Author Archives: driwancybermuseum

The Dai Nippon War In Manchuria And whole China History Collections

 

The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum

                    

(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)

                    Please Enter

                   

              DMC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Dai Nippon Cybermuseum)

Showroom :

The Driwan Dai Nippon War’s book

(Buku Karangan Dr Iwan “Perang Dai Nippon)

 

Frame One:

Introductions

1.I have the complete collection of postal and ocument history during Dai Nippon Occupations Java Island 1942-1945, chronology day per day from the Capitulation day on March,8th.1945 to August,17th,1945(2605) ,also until The Japanese Army back Home to their homeland Dec.1945 but the Dai nippon revenue still used by Republic Indonesai until 1947.

2. Now I only add the 1942(2602) Collections, and if the collectors want the look the complete collections ,not only from Java island  but also from sumatra Island, please subscribe as the blog premium member via comment,and we will contack you via your airmail. We will help you to arranged the very rare and amizing collections of Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia postal and document special for you.

3.I had add in my block the articles odf Dai nippon war from all east asia countries, many collectors and friend asking me to edited  that all information in one book, and now I have finish that amizing book.

4.Not many Historic Pictures durting this period, if we found always in bad condition and black  _white  as the book illustrations, I hope someday the best colour pictures will exist to add in the book.

5.This book is the part of the Book :”THE DAI NIPPON WAR”

6. My Collections still need more info and corrections from the collectors of all over the world,thanks for your partcipatnt to make this collections more complete.

Jakarta, Mei 2012

Greatings From

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Perkenalan
1.Saya  memiliki koleksi lengkap sejarah pos dan dokumen serta gambar  selama Dai Nippon Menduduki Pulau Jawa  1942-1945  berupa kronologi hari per hari dari hari kapitulasi pada Maret, 8th.1945 sampai Agustus, 17, 1945 (2605), juga sampai Jepang Tentara kembali ketanah airnya , sampai untuk Dec.1945 Tentara Dai nippon masih memiliki kekuasaan yang dberikan oleh Sekutu sehingga prangko dan meterainya masih digunakan oleh Republik Indonesai hingga 1947.

2. Sekarang aku hanya menambahkan 1942 (2602) Koleksi, dan jika kolektor ingin terlihat koleksi lengkap, tidak hanya dari pulau Jawa tetapi juga dari Pulau sumatra, silakan berlangganan sebagai anggota premium blog melalui komentar, dan kami akan contack Anda melalui Anda pos udara. Kami akan membantu Anda untuk mengatur koleksi sangat langka dan amizing Dai Nippon Pekerjaan Indonesia pos dan dokumen khusus untuk Anda.

3.saya  telah menambahkan di blok saya, artikel perang Dai nippon dari seluruh negara asia timur, banyak kolektor dan teman meminta saya untuk mengedit  seluruh informasi tersebut dalam sebuah  buku, dan sekarang saya sudah menyelesaikan BUKU yang menarik ini.
4.Gambar  sejarah selama  periode ini,  kami ditemukan selalu dalam kondisi buruk dan  hitam putih dari  ilustrasi buku, saya berharap suatu hari nanti gambar warna terbaik akan ada untuk menambahkan dalam buku ini.
5.Tulisan ini  adalah bagian dari buku karangan saya : ” PERANG DAI NIPPON (THE DAI NIPPON  WAR)”
6. Koleksi saya masih perlu info dan koreksi dari kolektor di seluruh dunia, terima kasih atas partisipasit Anda untuk membuat koleksi ini lebih lengkap.7. terima kasih kepada berbagai pihak yang telah membantu sya sehingga buku ini dapat terwijud, maaf namanya tidak saya tampilkan satu persatu.

Jakarta, Mei 2012

Salam  Dari

Dr Iwan Suwandy

 
_________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Table Of Content

Part One:

The Dai Nippon war In Indonesia

1.Chapter One :

The dai nippon war In Indonesia 1942. 

2.Chapter Two:The Dai Nippon War In Indonesia 1945

Part Two.:

The Dai Nippon War In Korea

Part Three:

The Dai Nippon war In China

 Part Four :

The Dai Nippon War In Malaya Archiphelago ,Malayan Borneo and Singapore,also Phillipine

In Malaya the Japanese overwhelmed a Commonwealth army composed of British, Indian, Australian and Malay forces. The Japanese were quickly able to advance down the Malayan peninsula, forcing the Commonwealth forces to retreat towards Singapore. The British lacked aircover and tanks; the Japanese had total air superiority. The sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on December 10, 1941 led to the east coast of Malaya being exposed to Japanese landings and the elimination of British naval power in the area. By the end of January 1942, the last Allied forces crossed the strait of Johore and into Singapore. Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese on Christmas Day.

In the Philippines, the Japanese pushed the combined Filipino-American force towards the Bataan peninsula and later the island of Corregidor. By January 1942, General Douglas MacArthur and President Manuel L. Quezon were forced to flee in the face of Japanese advance. This marked among one of the worst defeats suffered by the Americans, leaving over 70,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war in the custody of the Japanese.

On February 15, 1942, Singapore, due to the overwhelming superiority of Japanese forces and encirclement tactics, fell to the Japanese, causing the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. An estimated 80,000 Indian, Australian and British troops were taken as prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken in the Japanese invasion of Malaya (modern day Malaysia). Many were later used as forced labour constructing the Burma Railway, the site of the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai.

During 1943 and 1944, Allied forces, backed by the industrial might and vast raw material resources of the United States, advanced steadily towards Japan. The Sixth United States Army, led by General MacArthur, landed on Leyte on 19 October 1944. In the subsequent months, during the Philippines Campaign (1944–45), the combined United States and the Philippine Commonwealth troops, together with the recognized guerrilla units, liberated much of the Philippines.

Dai nippon War Part Three.

“The Dai nippon War In China”

Prolog

DAI NIPPON WAR IN CHINA

(3)1932
(a)january 1932
The Japanese seized the Northeastren China Province in 1932.In manchuria a violent tension had arisen in shanghai between dai Nippon and chinese, a tension which led the landing of Dai Nippon Marines on January 28th 1932 for what was expected to be a rapid and simple action-the dispersal of the Chinese defensive forces.Mao Comunist local pst office issued the thirs stamps nominal 4 cent design Communist emblem in the star.


(b) The Japanese stamps used at Daeren. manchuria 1932.
(c)The vintage picture photo from vintage dutch enciclopedia, Emperor Puyi (the young man with jacket) with the Dai Nippon soldier and the Manchuira government official(P)


(d)Januaty 1932
ROC soldier moving to the front after Dai Nippon invasion of Shanghai in January 28th,1932.
(e) The Vintage picture photo book illustration .Profile of Araki Sadao, Dai Nippon General and menistry of war of prime menistry Inoekai (Dec 1931-Jan 1934). He created the Bloody military attack during China-japan conflict, Occupied Manchuria, Shanghai and province Jehol (P)
 

(f) The vintage Picture Photo book illustration, Effect of Bomb in Hongkew,Shanghai.and A chinese soldier examining a comarade who has been killed by a bomb at Taitsang outside Shanghai , and Japanese soldiers during street-fighting in shanghai (P)
(g)May 1932
May 1st, Mao communist Local postoffice issue eight worker day stamps, three communist flag and glbe,two soldier, two communiat flag and one the communist soldiers in war.
(h)The vintage picture photo book illustration, A picture taken on August,14th 1937 showing the immense crowds on Garden Bridge and the bund to watch the first air attack on Idzumo.
(h)The Vintage color Picture Postcard of Honkew Market Shanghai and Race Course Shanghai.
(i) ROC Post office issued the Martyr stamps, printing between 1932-1934.
nominal 1/2,1,21/2,3,8,10,13,17,10,20,30,40 and 50 cent.
also issued Nrthwest Scientific expedition cmmemrative stamps nominal 1,4. 5 and 10 cent
and the thir issue airmail Stamps fligt on greatwall nominal 15c,25,30,45,50,60,90 c and $ 1.-,2.- ,5.- .
(j) March 1932
The vintage picture photo from magazine illustration in March,5th 1932. The Chinese Artillerist training to used Granat at the Chinese-Japanese fornt (P)
Not until very cnsiderable reinforcements had been brought from Dai Nippon did the Nineteenth Army retire in good order on Marchd 2nd, but by then the district of Chapei, where fighting had taken place, wasno more than a heaps of ruins and it is estimated that the material damage in this thickly populated quater amounted to 350 million shanghai dollars.
(k) May 1932
May 1st 1932, Mao Communist local post office issued two types stamps, Military stamps eight nominal and
worker day stamps two nominal 1 and 2 cents.
2. The Chiang New life Movement (1933-1937)

(1)1933
(a)The Mao Communist mounted an uprising in Fukien provcince 1933
and Chiang issued the strategy against Mao in 1933.
(b) January 1933
Fragment cover used Dr Sun type I double circle 2x 1cent and Junk 2x 4 cent (rate 10 cent) CDS Shanghai 18.1933.
January 1933,Mao Communist Local Post office issued red Flower stamp
(c)In 1933 Dai Nippon Military seizure Jehol and invasion of eastren Hopei ( DN issued overprint Hupei in chines langguage on Dr Sun stamps)
(d)February 1933
In February,19th.1933.Chiang launching the “New Life Movement” at nanchang in an effort to rekindle the chinese moral sense and reinfrce determination to resist foreign aggression and ideology
The Kuomintang has developed more and more into an upperclass party. It is not likely in the beginning the Father of the revolution, Dr Sun ,foresaw any such tendency. But sun merried one of the exceptionnally gifted daughters of the Soong dynasty, one of the richerest families in China, and Chiang chose for his consort the most energic of these ssiters, while Dr H.H.Kung, the present Prime menister of China, merrierd a third of the sisterss , and the brothers Soong, particulary T.V.Shoong have acquired a far reching influence in State affairs.
Chiang asked Dr Sun ‘s mother in law and Dr Sun’s wife brothers , to marry to Dr Sun’s wife sister.
All the family of Dr Sun’s mother in law accepted to Chiang prefered with one condition, Chiang must went home t the village fr asking permisiions from his family and divorce his first wive. chiang sent his first wife to USA and never met her again.
After that Chiang merried the Dr sun’s wife sister , his second wife then became the ROC first lady and she have gave Chiang many support.
(d) the rare Cinderella stamp commemorate one years Tuberculosis campaign in China. desig TB control emblem and the sun rays with the TB man.
(e) In the autumn of 1933 a revolt broke out in Fukien,which, however, was quickly crushed.
(f) In April 1933,Chiang launched his fourth campaign against, the communist armies in Kiangsi. In the course of the first engagement two f Chiang’s divisions were disarmed. After Chiang’s best division, the eleventh had been destroyed, the war was ended.
(g) October 1933
Used fragment cover Dr Sun double circle stamp 3x 25 cent and Martyr 2×10 cent CDS Shanghai 14.10.33.(PH)
(h) ROC issued Tan Yen Kai commemorative stamps.nominal 2,5,25 cent and $1.-
(1) Hupeh provincial bank issued the Pagoda Banknote 1 Yuan,10 Yuan and 100 Yuan.

