Height: 174.000 mm
Width: 45.000 mm
Coins and Medals
Hansatsu (clan note) for 1 momme of silver
From southern Japan
Edo period, AD 1777
Note issued by the Amagasaki clan
Paper money was first issued in Japan in the
early seventeenth century, when serious shortages of coins hampered
day-to-day financial transactions. Only the Tokugawa Shogunate, the
central government of Japan, had the right to make coins. The
The earliest hansatsu was issued by the Fukui clan in 1661. Other clan rulers soon realized the advantages of issuing and controlling their own paper money. In addition to relieving the shortage of coins, hansatsu also generated financial income; they helped the feudal clan rulers to balance their finances, create a monopoly system, and provide relief funds for impoverished samurai and commoners. Some clan territories had well-developed commodity economies, and would make vast profits by paying for goods in notes, and re-selling the goods for coins.
Most early issues were made by the feudal clans, but later issues were also made by towns, temples and court nobles. Like this note for 1 momme of silver, most hansatsu had values in terms of the gold, silver and copper coins of the Tokugawa Shogunate, but a few were denominated in rice, wine or oil.