Monday, 12 November 2007

Paper Money History: Japanese Currency in 17th Century

In Japan commerce developed during the Medieval era in an area now known as Ise City, and around the 1600's a form of paper money evolved from its growth known as the Yamada Hagaki. Ise City was then known as the Ise Yamada area and the word "hagaki" was derived from the phrase "a small slip of odd sums".

The Yamada Hagaki
Copyright of The Bank of Japan

This form of paper currency was issued by a body of Shintu priests who were also merchants as a form of receipt. Its system was soon well established and trusted so that though it was privately issued it became widely accepted by the public.

The Yamada Hagaki currency explained
Copyright of The Bank of Japan

For me the Yamada Hagaki seems like the first proto-type of modern banknotes, the reason being the money and its system was more or less nationally accepted and circulated even though it was issued privately; it was also stamped, signed, dated and had a specific value attached to it just as our money is signed, sealed, dated and set in monetary values today. It's currency value was "5 Fun".

The Yamada Hagaki was issued and circulated for over 300 years and is known to have close characteristics with the modern banknotes of Japan. So Japan is another country that contributed to the history of paper money in a significant way and it is really pleasing to see that this proto-type has been preserved and can be viewed by all. The Bank of Japan has a Museum were pictures, currency, maps and other relevant historical material are displayed. Admission is free, so for the traveler and paper money collector if you visit Japan pay them a visit. For further information please visit The Bank of Japan Museum.


Zelie said...

Hi, I am trying to find out what the currnecy would of been in 17th century italy, if it was paper or coins. Just wondering if you could help me?thanks

Paper Money Collecting said...

Thanks for dropping by Zelie, Italy in the 17th Century wasn't a great player in the history of Paper Money, they used coins to a great effect in the earlier days, and probably came on board later on. You may want to visit a couple of sites. Are you on Facebook? My address is
contact me and we can sort something out.

Debby Fletcher said...

I have currency from the 1940s from Japan and the Philippines, and maybe one other country. How do I find out the value of the currency? I have one peso, two pesos, one yen, ten yen and 100 pesos, and the other money just has the numbers on it, but doesn't say whether it is yen or what. It has a gentleman's face on the front of the currency. Thank you.