(2)1934
(a)Fragment used block five Dr Sun stamps ttype II single circle 5 cent CDS Shanghai 9.5.1934 (rate 25 cents to Indonesia)
(b) From this year until 1936 eastren hopei entirely lawless conditions prevailed, with armed smuggling which cause the Chinese government a loss in revenue of two million dollars a week.(J.G.Anderson,1939)
(c) October 1934
The red generals now realized that their only chance of escape was to cut their way out and retire to more sheltered region. Quite unexpectedly they fell upon the blockading forts in Quangtung and Hunan in October 1934 and tok them bystorm, till the way lay open t the suth and west. Then began the Red armies long and famous March to the north-west thrugh Kiangsi,Hunan,Kueichw,Yunnan,Szechuan and eastren Tibet into Sensi and Kansu which became their new home. it was a strategic retreat, or ought we rather to call it astrategic advance-agains Dai Nippon; since the Reds have for years detested the civil war and dream of meeting the aggresor in the north ? This migration over adistance of more than six thousand miles, including several of the highest mountains of Asia and some of its greatest rivers is an aimost inconceivable feat of strength, the more so as it was attended by constant engagements with a far superirenemy. Altogether the march lasted almost exactly a year, and of its three hundred and sixty-eight days only one hundred were rest days,often disturbed by serious fighting, and in the two hundred and sixty-eight marching days the phenomenal average rate of twenty-three and a half miles a day reached, in great part on unmade mountain tracks! It is true that of ninety thousand who started from kiangsi only twenty thousand reached thei new home in Shensi; but their spirit was unbroken, as is shown by the succeeding great events,which contributed to bring about the present crisis between China and dai nippon.
Chiang never succeeded in completely defeating the red armies, although in the course of fve great campaign he mobilized all his available forces to this end.
The constanttly repeat assention by Dai Nippon that they are waging war against Chiang in order to extirpate Bolshecism in China is one of the most ludicrus f the propaganda lies by which world pinin is being misled at the present time. The truth is that during the great work of reorgani-zation ofthe last ten years Chiang has been forced t live between the devil and the deep sea. n the ther hand he had the cntinual intriguing f the great generals, besides the Reds, who shot up like a social epidemic where ne least expevted them; on the other the never-resting aggressin of the Dai Nippn. If during these years of recionstraction Dai Nippon had left the Chinese in piece to work ut their wn salvation.
the Red agitation would certainly have been in process of liquidation long ago in the only really effective way, namely by an agrarian reform, initiated from above but going to the bottom of the question,with the object of providing the agricultural Labourer with Land and making his hard life secure. Chiang himself comes of peasant stock and knows full well whre the shoe piinches.
(d) In the autumn of 1934 there began for Chiang and his energic consort new, colourful and adventuruous phase of their life.Their great flying tours in the interior of China to parts of the country which to them were comparatively unknown.

(3)1935
(a)The Vintage Picture Photo ” The first Mass Wedding in Shanghai 1935. A young couple could be merried for 23 shilling, wedding dinner included. (vintage book illustration)
(b) January 1935
fragment cover Cds 1/1-35 special chinese language postmark on 4 X 1c martyr and 2×5 c Dr Sun single circle (rate 14 cent) and frag. Martyr 10 cent and Dr Sun 15 cent CDS Swatow , date incHinese language.
(c) December 1935
In this month Mao communist local post office issued blue Military stamps.

(4)1936
(a)In the spring of 1936 the province of Quantung and Quanshi declared themselves independent of Nanking , but his revolt was brught to end in July when the Quantung air frce flew ver the Chiang’s flying base at Nanchang in Kiangshi and placed its self to the disposal of nanking.
For ten anxious years, amid constant fighting, now with the super-Tuchuns,the great provincial Governors, now withthe Rd Armies(Russian&Mao), Chiang had welded the cuntry into something resemblin a unified state. It was to be shown,howeever, in the ggreat event before and during the war with Dai Nippon, how far this cohesion yet come short of accomplishment.
(b)October 1936
In October 1936 Chiang flew up to Sian to organize the campaign against the Reds. He found the tungpei troops unwilling to fight the Reds, with whom they had so many interest in common. The only possibility was to sent up Nanking divisions for the anti-Communist campaign, ameasure which was eventually to lead the eliminating of the tungpei army. The tensin were extreme, the more so as a new ill-conceled dai Nippon advance was in progress in the north, in the province of Suiyuan. Chiang wished at all cost to avoid a general armed conflict with dai Nippon. The Tungpeis and the red together wished to march agains dai Nippon.Ten Nanking divison,with field equipment,were waiting in Tungkuan,ready to advance into Shensi. Railway trains full of war material were unloaded at Sian, and rders were given from Nanking that Sian and Lanchow to arrange to receive a hundred bombing planes, to be used in wiping outvthe Reds.
Thre events now follwed in rapid succesin, all calculated to increase the tension at Sian.The first was the signing of the anti-comitern pact between Germany and Dai Nipponwith Italy’s tacit recognation of the dai nippon occupation of Manchukuo in return for dai Nippon’s recognation of Italy’s conquest Abyssinia.
Seven respected citize of Shanghai , a banker,a jurist, some professors and writers had been arrest by Chiang’s order for Anti Japanese propaganda.
(c) November 1936
J.Gunnar Anderson entered again in November 1936, finding everywhere sweeping evidences of the rapid renaissance of avigrous healty nation.
The work of freconstruction would have been a still more assured success, had not Chiang and the thousand of able reformers working with him been labouring all the time under the most terrific stress, walk-ing “between the devil and the deep sea” . On the one hand,there were the constant onsslaught of the rebellious generals and the Communist, on the other, the never-ceasing encroachment of Land-hungry Dai Nippon militarist on Chinese territory.
n November 21st ne of Chiang best general Hu Chung-an the head f Nanking’s first Army, was ttally defeated far up in Kansu by the red armies.for weeks the Reds had dne nthing but retreat,while Hu, entirely misinterpeting the situation , had penetrated farther and farther into nothern kansu. the one night,after the Reds had lured hu into a basin of Loess surrounded by heights, they fell upn him from all sides. two brigades and a regiment of cavalary were entirely cut to pieces and one regiment went over to the reds.
(d)December 1936
In December 8th in athunder -laden atsmophere that Chiang landed with his giant plane on the flyingground at Sian. several hundred officers from the Tungpei and Hsipei armies met him and demandes a hearing, He referred then to Chiang Hsueh-liang as the proper man to communicate their view to him. During the next few days Chiang and Chang conferred with each other many times. The former desired war with the Communists, the latter armed resistance to Dai Nippon. They had reached a deadlock,beyond which their exchange of view could no further.
on december 11th Chiang move out to Hua ching chi, a bathing resort about fifteen miles from sian,where he often stayed during his visit to Shensi. At half past five on the morning of the 12th Chiang heard rifle-fire in the vicinity, and it soon became clear that Chang’s and Yang’s troops had started a revolt against Chiang.
the greter of Chiang Bodyguard was shot down, and one of its officers urged chiang to seek safety on the mountain.
Before the war of Resistent against Dai Nippon, Mao communist urged that Chinese not fight each other nut joint together in fighting the Dai Nippon. The slogan confused forces under the command of Chang Hsueh-lien, deputy commander of the Mao Communist suppression Forces in Northeast China ,
From the Northeast Provinces occupied by the Dai Nippon, and the followers of Yang Hu-cheng commander of the Shensi farrison.
On December 3 1936, Chang Hsueh-lien went to Loyang to meet Chiang and reported that the situation in northwest China was chaoutic and required a visit by the commander in chief.
In December 4th 1936, the Chiang flew to Sian in chang’s company and was housed at the Chinghuachih Hostel. Many Governmengt leaders and military commander converged on Sian.
On the Moring of December 12 1936, the hostel was surrounded by the troops of CHang Hsueh-liang (the Chinese war lord)
One of the Chiang’s bodyguard and a secretary were killed in line of duty. The Mao PLA forces abducted the Chiang and took him to another place in the city. High ranking officials and commanderds in Sian were detained. Shao Yuan-chung,vice president of the Legislative Yuan, died of wounds inflicted by the Mao PLA army.
Chang Hsueh-liang and Yang Ho-cheng telegraphed and eight point plitical manifesto to the Central Executive Committee of the KMT and the natinal Government.
The Whole country was dismayed. At urgently summond meeting, the national Government decided to dismiss Chang & Yang and named Ho Ying-chin commander of the Communist Suppresion force.
At the same time.Ku Ch-tung was named commander of the west Route Army and Liu Chih commander of the SWest Rute Army.
These two forces advanced in Shensi form different directions. Aircraft were dispatched to drop leaflet on Sian.
When Chang Hsueh-liang read in the Chiang diary how the commander in chief had worked desperately to mount a war of resistance against Dai Nippon, he was convinced and began to feel repentance.
On December 2nr 1936, Madam Chiang flew to Sian to persuade Chang Hsuen-liang to realese chiang.
in december 25,1936. Chang accompanied the Chiang on a flight to Nanking via Loyang. Thw hole country erupted in a joyous celebration . String of firecrackers were sent off every where to mark the leader’s safe return..
(c) Finally in this year, the desperate Chinese patriots lost their temper”YThere is no limit to the aggresioon of Dai Nippon, but there is no limit to the aptience of the Chinese (Hu shih).
The scheme f the Dai Nippon army was to seize northern China, the to stop and consilidate that gain. But the chinese, once forced into war, have nevefr allowed the japanese to rest and consilidate. I spite of repeated Dai Nippon victories on the battlefield, their army have only plunged deepetr and eeper intoa gloomy adventure, the issue of which now looks more doubtful tha ever. Dai Nippon captured Namking in this year and then waited for the chinese to sue for peace. Nerly five mth later, after prtracted and most sanguinary struggle, Dai Nippon cuptured Hankw, and nw again they invite the chinese to come to terms-term which are generous according to the Dai Nippon, but which, in the opinion of the despearte and stubborn Chinese, are only terms of surrender and subjugation. the situation seems very absurd. The victors offer peace time and again, obviously anxious to see the war ended. the retreating Chinese refuse even to discuss the dai nippon terms, still hoping to make the aggressor collapse under a protacted war of attrition.
(e) ROC post office issued New Life Movement commemorative stamps nominal 2,5,20 cent and $1.- Also issued 40th Anniversary Chinese Post Office. nomial 2,5,25 cent and $1.-
(f) Kwang Tung Provincial Treasury issued one dollar local currency , ten dollars banknote with auto truck design
III. WAR WITH DAI NIPPON (1937-1945)

DN Occupation Hupei 1943

(1)1937
(a)January 1937
Fragment used Dr Sun singlecircle stamps 2×25 cent and 5 cent(rate 55 cent to indonesia) CDS Shanghai 7.1.37. and fragment Dr sun singlecircle 2x 5 cent with red village transit postmark.
(b)March 1937
fragment postcard Used Dr Sun single circle 25 cent CDS Shanghai 20.3.37.
(c)May 1937
Mao communist local post issued Soldier and fighting stamps three nominal.
(d)july 1937
Chiang and his military adviser tried to postpone the inevitable armed confilct, but in the early part of July 1937 the war broke out over a trifle. The Dai Nippon expected the chinese to yield- as had alwats happened before. But they did not take int account the new national spritit which had spread all over China.The patience of the Chinese was exhausted. In their despair they determined to hold up Dai Nippon aggression at any cost.
(e)August 1937
Two vintage picture Photos “Bloody saterday” in Shanghai in August,14th 1937 (P)
(f) ROC pst office issued provisibal surcharge on Dr Sun single circle stamps and peking martyr type stamps 1c n 4c,8c n 40 c,10c n 25 c, and 4c n 5c stamps.

(2)1938
(a) January 1938
January.7t.1938
Just before the resistent war against japan strated, a chines immigrant from Fukien by ship from amoy port went to Semarang Indonesia via Hongkong to have visa, The Chinese overseas passport with Nedeland consular revenue 6 gld with 0fficial stamped straight Consulaat general der Netherlandedn and the visa have signed by “De waarbemend Cosul-Geneal voor dezen De Vice Consul with official Consulate General of the Netherland Hongkong coat of arm stamped in vilolet.
(b)The Marcopolo Bridge incident triggered the war of Resistance against Japan in 1938

(c)July 1938
The Kuomintang provinsional congreess at Wuchang in March 20, 1938.and decided to organize a youth corps to give expression to the National cause among the young people and the young corps establish on july 9.
(d) Chiang presided over a military conference at Hengshan to review progress of the war effort . He reiterated that ROC would fight to the finish in November 25,1938.
(e) The famous godown of the four banks in Shanghai where “800 brave Soldier” heroically held out against one Japanese assault after another.
(f) Chiang and his General meeting in Chungking abaot the war capital
(g) Fan Szu-chaou . a 70-yearold guerilla leader fought the Japanese behind enemy lines.
(h) The National Gouvernment Building of ROC at Chungking and Japanese bombing that Temporary capital.
(i) ROC post office issued Palace half Button Chung Hwa printing $ 1 , 2 and 5,- top frame unshade.
I have this $2.- top frame unshade OC used cds Amoy Szeming, the years not clear.
(j) ROC post office issued 150th Anniversary American Constitution with USA and ROC flag with map. nominal 5,25,50 cent and $1.-
(k) September 1938
Mao Communist local poat ffice issued the red military victory stamp
(2)1939
(a) January 1939
in January,5th,1939, Postally used latter and cover of The Chinese American Publishing Company Nanking Road Shanghai send Bilingual shanghai postmark CDS Jan.7th.1939 on Dr sun stamps 5 cent and the Martyr stamp 10 cent one stamp off to Soerabaja, JAVa NEI(Indonesia).
The letter in the cover written by typemachine:

The Chinese American Publishing Company. 160 Nanking road Shanghai,China.
Jan.5,1939

Mr Tan Tik Ie
107 Dongojoedan street
surabaya,Java.N.E.I.

