The movie appears in a small screen as a clip. Hit the button that says "watch in Veoh," which immediately takes you to your VEOH program and starts playng the movie in full.

Monday



More Coins Made in China

The coin on the right is called "Chuzan Tsuho," 中山通寶. It was supposedly made in the Ryukyu during the Chuzan empire, Ming China Period. Old Japanese coin catalogs illustrate it, but it is likely an early fantasy. This coin, however, is something that was made recently for eBayers.

The coin on the left is called "Taichu Tsuho" It has 治 (Ji) for 加治木. This present coin is no good. The genuine coin is quite rare, and from my understanding, there is only a single type with no varieties recorded.

Saturday




Strange Iron Shin-Kanei Tsuho


Georg from Finland writes: "I had lucky to find this interesting iron coin, size: 21.9-22.1 mm.
I am not find this coin from Ogawa Yoshinori/1969 Catalog,but there is many similar elements with copper Akita-sen/y.1738,Catalog # 124."
Georg is correct. At a glance, there are similarities with Akita coin called Chuji-Kosui. However, 寶 on Chuji is written much higher than this coin pictured. There are also many minute differences. Granted, this coin has rusts, and rusts do sometimes distort the characters. But they do not rewrite them. Can anyone ID this variety?