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We are very pleased to offer this authentic 10 Yen banknote of Japan for your consideration. It features a portrait of Wake no Kiyomaro and a view of the Go-o Shinto Shrine in Kyoto. Wake no Kiyomaro (733–799) entered palace service as a military guard and distinguished himself in the suppression of a rebellion and thwarted the evil designs on the throne by the priest Dokyo. Later Kiyomaro became the principal adviser to Emperor Kammu and he was appointed to numerous high offices. He also was responsible for moving the capital from Nara, first to Nagaokakyo and then to Heiankyo (Kyoto) in 794. Because he had displeased the Empress Shoken (although he had saved the throne) Kiyomaro was temporarily exiled to Osumi (now Kagoshima). On the way there, he hurt his leg, but was miraculously saved when 300 wild boars appeared to protect him. His leg also healed soon.
The Go-o Shrine in Kyoto venerates Kiyomaro. Go-o means “Protection of the Monarch” and the protector of the monarch, in this case, is the deity who is revered here: Wake no Kiyomaro, All Shinto shrines have statues of what are called koma-inu, or guardian dogs. In 1890, the Go-o shrine took the somewhat eccentric step of replacing their statues of guardian dogs with those of boars. Accordingly, it is also known as the Wild Boar Shrine where pilgrims come to pray for their health and seek to cure all manner of leg injuries. This note survives in very fine condition with excellent color. ( See below for more on Japan )
Series and Denomination: 10 Yen - 1930
Serial Number: 103937
Condition: Extremely Fine
Reference: Pick 40
Japanese legend maintains that Japan was founded in 600 BC by the Emperor Jimmu, a direct descendant of the sun goddess and ancestor of the present ruling imperial family. In about AD 405, the Japanese court officially adopted the Chinese writing system. Together with the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century, these two events revolutionized Japanese culture and marked the beginning of a long period of Chinese cultural influence. From the establishment of the first fixed capital at Nara in 710 until 1867, the emperors of the Yamato dynasty were the nominal rulers, but actual power was usually held by influential court nobles, regents, or "shoguns" (military governors).
The first recorded contact with the West occurred in about 1542, when a Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed in Japan. During the next century, traders from Portugal, the Netherlands, England, and Spain arrived, as did Jesuit, Dominican, and Franciscan missionaries. During the early part of the 17th century, Japan's shogunate suspected that the traders and missionaries were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers. This caused the shogunate to place foreigners under progressively tighter restrictions. Ultimately, Japan forced all foreigners to leave and barred all relations with the outside world except for severely restricted commercial contacts with Dutch and Chinese merchants at Nagasaki. This isolation lasted for 200 years, until Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy negotiated the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.
Within several years, renewed contact with the West profoundly altered Japanese society. The shogunate resigned, and the emperor was restored to power. The "Meiji restoration" of 1868 initiated many reforms. The feudal system was abolished, and numerous Western institutions were adopted, including a Western legal and educational system and constitutional government along parliamentary lines.
In 1898, the last of the "unequal treaties" with Western powers was removed, signaling Japan's new status among the nations of the world. In a few decades, by creating modern social, educational, economic, military, and industrial systems, the Emperor Meiji's "controlled revolution" had transformed a feudal and isolated state into a world power.
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