Dear sir :
In reply to your post card d December 17 wuld state that we should be please to fill your orders,
should you desire to send them to us, and there is no risk so far as mailing things to or from Shanghai.
We are mailing you a Mcgraw-Hill Co. catalohue, listing their technical publications, ost of which we carry in stock in Shanghai, although if out, we can order them from New York, to be send direct to you. we don’t carry radio or electronical magazines in stock, but accept subscriptions which are forwarded to the Publishers. The megazinees you would like to subscribe to, we shall be pleased to send you a proforms invoice showing prices. All such subscrriptions are payable in advance, by demand draft on N.Y. in U.S.currency.
Thanking you for your inquiry, we are,
Yours faitfully
Chinese American Publishing Co,inc
hand signed
m.m. Magill.
This letter very rare and have many informations about the Shanghai situation, and about the publications like McGraw Hill Co and also for the US expatriat Mr Magill the sender and mr Tan Tik Ie, especially their family, please contacct uniquecollections blog via comment and UCM will put the memoriable letter illustratins in this blog.
(b) September 1939
Off Cover used Dr Sun stamps double circle 1.00 Dollars(Yuan) cds shanghai 23.9.39
(c) November 1939
Postally used cover from Nam Chow Company 41 consulat road cds shanghai 1.11.39 on Dr Sun Stamp 2x 25 cent(rate) with Chinese character stamped (?) to Mrs Tjoan Seng Tjan Pintoe kecil (small door) gang Boeroeng (bird0 Batavia (Java)

(3)1940
(a)ROC issued Palace Chung hwa- full button (die 2) $ 10 and $20.

and Dr Sun Dah tung book cp printing (type III) 2,5 c and $ 1,2,5 ,10.- single thin line KMT star coat of arm. , also Dr Sun imperfect Button $1,2,5,10 and 20,- and Dr Sun unwatermarked secret marks 5 green,5 olive green,8 olive green.8 without Dah in button,10,30,50c $1,2,5,10, and 20,- ,

Sun Double circle 1931
sun Single circle 1931
sun Dahtung printing 1942

Dr sun Dah Tung printingg watermarked -secret mark type III same nominal as Dah Tung type II.
In this year issue martyr Hongkong print watermarked nominal same as the Peking printing.


also Surcharge 3c Hongkong print on Dr Sun 5c dah tung print,Hunan 3c surchage, Kansu 3 cent surcharge, Kiangsi 3c surcharge, Szechuen 3 c Surcharge,Chekiang 7 c surcharge, 7c Fukien surcharge, Kiangshi 7 c surcharge on Dr sun dahtung print.


Provisional surcharge on martyr stamps from Fukien,Hunan kwantung,kwangsi, kiangsi,Szechuan,Yunnan on Dr Sun Dah Tung printing.

Palace London printing
Palace Peking printing
Junk London printing
Junk Peking Print
Martyr stamp 1932

(b) October 1930
Mao communist local pst issued red 5 cent National Day stamps design star and other types from 1930 until 1945

Communist Military stamp 1930
Red Communist stamp 1932
Mao Military stamp 1932
Reds military stamp 1932
Reds Flower stamp 1933
Red Communist stamp 1933
KMT Military stamp 1937
Reds Soldier 1938
Reds Military stamp 1940
Reds Soldier 1942
Reds Communist stamp 1942
Reds Ship 1943
Reds Flight 1944
Reds Train 1945

.
(4) 1941
(1)All area occupied by the Dai Nippon issued surcharge the area name in chinese languaged on Dr Sun and martyr stamp , I have found from Hupe1,mengyang, Nianyudi,Henan and Supei .
(2) ROC Post Office issued six stamps of Presiden Lin Sen profile.
(3) ROC issued Dr Sun New York printing with different design and same nominal as Peking printing. and also Martyr peking printing 8c re-issue. and also Thrift commemorative stamp nominal 8,21,28,33 ,50 cents and $1.-
(4) ROC issued Express and Registry stamp $1,5 and 2

(5)1942
(a)January 1942
The Allied countried name Chiang as the commander-in-chief for China-Burma war theater in January
(b) ROC reinforcemnts rush to the front in the Battle at Changsa
(c) ROC Foreign menistry Wei Tao-ming signing of the treaty on equality and reprocity with the secretary of State Cordel Hull of the United State.
(d) ROC post office issue Dr Sun stamps ,Chungking print at native paper.
(e) Fragment used this stamps 3x Y.50. and 2×500.-(rate 1100)
(f) ROC post office issued Dr Sun Pacheng print with same design and nominal with the paking print. but Thin paper-roulet and imperfect.
(g) The Central Bank of China issued Dr Sun yat-sen and Ming palace Banknote one hundred Yuan.
(h) June 1942
Mao Communist local post issued the bird stamps there nominal 2.5 cent and $ 1.-
(i) July 1942
Mao communist local post issue the military horse riding and obor (Flame stick) stamps

(6) 1943
(a)Chiang with government leaders have at the meeting of the National Government chairmanship in October 10 1943
(b) October 1943
In October 10th, Mao communist Xuat nan local post issued the ship stamps , Star ,and ttransportation stamps bird post, flight,junk and ship.

(7)1944
(a)Dai Nippon military administarition China issue two deffenitve Dai nippon occupation stamps.
(b)ROC post office issued Dr Sun pacheng print and Chung hua print, also The 50th years kuomintang anniversary stamps nominal $ 2,5,6,10 and 20.
(c)OC used Block Four of 500.- and 1000,- Chinese character pstmark.

(8)1945
(a) January 1945
The masacre of 89 chinese civilians and burning of houses at Leinhua,Suchuan and Taiho, Kiangsi by the Dai Nippon troops
(b)April-July 1945
the murder of 110 chinese civilians at Shaoyang,Hunan, by troops of the Dai Nippn 116th Division.
(c)January-August 1945
Arsn and pillaging of civialian property at Yungkiang and Loching,Chekiang, by troops of the 55th Brigade of Dai nippon 64th division.
(d) February-May 1945
the murder of 22 Chinese civilian at Yuangking and Hsiangying,Hunan by troops under the dai Nippon Changsa Garrison Command.
all of that infrmation above have charge againgst General Okumura , but he answered that he was in command of the japanese Land forces in China for only eight months when the war came to a close. Ha also said that he was commander-in-chief the Dai Nippon forces in North China when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. The trial was resmed when Okamura was taken under armed escort to the military court along with four other Japanese officers from the Kiangwan war prisoner camp. Another trial will be held before judgment is handed down.
(c) ROC won a pyrrhic victory in the eight-years war against Dai Nippon.
(b) Chiang is greeted warmly outside a radio station after broadcasting the news of victory over Japan to the world.
(c) March 1945
In March 15th 1945,Mao Communist Local Post issued Train stamp.
(d) August 5,1945
Dai Nippon surrender
(c) September 9,1945
General Ho Ying-ching represent ROC in recieving the instrument of surrender from General Okamura Neiji, commander of the Japanese forces in China
(d) ROC Post office issued National Currencey Surcharge type one serie A on Sr Sun single circle stamps and also on the Dr Sun Chungking print native paper. also 20th anniversary death of Sun Yat-sen ,nominal $ 2,5,6,10,20 and 30,-
(e) ROC issued comemmorative stamps, Cairo Conference with Chiang photo and 1943, also Presidenyt Lin Sen nminal 1,2,5,6 cent and $ 10.- & 25.-
(f) The bank of China issued Dr Sun Yat-sen and flight-boomber banknote
500 yuan and 1000 Yuan Dr Sun with ancient building

The Chronic Historic Collections

1. 1915

092205

In May 1915, Yuan Shikai’s representatives agreed to Japan’s Twenty-one Demands in order to win support from the Japanese government for his scheme to restore the monarchy. This incident sowed the seeds of discontent that led to the May Fourth Movement. (Photo courtesy of The National Museum of China)

Yuan Shih-kai silver

1a.1927 EMPEROR HIROHITO ORDER

1b.1937

1) Dai nippon Occupied Manchuria and Puyi became Emperor of Manchuria.

KMT granat NorthChina 1932

THE PROCLAMATION OF MANCHURIA KINGDOM

DN Occupied Proclaimed Mukden

PUYI BECAME THE EMPEROR OF MANCHURIA(MANCHUKUO),THE CEREMONY AT THE CAPITAL CITY MUKDEN.

 
Poeyi Manchuria 1931

Manchuria Under Japanese Dominion

 

 

Introduction

1. Japan’s “Sole Road for Survival”: The Range of Views Within the Guandong Army over the Seizure of Manchuria and Mongolia
2. Transforming Manchuria-Mongolia into a Paradise for Its Inhabitants: Building a New State and Searching for State-Building Ideals
3. Toward a Model of Politics for the World: The Banner of Moral State Creation and the Formation of Manzhouguo Politics
4. “The Long-Term Policy of National Management Will Always Be in Unison with the Japanese Empire”: The Paradise of the Kingly Way Stumbles and the Path Toward the Merging of Japan and Manzhouguo
5. Conclusion: Chimera, Reality, and Illusion

Afterword
Interview: How Shall We Understand Manchuria and Manzhouguo?
Appendix: On the Historical Significance of Manchuria and Manzghouguo
Chronology on the Modern History of Manchuria and East Asia


 
The Shadow of Manzhouguo(MANCHURIA)

There was once a country known as Manzhouguo (also rendered Manchukuo). It emerged suddenly in China’s northeast on March 1, 1932, and vanished with Emperor Puyi’s manifesto of abdication on August 18, 1945, having lasted for just over thirteen years and five months.

For the Japanese who actually lived there, however, this country’s final end was only the beginning of their real Manzhouguo “experience.” What was Manzhouguo and how did it relate to them personally? They must have asked themselves these questions repeatedly as various images of Manzhouguo later took shape; virtually all of these Japanese went through gruesome experiences in the aftermath of the state’s collapse, often lingering between life and death—the invasion of the Soviet Army, their evacuation, and perhaps their internment in Siberian camps—experiences that are exceedingly difficult to describe. Is it now possible for us to see through to the countless fragments of these images of Manzhouguo which continue to live in their memories now strewn through innumerable notes and memoirs?

For the great majority of Japanese who have since lived through more than a half-century longer than the thirteen and one-half years that Manzhouguo existed, that land has become little more than a historical term which conjures up no particular image of any sort. To be sure, the past half-century has been sufficiently long for many matters to pass from experience to memory and from memory into history, long enough perhaps for even the experience of hardship to be refined into a form of homesickness, for the crimes that transpired all around them to be forgotten as if the whole thing had been a daydream. For the Japanese in the home islands with no links to Manzhouguo, whether they have sunk into oblivion or, pent up with their memories, have taken their ignorance of Manzhouguo as commonsensical, today the scars left from Manzhouguo continue to live on in that land, be it as the issue of war orphans “left behind” in China or as that of the wives left behind. Although Manzhouguo has ceased to exist, for the people who continue to live there, and for the dwindling number of survivors of that era, the wounds of Manzhouguo continue to ache and will not heal or disappear.

In fact, the Japanese are by no means the only ones still affected. Indeed, the Chinese and Koreans who lived in Manzhouguo suffered far more and bore far heavier burdens. Certainly for descendants of those “suppressed” as “bandits” who opposed the state of Manzhouguo and Japan and for those who had their lands confiscated by such concerns as East Asian Industry (Tō-A kangyō) and the Manchurian Colonization Corporation (Manshū takushoku kōsha), the shadow of Manzhouguo always lingers close at hand and never leaves for long. So, too, for those who may have participated in Manzhouguo affairs or been pro-Japanese and were subjected to persecution by their fellow nationals, particularly at such times as the Cultural Revolution in China. Furthermore, among those Koreans who, in conjunction with the colonial policy of Japan and Manzhouguo, were forcibly moved there, many were mobilized by the Guandong (also transcribed as Kwantung) Army and taken prisoner in Siberia, and later—after the disintegration of Manzhouguo—wanted to return to home but were detained for economic reasons and must have been burning with homesickness for Korea.

