Important Cultural PropertyKaiki Shōhō coins

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  • Excavated in Fushimi-chō, Nara city
  • 8 pieces
  • Nara period/8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-19576~19580

This is the first gold coin minted in Japan. The article for March 16, 760 in the Shoku Nihongi (the second history text of the Six National Histories of Japan) says that due to the spread of shichusen (counterfeit coins of Wado Kaichin), copper coins Mannentsuho, silver coins Taiheigenpo and gold coins Kaikishoho were newly minted, where ten Mannentsuho were equivalent to one Taiheigenpo and ten Taiheigenpo were equivalent to one Kaikishoho. The rim of the coin is rather wide on both sides and inside the head, four characters of Kaikishoho are cast in high relief in a clockwise direction. The tail of the coin is blank. Since the find sites and coins excavated are small in number (two sites and 32 coins) and some of them were stuck to each other or some have burrs on them, it is doubtful if these coins were actually circulated and used.