Early Japanese Currency

Japan’s modern currency, the Yen, only came into use during the Meiji period. The Meiji Government passed the New Currency Act in 1871. This both established the Yen as Japan’s currency and pegged its value to gold. Japanese currency before the 1870s was rather complicated. During the Tokugawa period (1603–1868), regional domains has different currencies. Commodities were commonly used as currency for much of Japanese history with rice being one of the most important. For example, the Tokugawa Shogunate collected taxes in the form of rice (koku). This article will explore early Japanese currency during the period in which the nascent Yamato State began to consolidate its power during the seventh and eighth centuries.

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