Manzhouguo, a Puppet State

The number of people who have no knowledge of Manzhouguo increases with each passing day. However, like a piercing thorn that cannot be removed, the incessant pain it caused has left a residue of bad feelings in the minds of many Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and others. While the great majority of people now know nothing about Manzhouguo, for those who lived through it, much too short a time has passed for it to be forgotten. Any evaluation of Manzhouguo would be remiss not to stress the extraordinary artificiality of which it smacked.

In Japanese dictionaries and historical encyclopedias, its position has all but become fixed. The general narrative runs as follows: Manzhouguo—in September of 1931, the Guandong Army launched the Manchurian Incident and occupied Northeast China; the following year it installed Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, as chief executive (he was enthroned in 1934), and a state was formed; all real power in national defense and government were held by the Guandong Army, and Manzhouguo thus became the military and economic base for the Japanese invasion of the Asian mainland; it collapsed in 1945 with Japan’s defeat in the war. Also, most designate Manzhouguo as a puppet state of Japan or of the Guandong Army.

In Chinese history texts and dictionaries, by contrast, Manzhouguo is described in the following manner: a puppet regime fabricated by Japanese imperialism after the armed invasion of the Three Eastern Provinces (also known as Manchuria or Northeast China); with the Japan-Manzhouguo Protocol, Japanese imperialism manipulated all political, economic, military, and cultural powers in China’s northeast; in 1945 it was crushed with the victory of the Chinese people’s anti-Japanese war. In order to highlight its puppet nature and its anti-popular qualities, the Chinese refer to it as “wei Manzhouguo” (illegitimate Manzhouguo) or “wei Man” for short. They frequently refer to its institutions, bureaucratic posts, and laws as the “illegitimate council of state,” “illegitimate legislature,” and “illegitimate laws of state organization.” This language is not unique to mainland China, but appears in works published in the Republic of China (Taiwan) as well.

In addition to writings of this sort by people involved in the events, narratives of Manzhouguo in English and other Western languages frequently offer explanations such as the following: “Manchukuo” (or Manchoukuo): a puppet state established by Japan in China’s northeast in 1931; although Puyi was made nominal ruler, all real power was dominated by Japanese military men, bureaucrats, and advisors; in so doing, Japan successfully pursued the conquest of Manchuria, which had been contested by China and Russia (later, the Soviet Union) for nearly half a century; in spite of the fact that many countries recognized it, Manzhouguo remained essentially a puppet regime; and it was destroyed with Japan’s surrender in World War II.

Putting aside for the moment the actuality of who manipulated and ruled whom and in what way, if we consider a “puppet state” one in which—despite its formal independence as a nation—its government rules not on behalf of the people of that nation but in accordance with the purposes of another country, then Manzhouguo was a puppet state. One can scarcely deny that one of the forms of colonial rule was the very form this state took. In particular, for people who were mercilessly stripped of the wealth they had painstakingly saved on the land they worked for many years and who consequently suffered greatly, no matter how often they heard the ideals of this state recounted in elegant, lofty language, they certainly would not have accepted any legitimation for a state that threatened their lives and livelihoods.

Each person is likely to see the level of “puppetry” in Manzhouguo somewhat differently. While the concept of an illegitimate or puppet state may be too strong for many Japanese to accept, once exposed to the Chinese museum exhibits and pictures depicting excruciating pain in such places as the Museum of the Illegitimate Manzhouguo Monarchy in Changchun, or the Northeast China Martyrs Museum and the Museum of the Evidence of the Crimes of Unit 731 of the Japanese Army of Aggression in Harbin, or the Hall of the Remains of the Martyred Comrades at Pingdingshan in Fushun, comfortable images will no longer be acceptable.

Furthermore, it is certainly necessary to investigate the realities behind the “pits of 10,000 men” scattered about at various sites where it is said were buried roughly one million victims to plans for the development of the region from 1939, or the “human furnaces” at which human bodies were roasted on plates of steel to draw off their fat. However, when we realize that in most cases forced labor in general prisons or reformatories led to death and arrest itself was completely arbitrary, it would seem only natural that the horrifying shock this entails would necessitate calling Manzhouguo an Auschwitz state or a concentration-camp state, more than just a puppet state. The claims of the last two sentences raise the ante very high: I strongly recommend that some claims follow the presentation of the author’s evidence to avoid a sense that this is empty rhetoric. Let’s talk about this and, if you and I agree, find a way to discuss it with the author. I think that the point is an important one. I’m not familiar with the claim of human furnaces to “draw off fat.” If, on the other hand, the author wishes to present this as among the charges that have been levied by the Chinese government or by others, that would be fine.

Manzhouguo, an Ideal State

In spite of all this, though, Manzhouguo was never simply a puppet state or just a colonial regime. Another view has continued unshakably to persevere even after 1945: Manzhouguo as the site of a movement to expel Western imperialist control and build an ideal state in Asia; its establishment then is seen as an effort to realize a kind of utopia.

Hayashi Fusao (1903-75) once wrote: “Behind this short-lived state lay the 200-year history of Western aggression against Asia. The Meiji Restoration was the first effective resistance against this [onslaught]; Manzhouguo was the continuation of this line of opposition…. Asian history will itself not allow us to disregard it by invoking the Western political science concept of a ‘puppet state.’ Manzhouguo still continues to live in the development of world history.” It may take another one hundred years, he noted, to come to a proper evaluation of Manzhouguo.

Kishi Nobusuke (1896-1987), who worked as deputy director of the Management and Coordination Agency of Manzhouguo and became prime minister of Japan after the war, has also noted in a memoir that, in the establishment of Manzhouguo, “the ideals of ethnic harmony and peace and prosperity [lit. the paradise of the Kingly Way] shone radiantly. A scientific, conscientious, bold experiment was carried out there. This was a truly unique modern state formation. The people directly involved devoted their energies to it motivated by their sincere aspirations, and also the peoples of Japan and Manzhouguo strongly supported it; and Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian holy man, offered encouragement from far away. At the time Manzhouguo was the hope of East Asia.”

Furumi Tadayuki (1900-83), who witnessed the last moments of Manzhouguo as a deputy director of the Management and Coordination Agency, firmly believed in it: “The nurturing that went into the establishment of the state of Manzhouguo was a trial without historical precedent…. It was the pride of the Japanese people that, in an era dominated by invasion and colonization, our efforts to build an ideal state were based on ethnic harmony in the land of Manchuria. That young Japanese at that time, indifferent to fame or riches, struggled for their ideals remains the pride of Japanese youth.” Without the least doubt, he believed that the ideal of ethnic harmony—the founding ideal of the state of Manzhouguo—would continue to shine brilliantly for many years.

Guandong Army Staff Officer Katakura Tadashi (1898-1991), who promoted the establishment of Manzhouguo, saw Manzhouguo as the manifestation of a humanism based on the lofty ideals of peace, prosperity, and ethnic harmony. “In the final analysis,” he averred, “as a cornerstone for stability in East Asian, it was an abundant efflorescence.” Similarly, Hoshino Naoki (1892-1978), who worked as director of the Management and Coordination Agency, endlessly praised the formation of Manzhouguo: “Not only did the Japanese take a leading position, but all the ethnic groups of East Asia broadly worked together for development and growth. We were building a new paradise there in which the blessings were to be shared equally by all ethnicities.”

In one line of his memoirs, Hoshino attached to Manzhouguo the heading “Atlantis of the twentieth century.” (By “Atlantis” he was referring to the ideal society of the distant past, as described in Plato’s dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, said to have been to the West of the Straits of Gibraltar.) It is unclear in what sense Hoshino was himself dubbing Manzhouguo the “Atlantis of the twentieth century,” because he simply suggests this heading and says nothing about the content of Atlantis itself. However, the plot of a visionary state—beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, with an orderly, well-planned city and strong military organization, based on a national structure of harmony and single-mindedness, which having attempted the conquest of Asia and Europe now faced retaliation by Athenian warriors, and had sunk into the sea in a single twenty-four-hour period of great earthquakes and floods—remains eerily imaginable even now, corresponding in great detail to Manzhouguo. Like the tale of Atlantis as a dreamlike paradise, Manzhouguo would be passed down over the centuries, and perhaps a day would come many generations hence when it might occupy a kind of resuscitated historical position, such as that given Atlantis by Francis Bacon in his New Atlantis(1627).

Be that as it may, even if it cannot compare to the myth of Atlantis, which is said to have produced a wide assortment of books in excess of 20,000 volumes, Manzhouguo has continued to be portrayed in the image of such an ideal state. A good part of the reason for this is the exceedingly tragic experience that followed its dismemberment and the great suffering that ensued. One can readily imagine that an act of psychological compensation—not wanting that pain to go for naught—has been invested in this now defunct state.

All this notwithstanding, the examples given by these and other leading figures cannot sustain the view that Manzhouguo alone, in its search for coexistence and coprosperity among all ethnic groups, was qualitatively different from other colonies. This view would undoubtedly be the sentiment shared by those people who were on the spot as local officials or members of cooperatives, as well as those who were directly connected with them; so, too, among most Japanese who were linked to the formation and management of Manzhouguo in one form or another, such as the Japanese emigrants there and the Manchurian-Mongolian Pioneer Youth Corps. There were many who, supported by a sense of personal pride in the accomplishments of Manzhouguo, survived down into the postwar era. This being the case, we have to redouble our efforts to listen to the low, strained voices behind the loud, booming voices propounding the idea of an ideal state and try to ascertain the realities of this “ideal” in which not only Japanese but Chinese, too, gambled their lives.

Must we heed the view repeatedly put forward that one should rightfully look not only at the aspect of the Japanese invasion of the mainland leading to the creation of Manzhouguo but also at the aspect of its accomplishments? In other words, it has been emphasized that despite its short history a “legacy of Manzhouguo” has contributed greatly to the modernization of China’s Northeast in such areas as the development and promotion of industry, the spread of education, the advancement of communications, and administrative maintenance. These attainments, the argument continues, cannot only withstand scrutiny from our perspective today—when ethnic harmony has become an important ideal in politics—but they also warrant significance as an “experiment for the future”—namely, what may be possible in the arena of cooperation among different ethnic groups in years to come. Can this argument be justified?

How would this argument about an ideal state, stressing the positive factors and legacy of Manzhouguo, echo among people from countries other than Japan? The issue of Manzhouguo refuses to leave us—not only must we evaluate its results but the “seeds it planted” as well. In fact, one may recognize its distinctive qualities as being surpassingly pregnant with contemporary implications.

Manzhouguo, a Chimera

On reflection, there may be nothing that spurs on human dreams and emotions quite like the reverberations of such words as “state-founding” or “nation-building,” as hinted at by Goethe in Faust. Especially in the early Shōwa years, the Japanese empire towered overwhelmingly above the individual, and people were seized by a sense of being closed in and unsettled. When he committed suicide in 1929, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (b. 1892) left behind the expression: “bakuzentaru fuan” (a sense of being unsettled). For Japanese of that time, words such as “state-founding” or “nation-building” may have borne a distinctively seductive power offering an impression of liberation stirred up by a sense of mission hidden within. Thus, for many Japanese, the notion that “what drew them to Manchuria was neither self-interest nor fame, but a pure aspiration to participate in the opening up of a new realm and the building of a new nation” cannot be completely denied as false consciousness. That they firmly believed this in their own subjective minds would scarcely be strange, but selfless, unremunerated, subjective goodwill does not necessarily guarantee good deeds as a final result, especially in the world of politics. Also, no matter how pure the emotions behind one’s actions, in politics responsibility for ultimate results is an issue, and one cannot elude the blame that one deserves. One individual’s ideal may for one’s counterpart be an intolerable hypocrisy, indeed a form of oppression.

