JAPAN, 10 sen, M-42 (1909 AD)


JAPAN, 10 sen, M-42 (1909 AD), Osaka mint, silver, 0.0521 ozT, Y29, AU-Unc

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The Japanese government decided to modernize when the captain of an American ship demanded entry and the Japanese realized they couldn’t stop him. They decided to modernize, fought a brief war of unification, and proceeded to adopt all of the “hard” elements of western technology, including coinage.

The big player in East Asia is China, of course. Then there is Japan and Korea, throw in Mongolia. South of China and east of India, but not including, for the most part, the islands to the east, is what we call Southeast Asia. From Burma to Malaya there have been a series of local kingdoms for about 2000 years. Russia, with its Asian Siberia, doesn’t count. We consider it part of Europe.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.