Japan (Shogunate) 1 Shu, c. 1850
Condition Notes: Problem-free with light golden toning.
Not all coins are circular! This is a small silver coin struck during the Shogunate, or "Edo", period of Japan. During that time, the military governor (or "shogun") of Tokyo effectively controlled the nation. An emperor nominally ruled, but held no actual power. This particular coin was produced in the 1850's, near the end of the Shogunate period. Up to that period, Japan had resisted all attempts at globalization and had remained almost completely isolated from the west. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy sailed toward Tokyo with a small squadron of heavily-cannoned steam frigates and demanded that Japan sign a trade treaty with the U.S. In the face of superior military force, the Japanese granted Perry his demands and the nation began to open up to trade with the U.S. and European powers. This coin was struck during a period of great cultural and political upheaval in Japan.
Specs: Silver, 15x9mm, 1.9g