In the final analysis, in what sense was Manzhouguo a Japanese puppet or colonial state? Should we instead recognize that this is merely a distortion, an arbitrary understanding dictated by the victor nations, the “historical view of the Potsdam Declaration” or the “Tokyo Trials view of history” which echo it; and insist that the historical reality of Manzhouguo was the creation of a morally ideal state in which many ethnic groups would coexist? As Kagawa Toyohiko (1888-1960) has noted: “In the invasion carried out by Japan, only Manzhouguo possessed a mixture of dreams and lofty ideals.”

Before rushing to any conclusions, we need to begin by asking why Manzhouguo was established in the first place and then follow its traces where they lead us. Why in the world did this state of Manzhouguo have to have been created under Japanese leadership in China’s Northeast? What was the process of its formation, and how were Japanese and Chinese involved in it? Furthermore, what actually were ruling structure and national ideals of the new state? Also, what were the mutual relations among Manzhouguo, China, and Japan in political institutions and legal systems, policy and political ideas? In sum, what was the distinctive nature of Manzhouguo as a state, and what place should it occupy in modern world history? Portraying this state of Manzhouguo through an analysis of these questions is the principal task of this book.

I set the task in this way because one reason the evaluation of Manzhouguo remains unsettled lies in the fact that each of the opposing views of this state that I have outlined stresses only one side of the issue. From the perspective that sees it as a puppet state, the organization and ideals of Manzhouguo are belittled as merely camouflaging its essence as one of military control by Japan; from the perspective that sees it as an ideal and moral state, its essence lies more in the lofty state principles it professed than in the background to its founding, and the actual mechanisms of rule are of scant interest.

Although Manzhouguo enjoyed a short life, still portraying the features of this state as a whole in more or less the correct proportions remains an exceedingly difficult task. Although the quantity of memoirs and reminiscences about Manzhouguo written since the end of World War II is absolutely immense, there is nonetheless a dearth of official government sources of sources, as much of the “primary historical documentation” from the Manzhouguo era itself was destroyed by fire or disappeared during the period when the state was in the process of destruction.

In considering all this, there may simply be no way to avoid the abundance of material in one arena and the rough and uneven quality of it in another, but by focusing on Manzhouguo as a state, I hope in this book to offer a portrait of Manzhouguo as I have come to understand it. I have attempted here to portray Manzhouguo by likening it to the Chimera, a monster from Greek mythology. Thomas Hobbes used the Leviathan, a beast that appears in the Book of Job, to symbolize the state as an “artificial being.” Similarly, Franz Neumann (1900-54) used the name of the monster Behemoth to characterize the Third Reich of the Nazis. Drawing inspiration from these cases, I offer for Manzhouguo the Chimera, a beast with the head of a lion, the body of a sheep, and the tail of a dragon. The lion is comparable to the Guandong Army, the sheep is the state of the emperor system, and the dragon the Chinese emperor and modern China. What is implied here will be become clear as the argument of this book develops.

2) Dai nippon Occupaied Tianjin and beijing

Japanese troops , which already occupied tianjin and beijing ,were now moving steadily southwards,. they met suprisingly strong resistance in nanking and, in retaliation, went on a terrifying spree of rape,looting and murder. over 3000.000 civilians and prisoners were torrtured and killed during the rape of nanking in 1937.

Pao Ju which originally severed as a store for cannons, ordnances, and waste cannons during late Qing Dynasty, was converted into a prison at the end of the Qing Dynasty. A map printed in Republican period confirms that there was already a military prison between Pao Ju Hutong and Pao Ju Tou Tiao at the time.

pj4

In November 1934 General Ji Hongchang, known for his strong anti-Japanese position, was placed in Pao Ju prison.  Ji was born in October 1895 in Fu Gou, Henan province. The general was known for his bravery and the troops that he lead in the Northern expedition were known as the “Iron Army” of the National Revolutionary Army. In 1930, Ji was nominated as chief commander of twenty-second troop of the Kuomintang. Because he refused to fight a civil war for Chiang Kai-shek, Ji was exiled in the name of “overseas research”in 1931.

On 28 January 1932, the Songhu Battle broke out.  Ji Hongchang quickly returned to China and went to Shanghai to facilitate the logistics of the war and joined the Chinese Communist Party in the autumn of that same year.  To support the war effort, Ji sold all his private property for around sixty thousand silver coins in exchange for munitions and arms. In May 1933, General Ji, along with General Feng Yuxiang and General Zhang Zhenwu in Zhangjiakou, organized an allied civilian volunteer military force in Chahar to defend against the Japanese.

In May 1934, Ji organized the Chinese people’s  “Anti-Fascist Alliance” in Tianjin.

On November 9 of that year he was wounded during a Kuomintang planned assassination. On 22 November, Ji was detained and transferred to a Beijing army prison. During his interrogation, Ji denounced both Chiang Kai-shek and Ho Yingqin, an act which lead to Chiang Kai-shek ordering his execution.

On November 24, 1934,

 Ji Hongchang calmly walked to the execution ground. The sky was covered with dark clouds and the ground was covered with thin snow. He picked up a piece of wood, and wrote a poem on the snowing ground: I am only sorry that I did not die while fighting the Japanese invaders, and,today, I feel it as a great shame; my motherland is suffering so much, why should I care about my own life and death. Ji was only thirty- nine years old when he died. Another general, Ren Yingqi, was also executed the same day, but his Communist Party membership was not recognized until now.

JULY 1937

Beijing fell on 29 July, 1937 to the Japanese and came under full Japanese occupation 8 August. Beijing became the political, military, and cultural center of the Japanese occupation in North China. Japan fostered a regime backed by the military and stationed the command and various military and political authorities of North China in Beijing.  During this time, Pao Ju became a Japanese military prison.

According to a newspaper article written around 1944, Zhao Zhongyi and six other Communist Eighth Route Army soldiers were put in Pao Ju prison and were tortured there.

After the Second World War in 1945, Pao Ju became the Kuomintang prison. According to an article by Wang Zhihong, Pao Ju prison was externally called the “young patriots discipline brigades” and it was there that underground Communist Party members were detained.

(a)January 1937
Fragment used Dr Sun singlecircle stamps 2×25 cent and 5 cent(rate 55 cent to indonesia) CDS Shanghai 7.1.37. and fragment Dr sun singlecircle 2x 5 cent with red village transit postmark.
(b)March 1937
fragment postcard Used Dr Sun single circle 25 cent CDS Shanghai 20.3.37.
(c)May 1937
Mao communist local post issued Soldier and fighting stamps three nominal.
(d)july 1937
Chiang and his military adviser tried to postpone the inevitable armed confilct, but in the early part of July 1937 the war broke out over a trifle. The Dai Nippon expected the chinese to yield- as had alwats happened before. But they did not take int account the new national spritit which had spread all over China.The patience of the Chinese was exhausted. In their despair they determined to hold up Dai Nippon aggression at any cost.
(e)August 1937

DAI NIPPON OCCUPIED SHANGHAI

DN street fighting 1937
DN Air attack Garden Bridge
DN across Yangtse river 1937

1)1937
(a)January 1937
Fragment used Dr Sun singlecircle stamps 2×25 cent and 5 cent(rate 55 cent to indonesia) CDS Shanghai 7.1.37. and fragment Dr sun singlecircle 2x 5 cent with red village transit postmark.
(b)March 1937
fragment postcard Used Dr Sun single circle 25 cent CDS Shanghai 20.3.37.
(c)May 1937
Mao communist local post issued Soldier and fighting stamps three nominal.
(d)july 1937
Chiang and his military adviser tried to postpone the inevitable armed confilct, but in the early part of July 1937 the war broke out over a trifle. The Dai Nippon expected the chinese to yield- as had alwats happened before. But they did not take int account the new national spritit which had spread all over China.The patience of the Chinese was exhausted. In their despair they determined to hold up Dai Nippon aggression at any cost.
(e)August 1937
Two vintage picture Photos “Bloody saterday” in Shanghai in August,14th 1937 (P)
(f) ROC pst office issued provisibal surcharge on Dr Sun single circle stamps and peking martyr type stamps 1c n 4c,8c n 40 c,10c n 25 c, and 4c n 5c stamps.


Two vintage picture Photos “Bloody saterday” in Shanghai in August,14th 1937 (P)

DN street fighting 1937
DN Air attack Garden Bridge

(f) ROC pst office issued provisibal surcharge on Dr Sun single circle stamps and peking martyr type stamps 1c n 4c,8c n 40 c,10c n 25 c, and 4c n 5c stamps.

Japanese pressure on China increased. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 1937 marked a new level of Japanese intrusion into China, but Mathews was able to continue working.

Shanghai in 1941

The external tempo now picked up. The Japanese declaration of war on America at the end of 1941 further polarized relations among Japan, China, and foreign residents in China.

Japanese Troops Entering Shanghai, 1941

Shanghai was a virtually international city, with its nearly extraterritorial legation zones. It was entered by the Japanese Army in 1941, but for a time was handled with circumspection. At at the end of 1942, this changed (a moment that Reifler experienced in a different way, and in a different part of Shanghai), and CIM, which had already moved its quarters within Shanghai in 1931, now relocated more drastically, to Chungking in Szchwan, where the Nationalist Chinese government had also taken refuge. In 1943, the previous CIM compound in Shanghai was taken over by Japanese occupation troops, and the printing blocks as well as the copies of Mathews’ own revision of his Dictionary were destroyed. That left only the original edition, and the lack of copies of that edition suddenly became an urgent matter for the English-speaking nations involved in the Pacific War. Within a few months, Harvard University Press had issued a reprint of the original Dictionary. The March 1943 Foreword begins thus:

Shanghai in 1943.

In April 1943, Mathews himself, along with Violet, was interned by the Japanese at the Lunghwa Camp, the former campus of the Kiangsu Middle School, seven miles southwest of Shanghai and a mile from the Whangpoo River. With them were missionaries both Protestant and Catholic, businessmen and their families, and the officers and crew of the SS President Harrison, among hundreds of others. At 42 acres, this was the largest of all the internment camps in China, and one of the bleakest. Most buildings were of concrete, three of them were ruined, and the landscape was desolate, with “only one tree.” The prospect was not improved by the typhoon of 11 August 1943, which blew the roof off the West Dining Hall, and effectively destroyed that building; it also unroofed several small residence houses. A few Americans were repatriated in September of that year. The rest settled down to wait out the war. By and large, conditions were manageable. Ten acres were devoted to communally farmed vegetable gardens, and there were also a few private gardens. Hot showers were available, though since the well pumps were slow, the showers had to be brief. The animal population included two cows, hens, a flock of goats, and sixty pigs. Communications with the outside were possible, and the Shanghai Dairy donated an additional Holstein calf; eventually there was enough milk for all the camp children to get half a pint a day. Communications with the outside worked both ways, and there were four successful escapes, plus a few failed attempts, during the next two years. Nor were high spirits confined to escape attempts. One internee recalls that the single men, who were quartered in the Assembly Hall, “raised so much hell at night, laughing and telling jokes, that one night a guard took a potshot into our window to stop us from making so much noise.” As at some other camps, the guards were not Japanese Army, but drawn from the Consular Police. The bullets, however, were real.

Japan surrendered in August 1945, the Swiss temporarily took over the management of the camp, and the internees left later that month. Mathews, then 68, returned to Melbourne for a third and final time, to a well earned retirement. But China continued to loom large in the Australian consciousness, and Mathews’ linguistic skills were known to the Australian Department of Defense. In 1948 he was recruited to work part time on the translation of archival material and the compilation of glossaries. In 1951, this was increased to full time.

(2)1938
(a) January 1938
January.7 th.1938
Just before the resistent war against japan strated, a chines immigrant from Fukien by ship from amoy port went to Semarang Indonesia via Hongkong to have visa, The Chinese overseas passport with Nedeland consular revenue 6 gld with 0fficial stamped straight Consulaat general der Netherlandedn and the visa have signed by “De waarbemend Cosul-Geneal voor dezen De Vice Consul with official Consulate General of the Netherland Hongkong coat of arm stamped in vilolet.
(b)The Marcopolo Bridge incident triggered the war of Resistance against Japan in 1938

(c)Early 1938  after the nanking city was captured by the japanese . shanghai fell and chiang kaisek fled westward across china, up the yangtse river, deep into the mountainous province od sichuan. there he set up his wartime goverment in the town of chongqing. it’s not hard to image the tension and turmoil that these monumntous political upheaval imposed on chinese family life.

