Kyoho-chogin (Chogin is a collective term of silver) (Kyoho is the era in Edo period.) (享保丁銀)

Kyoho-chogin is a silver coin by weight standard as well as a kind of chogin that was issued in September 1714, and it was called by "Shotoku-chogin"as well. Kyoho-chogin (shotoku-chogin) and kyoho-mameitagin (shotokumameitagin) (name of the coin in the same era) were collectively called by kyoho-gin and shotoku-gin.

On the front side, hallmark of (daikokutenzo)" joze" and "joze ho"were inscribed, and the form was the same as that of keicho-chogin. Sometimes those inscribed with more than 10 hallmarks including daikoku hallmark were called shotoku-chogin as initial minting, while those with less than 9 hallmarks were called kyoho-chogin as second minting. Daikoku-chogin where 12 hallmarks of daikoku were inscribed was used for payment to the authorities or celebration, but in this case, it is impossible to classify kyoho and shotoku by the number of hallmarks inscribed.

As for koban (former Japanese oval gold coin), the karat was upgraded a little when shotoku koban was changed to kyoho koban, and there is a theory that the karat of chogin was also upgraded in the early stage to keep a balance with gold coin.

Brief history

In October 1712, Hakuseki ARAI discharged Hideshige OGIWARA who was a kanjobugyo (commissioner of finance), and started to remint to go back to the system of keicho currency in order to stop confusion caused by repetitive reminting of silver by weight standard. Ginza (organization in charge of casting and appraising of silver during Edo period) which gained enomous amount of profit by reminting was inspected on June 24, 1714, and toshiyori (heads) of ginza including Shozaemon FUKAE were exiled to isolated island or punished with kessho (confiscation of one's estate for punishment): this incident was called Shotoku no chi (political reform of Shotoku). After that, in place of Kyuemon SEKI,, Joze DAIKOKU who was Chozaemon DAIKOKU retuned to ginza.

This reminting was a return to the silver coin at higher karat, and a method of spliting silver and broze in cupellating was needed to seperate cupellated silver and refined bronze in genroku-chogin and hoei-chogin at lower karat which were collected from market. The classification was carried out in Asakusa Suwa-cho in Tokyo in June 1714, and in Kyoto it was carried out at the house of Shozaemon FUKAE who was punished at kessho.and Naizosuke NAKAMURA. In Kyoto, fukisho (place of reminting) was established in these houses where reminting was started by cupellating method from the end of December by those who reminted bronze from Osaka, but from December of 1718, Osaka Reminting Place started to be responsible for all the works.

Rather than economic development,Hakuseki ARAI who was a Neo-Confucian scholar emphasized moral of Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by shogun) based on the motto by Ieyasu TOKUNAGA "currency must be reminted by material which is respected all the time,"but the situation changed drastically from Keicho era. In other words, in addition to low silver production, amount was in short supply by distribution to foreign country and population increased by double, causing development of economic activity on large scale. Fot this reason, the amount of minted coin was reduced and commodity price gradually went down as a result of deflation, which resulted in recession. Therefore, in June, 1730, han satsu (han bill) was permitted to be issued.

For a while, after the start of distributing kyoho-gin, both genroku-gin and four types of hoei-gin were used. Since karat of these silvers was different, a government order of cupellating silver of Shotoku on May 15, 1714, stipulated that the incremental volume of old silver to eiji-chogin, mitsuho-chogin and yotsuho-chogin should be 10% for shotoku-gin and keicho-gin, 30% for futatsu-hogin and 60% for genroku-gin. However, it was impossible to distribute three types of hoei-gin of which karat was different at the same value,and it was discriminated in the market. Therefore, in October 1718, the system was changed to be based on the silver amount contained where addition was made to shotoku-gin and keicho-gin by the following rate: Genroku-gin by 25%, Futatsuho-gin by 60%, Eiji-gin by 100%, Mitsuho-gin by 150% Yotsuho-gin by 300%, and it confirmed the market. In November, silver coin (eiji-gin, mitsuho-gi, and yotsuho-gin) for trading by silver was changed to new silver (shotoku-gin).

The articles for sales in the store had several price lists subject to several types of cho-gin, and in 1718, "List of Exchange of Six Types of Silver", the exchange list of several types of chogin, was published. Seijun KURATA said that "it was so complicated that I could not stand"in Sehodenroku (Record of Treasure). Bakufu proclaimed in March 1720 that genroku-gin and four types of hoei-gin were stopped to be distributed by the end of 1721, but it was postponed to April, 1722 and actually it was stopped at the end of 1722.

On March 17, 1737, it was proclaimed that kyoho-gin and keicho-gin were stopped in January 1738, but it was postponed to the end of April in 1738.


The karat of kyohomameita-gin and shotokumameita-gin was the same as that of kyoho-chogin (shotoku-chogin) where hallmark of "(daikokuzo), joze" or "joze, ho"was inscribed and its style was the same as that of keicho-chogin keichomameita-gin, and many were flat and round with few numbers of deformed one. The fact that daikokuzo faces front is the same as cho-gin.

Karat of kyoho-gin (shotoku-gin)

The regulated karat was 80% by silver (12% discount) and 20% by bronze.

In Meiji period, Minting Authority in Japan analyzed the coin in Edo period. The description of kyoho-gin was as follows.

Gold; 0.17%
Miscellaneous: 20.18%

Most part of the miscellaneous was bronze, but also included a small amount of lead, bismuth, and so on. The lead contained in this miscellaneous was 2 to 3%, which means that its containment was larger than keicho-gin, and a large amount of lead must have remained by cupellating method to seperate silver and bronze, a nanban (Western Europe) -style cupellating method.

Minting amount of kyoho-gin (shotoku-gin)

Suijiroku (collection of documents focusing on finance in Edo period) says that the total amount of cho-gin and mameita-gin up to April 1736 was a little more than 331,420 kan (about 1,242 ton).

Tsukidokenbunroku (document describing society between 1697 to 1734) says that, among which, 223,080 kan 571 monme (unit of weight) was cupellated by July 1721.

Buichi-gin of shotoku-gin, which was an income of ginza when cho-gin was cupellated from cupellated silver and collected old silver, was reduced to 3% of minted amount that is the same as that of keicho-gin, and it was impossible to make a profit by reminting because they had to cupellate to upgrade karat, causing ginza and joze financial crisis.

[Original Japanese]