(d)July 1938
The Kuomintang provinsional congreess at Wuchang in March 20, 1938.and decided to organize a youth corps to give expression to the National cause among the young people and the young corps establish on july 9.
(d) Chiang presided over a military conference at Hengshan to review progress of the war effort . He reiterated that ROC would fight to the finish in November 25,1938.
(e) The famous godown of the four banks in Shanghai where “800 brave Soldier” heroically held out against one Japanese assault after another.
(f) Chiang and his General meeting in Chungking abaot the war capital
(g) Fan Szu-chaou . a 70-yearold guerilla leader fought the Japanese behind enemy lines.
(h) The National Gouvernment Building of ROC at Chungking and Japanese bombing that Temporary capital.
(i) ROC post office issued Palace half Button Chung Hwa printing $ 1 , 2 and 5,- top frame unshade.
I have this $2.- top frame unshade OC used cds Amoy Szeming, the years not clear.
(j) ROC post office issued 150th Anniversary American Constitution with USA and ROC flag with map. nominal 5,25,50 cent and $1.-
…etc….etc……………………………………………………………………….

1939

in 1939, sudenly and without warning, tianjin was drowned in a great flood. the disaster was of staggering propotion. the chinese called it “china’s sorrow” and went to the buddhist temple to burn incense and offewr prayers for relief. pro japanese newspapers printed in tianjin blamed the catastrope on chiang kaisek while the nationalist party press in chongqing accused the japanese

Chinese Flee to Southern China


War orphans Many Chinese fled southward to Yunnan and Sichuan (where the Kuomintang had their wartime capital in Chongqing). Air raids were launched on Chongqing in May 1939. Altogether 218 air raids were conducted on the city over the next several years, leaving the city in ruins and killing around 20,000 people, including people that sought refuge in tunnels and suffocated to death there

THE DAI NIPPON OCCUPATION PROPAGANDA

THE NANKING MASSACRE – two films to remind us

Why do I do this to myself? First I watch two intensely depressing dramatic recreations of war atrocities, intense enough to haunt me for days. Then I decide to review them, challenging my love of Japan with these accounts of atrocious conduct by their armed forces.

In 1937, when Japan was invading China, its armies conquered the (then) capital city of Nanking. The Japanese army then began killing the prisoners of war, then the civilians, to strike a psychological blow to the rest of China. Knowing full well that they were breaking international conventions of war, they disguised the massacre from the rest of the world.

NANKING MASSACRE(RAPE)

(A) HISTORIC COLLECTIONS

(B) FILM COLLECTIONS

These are two very different films about the siege, serving two audiences: one is obviously intended for ‘international cinema’, the other (possibly unintentionally) is ‘exploitation’.

Though they’re tough viewing, knowing that these events actually happened, I wanted to learn more about the depths that the Japanese army sank to. While I admire Japanese culture, pop and otherwise, I’ve mainly been learning about their history from their viewpoint. But after visiting several of Japan’s neighbouring countries and reading their news sites, I became increasingly aware of ‘old wounds’ and lasting hostilities.

While the US and Europe are hyper-conscious of the history of Nazi Germany, we mainly remember wartime Japan for Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. In China, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, Japan was regarded the same way we saw Germany. Indeed, the scale of Japanese war crimes and the variety of atrocities rivals Nazi Germany.

So I’m having trouble joining the dots between their peace-loving society of today and the extremes of their wartime mindset. How can a country change so quickly and so completely? I guess the answer is closer to home – my own country has much to answer for in it’s conduct abroad, both recently and historically.

I’m not going to boycott Japanese culture for the crimes of the past, but I’m not going to ignore history either. When I first heard of the ‘Rape of Nanking’, I naively assumed it happened centuries ago in more barbaric times. To find that it was only last century showed up a large gap in my historical knowledge.

BLACK SUN: THE NANKING MASSACRE,
MEN BEHIND THE SUN 4
(1994, Hong Kong, Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha)

This is a weird film that would need much more research to determine what the film-makers were trying to do, if I was at all impressed by it. The director, T F Mou, denies it’s an exploitation film, and the size of the budget seems to lift the project out of that genre. But it’s an endless diary of gory re-enactments of war atrocities, with little story or drama, and a near absence of continuing characters. The Japanese soldiers storm around the city, killing and raping. The commanders take pleasure in trying out various methods of execution, from machine-gun to samurai sword.

It looks like a wartime propaganda film, but it was made 1994. I’m almost guessing it was intended to pressure the Japanese government on outstanding issues – maybe compensation, apologies, selective history books? The other likely result was to incite outrage amongst Chinese audiences.
Japan conquered Nanking but with utmost brutality

Already earlier, Japan followed the example of Western nations and forced China into unequal economical and political treaties. Furthermore, Japan’s influence over Manchuria had been steadily growing since the end of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05. When the Chinese Nationalists began to seriously challenge Japan’s position in Manchuria in 1931, the Kwantung Army (Japanese armed forces in Manchuria) occupied Manchuria. In the following year, “Manchukuo” was declared an independent state, controlled by the Kwantung Army through a puppet government. In the same year, the Japanese air force bombarded Shanghai in order to protect Japanese residents from anti Japanese movements.

In 1933, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations since she was heavily criticized for her actions in China.

Japanese soldiers bayoneting Chinese civilians in Nanking

Compare this blunt approach to any modern American movie about the Nazis. One moment in Black Sun made me remember a silent movie where Eric Von Stroheim throws a baby out of a high window. The scene looked comical: a swift but lazy cinematic shorthand to make you hate the character in seconds, and tell you what to think about all German commanders.

While City of Life and Death shows only one Japanese leader orchestrating the destruction of the city, Black Sun takes pains to name and shame many different commanders and their personal roles in the killing. This is perhaps another clue to the movie’s intentions.

After a while, the many shock moments reminded me of the climax to Soldier Blue, but in contrast with it’s involving characters, storyline and complex portrayal of the invaders as well as the invaded (Soldier Blue himself is shocked by his own sides’ misconduct). The Japanese soldiers of Black Sun are portrayed with a uniform hive mentality. It also doesn’t help that the Japanese soldiers all look very Chinese. Only the commanders look as if they’re played by Japanese actors. Lazily and inaccurately, the soldiers of both sides talk in Chinese.

I expected this to be far more cheaply made than it is. It looks largely authentic, uses a lot of extras and some extensive locations. The most spectacular scene illustrates how the Japanese burned the bodies of civilians before dumping them in the river. They could then claim that they’d only killed soldiers. The scale of the fire of hundreds of bodies along a riverbank rivals the inferno at the end of Apocalypse Now.

But if there’s any doubt that what we’re being shown happened, the catalogue of atrocities is verified onscreen, by cross-cutting with actual photographs and filmed footage. The power and importance of these images was not lost on the Japanese army who made every effort to destroy any incriminating material that left Nanking at the time, and they burnt any such evidence of their own when the war was lost.

There’s no doubt that all this and worse actually happened, but without any emotional involvement and a clumsy, one-sided approach, it’s a far less powerful and informative film than it should have been.

I watched the US region 1 DVD, which fills in much of the historical context with an informative old documentary episode of Frank Capra’s Why We Fight as a DVD extra.

In the UK, it’s purely been sold as exploitation, check out the crass DVD cover, which somehow borders on comedy, using a poorly staged publicity shot of one of the film’s most infamous scenes. Contrast that with the US DVD cover that uses an actual archive photograph.

This is actually the fourth in a series of films, called Men Behind the Sun, which I won’t be investigating any further. The first film in the series has an important subject, the horrifying human experiments of Camp 731, but the inclusion of animal cruelty and mondo footage (using an actual corpse for one scene) means I’ll avoid it. However, the story of Camp 731 has one hell of conspiracy storyline and I’d like to learn more about it.

Black Sun is a bizarre experience – as it abandons so many movie conventions – that it’s fairly silly to compare it to the professionally and artfully produced City of Life and Death. But I have.

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH
(2009, China/Hong Kong, Nanjing! Nanjing!)

An involving man-made disaster

This major new film, shot in black and white, is still being premiered round the world. It’s also about the Nanking during the Japanese siege.

While Black Sun throws out plenty of factual context in captions and voiceovers, this has no such introduction and relies on small badly-written postcards to set up a little historical background. Black Sun also portrayed the Chinese, soldiers and civilians alike, as totally defeated. This begins with the army still defending itself, albeit with guerrilla tactics. It also sets up storylines with soldiers from both armies, one Japanese soldier being just as traumatised.

The success of the film is the emotional involvement with the characters, focussing on the family of the Chinese translator to John Rabe – a German envoy famous for his attempts to protect the civilians against impossible odds.

Unlike Black Sun, if anyone gets hurt, raped, slaughtered, the impact is devastating. There’s a dreadful scene that’s basically a point of view experience of being herded into a mass slaughter.


After the threat of counterforce has been systematically eradicated, the invading army are rewarded with ‘comfort women’, Japanese prostitutes rationed out to the soldiers. But as the siege wears on, the supply of women starts taking Chinese ‘volunteers’. The widescale use of civilian women for sex lends an awful, literal meaning to ‘the rape of Nanking’.

While the Japanese use of unnecessary force was meant to terrify the rest of China, it instead unified the regions of the massive country into an unbeatable foe.

The inclusion of a sympathetic portrayal of a Japanese soldier has drawn criticism from Chinese critics, complaining that the tone of the film wasn’t harsh enough on the Japanese. Perhaps they would have preferred a less-sensitive, less balanced film, like Black Sun perhaps?


I’d recommend City of Life and Death as a beautifully made and observed film on a harrowing subject.

It had a limited cinema release in the UK and there’ll be a DVD and Blu-Ray release in August. I watched a Chinese DVD, which may be slightly censored (missing some violence). The subtitles didn’t translate all the onscreen signs and nameplates.

The excellent WildGrounds site has an article comparing City of Life and Death to actual (and upsetting) photos from the siege.

DAI NIPPON WAR IN HONGKONG(1941-1945)

Japanese soldiers marching along Queen's Road on Hong Kong Island in December 1941. 

Japanese soldiers marching along Queen’s Road on Hong Kong Island in December 1941.
Main article: Battle of Hong Kong

In the autumn of 1941, the Third Reich was at its height of power. German forces had overrun much of Western Europe and were racing towards Moscow in the invasion of the Soviet Union. With France under occupation, England was enduring devastating German bombardment almost daily, having to fend off an amphibious invasion. In the Asian theatre, Japan was also experiencing spectacular victories and began consolidating its territorial gains. At the time, the United States was not participating in the war but was seen by the Axis Powers as an obstacle to further global conquest. This prompted Japan to launch a sudden attack against the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941. As part of a general Pacific campaign, the Japanese launched an assault on Hong Kong on the morning of December 8, 1941 (Hong Kong local time), less than eight hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. British, Canadian and Indian forces, supported by the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Forces attempted to resist the rapidly advancing Japanese invasion but were outnumbered. After racing down the New Territories and Kowloon, Japanese forces crossed Victoria Harbour on December 18. After fierce fighting continued on Hong Kong Island, the only reservoir was lost. Canadian Winnipeg Grenadiers fought at the crucial Wong Nai Chong Gap that secured the passage between Hong Kong proper and secluded southern sections of the island. Hopelessly defeated, on December 25, 1941, British colonial officials headed by the Governor of Hong Kong Mark Aitchison Young surrendered in-person at the Japanese headquarters on the third floor of The Peninsula Hotel. On 20 February 1942, General Rensuke Isogai became the first Japanese governor of Hong Kong, ushering in almost four years of Imperial Japanese administration.

Postal History

DN Occupation  issued china local stamp in 1944

Politics

Roots of the Conflict
c. 1890 political cartoon: China & Japan both fishing for Korea

This French cartoon from c. 1890 perceptively states the principal cause of the conflict: Japan and China are both fishing for the same fish – Korea. In the background, Russia watches with avid interest: a Russia for once not caricatured as a huge, clumsy bear, but bearing an uncanny resemblance to Josef Stalin!

The Meiji Emperor around 1884By the time the conflict broke out in 1894, Japan had emerged from her centuries of isolation and boldly stepped into the modern world, adopting Western-style education and industry. Coming to the throne just as Japan was forced to open to the West, the Meiji Emperor had pulled off a slick move by opposing the forces of feudalism, making anyone who obstructed his reforms guilty of personal disloyalty to the throne. The Mikado and his counselors shrewdly picked the very best European models on which to base their new, western-style military: the Prussian Army for their land forces and Britain’s Royal Navy for their ironclad steam navy. While this led to some cultural rivalry between the services (Japanese army officers famously sported dueling scars and clicked their heels like the Kaiser’s men, while Imperial Japanese naval officers affected monocles and called each other “old chap”), Japan’s military was soon the finest homegrown force in all Asia, land or sea. Its first test in full-scale warfare was the Sino-Japanese conflict.

And the Imperial Japanese Navy, at this time mostly composed of vessels purchased from Europe and America, was one of the two foremost forces in Asia. The other was the Chinese navy, also largely purchased abroad, which outnumbered the Japanese by a considerable margin. Fortunately for the Japanese, the rival service was divided into four regional fleets and in the impending war, Japan’s navy had only to fight the Northern, or Beiyang, fleet, China’s second largest division.


The Stakes

Map of the Sino-Japanese War Battle Arena (1894-95)

Japanese cruiser ITSUKUSHIMA, built in FranceThis was to be a war for territory — for control of Korea. Japan specifically targeted tottering China, a traditional rival and enemy since the time Kublai Khan tried to invade the Japanese home islands (1274 and 1281) and lost his fleet to an enormous typhoon — a “kami-kaze,” or divine wind. Now the positions were somewhat reversed. Riven by internal revolt and beggared by the huge indemnities levied by the Western powers increasingly since the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1860, China had lost much of her sovereignty; had sacrificed control over her own finances to pay the ruinous indemnities to the imperial Powers. The Koreans (a tributary state to the Manchu empire) were glad to play both ends, provoking the Japanese and then beseeching the Dragon Throne for protection. Hesitantly, the Manchu dynasty stepped forward with its best troops and modern steam navy to beat back the semi-barbarian Japanese. Japan held no illusions: she was making a bid to join the club of imperial powers who took what they wanted by force and then made their victims pay for the military operations that victimized them. Japan’s first bite was to be Korea and the Liaodong Peninsula just NW of Korea, a strategic key to Manchuria’s mineral wealth, containing easily defensible deep-water ports like Dalian and Lüshun (Port Arthur). It would then be a relatively easy matter to ship Manchuria’s high-quality coal and iron ore to the vast complex of steelworks, armories and shipyards Japan was constructing on the northwest coast of Kyushu — the closest part of Japan to Manchuria. Not coincidentally, this region contained Japan’s principal naval base at Sasebo, a satellite base at Nagasaki and easy access to the base at Kure on the Inland Sea. It was here that Japan’s warship manufacturing base was getting started; by the end of WWI these yards would be busily rolling out dreadnought battlecruisers and 700-foot, 16″ gunned battleships that made every navy in existence take notice.

POSTAL HISTORY OF THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR.
 
 
 
1895 Japanese Military mail from KAWAHASHI Yosouemon, 9th Company, Infantry 9th Regiment,
Hsi-mu-ch’eng Garrison, Shengching Province, Manchuria, China.
Cancel reading ‘1st Army No. 14, Field Post Office, 28. 10. 16′ (16th October 1895), located at Hai-ch’eng.
Sent to a relative, KAWAHASHI YKyosouemon, Ikagu-mura, Ika-gun, Shiga-ken, Japan.
 
 
 
 
 
1896 Japanese Military mail from KAWAHASHI, 9th Company, Infantry 9th Regiment, Taiwan.
Cancel reading ‘No. 2, Field Post Office Formosa, 29. 3. 1′, (1st March 1896), located at T’ai-pai.
Sent to a relative KAWAHASHI, Ika-gun, Shiga-ken, Japan.
Receiving cancel ‘Omi, Kinomoto, 29. 3. 16′, (16th March 1896).
 
 
 
POSTAL HISTORY OF THE BOXER UPRISING.
 
 
 
 
A July 1900 telegram from the British Legation, Peking, China, to England.
 
Reading ‘Allies routed Chinese round Tientsin July 9th. Capturing 6 Guns destroyed fort, Chinese made
determined attack on twelth repulsed with heavy loss, Allies lost 150 killed wounded.
 
 
 
 
   
 
Mail from German Expeditionary Force China.
 
1900 German Military mail from the German warship at Taku, China.
Cancel reading ‘Kaiser Deutsche Marine Schiffspost No. 69, 24/10 00′, (24th October 1900).
 
 
 
 
 
Mail from the French Expeditionary Force in China.
 
1901 French Military mail from the French Legation in Peking, China.
Oval cancel reading ‘Peking, MAR 1 1901′, (1st March 1901).
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mail to the Japanese Expeditionary Force in China.
 
1902 Japanese Military mail outgoing from Japan to the Army Garrison in Tientsin, China.
Outgoing cancel dated 35. 2. 18, (18th February 1902).
Receiving cancel of ‘TIENTSIN I.J.P.O. 22 FEB 02′, (22nd February 1902).
 
 
 
 
  
 
Mail showing the foreign post offices in China of Japanese, Germany, Russian, British, French and the Chinese post office all at Tient-sin.
 
 
 
POSTAL HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR.
 
 
 
 
 
1904 Japanese Military mail from SASAMOTO Tomigoro, 101 Relief Team, Japan Red Cross Society,
Commissariat Hospital, Manchuria, Expeditionary 3rd Army.
Handstamps in red-orange read ‘Military Mail’ and ‘Senior Doctor HOSOYA Osamu, 101 Relief Team,
Japan Red Cross Society’.
Mail sent to FUKAZAWA Tomizo, Ochiai-mura, Naka-Koma-mura, Kai-no-kuni, Japan.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
1904 Japanese Military Mail from ship of the Japanese Navy ‘No. 38 Torpedo Boat’ of the 2nd Fleet.
Mail carried back to Japan by the ship ‘Genkai-maru’ built in 1891 at Glasgow, Scotland, of 1,446 tons.
On-board post office of ‘Genkai-maru’ cancel ‘No. 3, Navy Post Office, 37. 7. 12′, (12th July 1904).
Sent to Fujima-mura, Seta-gun, Kouzuke-no-kuni, Gumma-ken, Japan.
Receiving cancel of Kouzuke, Komino, 37. 7. 20′, (20th July 1904).
 
 
 
 
1904 Military Mail from the Japanese 2nd Army at the Sha-ho (Sha River), Manchuria.
Cancel reading ‘No 2 Army, Fied Office No. 1, Branch No. 1, 37 – 9 – 30′, (30th September 1904).
Sent to Japan with receiving cancel dated 37. 10. 8, (8th October 1904).
 
 
 
 
 
 
1904 Russian Military mail from the Ruusia-Holland Sanitary Troops, Kharbin, Manchuria.
Circular ‘Red’ Cross handstamp. Cancel of ‘Head Field Post Office, 22. 9. 04′, (22 September 1904).
On reverse 7 kopek stamp paying the registration fee to St. Petersburg. 

The Fleets Contrasted

Barbette and 12-in guns on replica of Chinese battleship DING YUEN, museum ship in Weihaiwei.But in the 1890s, Japan was still buying its ironclad warships overseas. Nor had China neglected modernization, though in that vast realm, adopting western ways was fraught with more difficulties and contradictions than in Japan. China had been deeply hurt and humiliated time and again at the hands of the western “barbarians”; these continual losses of face, coupled with the increasing internal troubles in China, had fanned the flames of xenophobia and resistance to all things western. It was thus something of a coup that reformer Li Hongzhang (together with Prince Kung and other progressive-minded officials) had been able to bring forth a modern naval establishment: A steam battle fleet, together with the shipyards and arsenals to supply it, located in Shanghai. By 1888, China fielded a fleet of some 78 steel warships, mostly built in England, Germany, and Italy, with several smaller vessels produced by the new Kiangnan and Fuzhou shipyards. The échelon battleship Chen Yuen and her sister Ding Yuen (right), mounting four 12-inch guns apiece, were built at Vulcan Werft in Stettin, Germany in 1882-5 for the Beiyang (northern) fleet. A large number of steel cruisers mounting 6-inch and 8-inch guns, mostly built at Armstrongs or Vulcan, made China’s navy the biggest in Asia; a large number of Rendel gunboats and Rendel cruisers performed river and coast patrol duties and could augment the cruiser navy in an emergency. On paper the Chinese fleet outnumbered the Japanese almost 4:1, and was rated eighth best in the world. Many of the officers were experienced Europeans acting as mercenaries in the Qing dynasty’s service; Adm. Ting’s flagship co-captain was an American, Philo McGiffen, USN (ret.); Ting’s chief military advisor was a German, Major von Hanneken, assisted by a Brit, W.F. Tyler, RNR.

The Japanese fleet, commanded by Vice Adm. Ito Sukeyuki, was under the influence of French 1880s doctrine, with a short-lived affiliation with the French navy cemented by the residence of naval architect Émile Bertin, who later rose to become Chief Constructor for the Marine Nationale Française. Bertin designed the protected cruisers Matsushima and Itsukushima, each mounting a single 12.6″ Canet gun and a dozen 4.9″ weapons, and both built in France. The jeune école philosophy had swayed Japanese naval purchases and strategy, especially after France’s lopsided victory over China in the Sino-French War of 1883-85. Following the naval rout at Fuzhou, Vietnam and present-day Cambodia and Laos were annexed to the French Empire in a union that would last until 1956. Otherwise the IJN was largely British-built, ranging from the Izumi (ex-Esmeralda, purchased from Chile), a 4,300-ton Elswick cruiser armed with two 10″ and six 6″ breech-loading guns, to the old Fuso, a central battery ship built in Britain in 1878 and modernized in the early 1890s for the war that was by then imminent. On paper there was narrow Chinese superiority, with two battleships, seven cruisers, a corvette, two gunboats, and two TBs confronting the Japanese force of one old battleship, eight protected cruisers, a corvette, a gunboat, and a converted liner; or 8 large and 4 small warships (China) versus 10 large and 2 small warships (Japan). Paper didn’t tell the whole story, though. Administrative control of the Chinese fleets lay with regional mandarins. These local fiefdoms were not accustomed to coöperating and making rapid decisions in the national interest. So when the Beiyang (Northern Division) fleet went to meet the Japanese, though it was only the largest of China’s four regional fleets, it did so with no backup from the other 53 warships in the Imperial Chinese Navy. Japan benefited from central control and clear lines of authority, running directly from the Emperor, who was revered as divine.

Moreover, the Chinese fleet had been in decline since 1889 due to a lack of interest in naval matters at the palace. The Dowager Empress Cixi, well along in her seemingly endless career of misrule, commandeered the moneys appropriated for maintaining the Navy and spent them instead on luxuries for herself, including a lavish landscape garden at the Summer Palace outside Beijing. The scenic lakes of this garden included pavilions in the shape of carved stone boats — a pointed slap at the Prince and the reformers. Morale in the fleet had slipped since funds for training and operations started being siphoned off. At the time the war began, there had been no target practice in the Beiyang fleet for months. The ships were in indifferent repair and discipline was slack. Guns were used (in one case) for storing pickles; in another, the ship’s officers had stripped the armament and sold it on the black market for ready cash. Just as in the earlier wars with the British, corruption in contracting ate away at the military effectiveness of the Chinese Navy: Many shells were found to be filled with flour or cement powder rather than explosives. Finally, the entire fleet had been inspected recently, so the ships were freshly coated with flammable paints and varnishes inside and out. By contrast, the Japanese navy was a taut, disciplined instrument of war, poised for combat at a moment’s notice.

“Happy Takeshima Day…?”
Shimane Declares Takeshima Day as February 22nd – Japan Adds Insult to Injury
The following page describes the Japanese Government’s more recent attempts to gain sovereignty over Korea’s Dokdo Island. These rocks located between Japan and Korea are sometimes called Liancourt Rocks or Takeshima.
 
On March 16, 2005, in Matsue, western Japan Shimane prefectural assembly members rose as they voted on the passage of a bill designating February 22 as ‘Takeshima Day’. This was despite Japan’s central government’s efforts to make Shimane Prefecture to give up plans to pass the legislation.

 

The text of the ordinance translated by Kyodo News read as follows:

“…Takeshima Day shall be instituted in order to promote a movement by the citizens of the prefecture, its cities, towns and villages united as one aimed at establishment of territorial rights on Takeshima (Dokdo) at an early date and at enlightening the opinions of the nation with respect to the issue of Takeshima. The prefecture shall strive to implement measures and policies necessary to promote undertakings befitting the purposes and objectives of Takeshima Day…”

Above Left: On March 16th 2005, Shimane’s cabinet rises as “Takeshima Day” is declared February 22nd..
 
This was the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Liancourt Rocks. (Dokdo) Right Above: A Korean newspaper cartoon depicts Shimane’s cabinet as colonial era Japanese soldiers. Japan “incorporated” Takeshima (Dokdo) during the Russo-Japanese War 1904~1905, while Japan was in the process of colonizing Korea.
Why are the Koreans Outraged About “Takeshima Day”?
Koreans immediately reacted with outrage to the declaration and a firestorm of demonstrations took place immediately thereafter. Why did the Koreans become so enraged when Japan’s celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Shimane Prefecture’s incorporation of Takeshima?
 
Why do Koreans continually draw parallels between Japanese colonialism and Takeshima Day?

 

The following page highlights historical milestones in the days immediately before and after February 22nd 1905, Shimane’s beloved Takeshima Day. Is Takeshima Day, February 22nd, 1905 a day that should be celebrated…?

In the picture to the right, Korean protesters angrily vent their frustration towards Japan’s goverment for what they see as whitewashing Japan’s militaristic past and attempting to encroach onto Korean territory. A detailed study of the circumstances surrounding Japan’s 1905 “incorporation” of Dokdo Island explains Korea’s anger and resentment toward Japan.

January 2nd 1905 –
 
Port Arthur (Lushun) is Captured by Japan’s Second Army
About three weeks before Japan’s cabinet decided to “incorporate” Takeshima, the Japanese Second Army captured Port Arthur and ousted the Russian Pacific Naval Fleet and Army. T
 
he Siege of Port Arthur (Japanese: Ryojun Koisen),
 
1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905,
 
the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most vicious land battle of the Russo-Japanese War.
During the first year of the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese troops landed in Korea and Manchuria and began pushing the Russians back towards their base at Port Arthur. Located on the Liaodong Peninsula, Port Arthur was Russia’s sole warm water port in the Pacific . The campaign saw the introduction of many weapons that would shape the modern battlefield such as the machine gun, barbed wire, rapid-firing howitzers, bolt-action magazine rifles, and mines. Japanese troops began building trenches and digging tunnels under the Russian lines. To bombard the city, large 11-inch Krupp howitzers were brought in which fired 500-lb. shells. Slowly advancing, Japanese troops took the Waterworks Redoubt on September 19, and launched a major attack against Temple Redoubt and 203 Meter Hill.As 203 Meter Hill became the new focus of the battle, the attack continued for the next nine days until the Japanese finally overran the Russian positions. The capture of the hill proved critical as Nogi shifted some of his 11-inch Krupps to its summit. From this position, they were able to hit and sink the Russian warships in the harbor. On the night of 2 January 1905, after Port Arthur surrendered.The Siege of Port Arthur cost the Japanese 57,780 killed, wounded, and missing. The Russians lost 31,306 killed, wounded, and missing. The remaining 23,491 Russian troops were taken into captivity, while their 868 officers were given the choice of joining their men or accepting a parole. To the left above, A map of the Korean peninsula and area during the Russia Japanese War. Important battles are shown, such as Porth Arthur’s Fall (January 2nd 1905) The Battle of Mukden (February 20th 1905) and the Battle of Tsushima (May 27th 1905)

Above left: After the fall of of Port Arthur, January 2nd, a soldier sits atop mountains of spent cartridge cases. Above right: Russian soldiers stare solemnly at the rotting corpses of their fallen comrades. (click picture for larger image)
Seppings Wright’s book “With Togo” published after the war described the destruction in Port Arthur very vividly. “…At the gates of Port Arthur the Russians had built barricades of felled trees and wire entanglements in a last-minute attempt to stop the Japanese, and these were covered with dead soldiers, still clutching swords in their hands…”Great clouds of smoke rose from 203 Meter Hill where the dead were being burned. ..”“…Every inch of the ground had been ploughed by the projectiles, rocks were ground to powder. The trenches on the side could scarcely be traced for they were filled to the level of the ground with Russian corpses, burnt beyond recognition. Such a terrible sight I had never looked upon. Everywhere scorched faces with hideous death grins looked up at us with unseeing eyes from the awful debris…”
The Japanese wood block artists’ renderings found to the right, belie the gruesome reality of this era’s “modern” trench warfare shown in the photos of this page. The first Japanese print celebrates the Fall of Port Arthur (top) The bottom print commemorates the Battle of Nanshan. Japanese Lieutenant Shibakawa Matasaburo raises the rising sun war fan while cutting down a russian soldier. (click pictures for larger image)
January 1st 1905 – Japan’s Imperial Navy Zones the Sea of Japan. How did the fall of Port Arthur relate to Dokdo – Takeshima?
Japanese military records from the Russo~Japan War show that as Port Arthur fell, a plan was quickly implemented to posture for the Russian Baltic Fleet dispatched to help the now captured city. The Japanese knew the Russian Navy now had to steam through the Tsushima Straits their only logical path to Vladivostok. As a result, the Sea of Japan was precisely zoned and regiments of the Japanese Imperial Navy assigned to each area. Of course, the waters surrounding Ulleungdo and Dokdo were incorporated into this plan. On January 1st 1905 maps were submitted showing the waters of the Sea of Japan zoned in preparation of the impending battle. At this point the Russians were steaming around Madagascar.

The map above is an original Japanese Imperial Navy map of the East Sea (Sea of Japan) It is dated the 38th year of Meiji January 1st (1905). The map is tilted showing South~North as left~right respectively. It has been labeled in English for reference. This chart shows how the Japanese Imperial Navy mapped, zoned and then assigned certain naval regiments to each area of the Sea of Japan to engage Russia’s Baltic Fleet. (click map for larger image)
January 5th 1905 – Japan’s Imperial Navy Construction Plans For Military Facilities on Dokdo
Japan’s Imperial Navy’s Plans for Dokdo Expose the Aggressive Nature of her “Incorporation.”
Japan’s plan also included building watchtowers on Takeshima (Dokdo) and linking them with telegraph systems already (illegally) built on Korean soil. On January 5th 1905 Captain Yamanaka Shibakichi of the warship Tsushima submitted the results of his topographical survey of Takeshima to determine the feasability of constucting military facilities on the islets. He confirmed it was difficult, but possible to build on Takeshima’s East islet. This can be seen on Captain Saedo Taketaeru’s Report and Deputy Commander Yamanaka’s map below.

Above left and center: These pages are Japanese Imperial Warship Tsushima’s Captain Saedo Taketaeru’s report for constructing military watchtowers and a telegraph station on Takeshima (Dokdo) Island. Above right: Vice Commander Yamanaka Shibakichi’s map. This data was gathered from the November 20th 1904 survey by the warship Tsushima. These activities were undertaken before Japan’s incorporation and thus prove Japan’s motives for incorporation were not peaceful. (click pictures for larger image)
February 20th 1905 -The Battle of Mukden (Shenyang) Begins
Two days before Japan incorporated Takeshima,The Battle of Mukden (Japanese: Hoten Kaisen), the last major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War, started. It was fought from 20 February to 10 March 1905 between Japan and Russia near Mukden in Manchuria. The city is now called Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province in China. The Russian forces consisted of 275,000 infantrymen, 16,000 cavalry, and 1,219 artillery pieces were under General Alexei Nikolajevich Kuropatkin. The Imperial Japanese Army forces consisted of 200,000 infantrymen, 7,350 cavalry, and 992 artillery pieces, were led by Field-Marshal Prince Oyama Iwao. (see battle map)

Above left: Russian soldiers pose beside a trench filled with the corpses of Japanese soldiers. Above right: Japanese infantrymen take a pause in the battle near Liaoyang, (South of Mukden) to build a funeral pyre preparatory to burning their dead. (click pictures for larger image)

Above left: March 11th 1905, Japanese soldiers march into Mukden through its massive gates as Russian forces fell back in disarray to the mountains in the north. Above right: This painting depicts Japanese soldiers beheading Chinese citizens suspected of Russian sympathies near Mukden (Shenyang) from Le Petit Journal, Paris, 23 April 1905. These incidents were reported by foreign war correspondents. (click pics)
Russian General Kuropatkin had lost one third of his armies in battle. More than 20,000 had been killed or were missing in action, apart from the 20,000 left behind in Japanese hands. The wounded numbered more than 49,000. The Japanese casualties reflected the ferocity of the action. Japanese Field Marshall Oyama lost 15, 892 officers and men killed and 59,612 wounded or more than a quarter of the forces commited to battle.
February 22nd, 1905 – Japan Annexes Dokdo – Takeshima
As 500,000 soldiers, Russian and Japanese gave battle in the blood-soaked trenches of Mukden, a tiny unihabited rock was “incorporated” by Shimane Prefecture. There was no mention of Takeshima (Dokdo’s) real name (Liancourt Rocks) in Shimane’s announcement. (see link) The Japanese government did not announce the Cabinet decision in the official gazette, nor make a public announcement at the central government level. The document shows was stamped as for “internal circulation” and not distributed to the general population. As a result, even the Japanese public themselves were not aware of the incorporation until long after 1905. Due to the harsh conditions on the Sea of Japan, the Imperial Navy couldn’t build their planned watchtower on Takeshima until spring. This would change however after the Japanese Navy would decimate the Baltic Fleet in what would be known as the “Tsushima Massacre” (see link)

Above left: This image is the document “announcing” Japan’s annexation of Dokdo Island. It was an internal document not a public declartion. Above center and right: Japan’s only public announcement was a tiny ad on the second page of a local Japanese language newspaper. No mention is made of the island’s then real names, Dokdo, Liancourt Rocks or Matsushima.
May 27th, 1905 The Infamous ‘Battle of Tsushima’ and Dokdo Island
Three months after Japan siezed Takeshima the Japanese Imperial Navy engaged and destroyed Russia’s Baltic Fleet in the waters surrounding Ulleungdo and Dokdo. The Battle of Tsushima was also known as the “Tsushima Massacre” it was the last and most decisive sea battle of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. It was fought on May 27-28, 1905 in the Tsushima Strait. In this battle the Japanese fleet under Admiral Heihachiro Togo destroyed two-thirds of the Russian fleet under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky. Historian Edmund Morris calls it “…The greatest naval battle since Trafalgar…” It was also the largest naval engagement to the day.
The Battle of Tsushima was the only sea battle in history in which steel battleships fought a decisive fleet action. In addition, much to the Russian Navy’s credit, Admiral Rozhestvensky’s battleship fleet conducted a voyage of over 18,000 nautical miles (33 000 km) to reach their Far Eastern station. Nicknamed the ‘Voyage of the Damed, The map above right shows the 18,000 nautical mile journey of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. They were originally sent to aid besieged Port Arthur (Lushun) While the Russians slogged through the sweltering waters of the tropics, Japanese Admiral Togo prepared for the impending battle at the occupied port city of Chinae, South Korea. Admiral Rozhestvensky was knocked out of action by a shell fragment in his skull. The Russian fleet lost the battleships Knyaz Suvorov, Oslyabya, Imperator Aleksander III and Borodino on May 27. Japanese ships only suffered light damage, mostly to Mikasa. In the evening, Rear Admiral Nebogatov took the command on the Russian side. The Japanese had a large technical supremacy in terms of ordnance. The Russians were using armor-piercing rounds whereas the Japanese were high explosive rounds. (see battle map)

Above left:Russian Admiral Rozhestvensky’s flag battleship Knyaz Suvorov takes a direct hit from the Japanese in the early stages of the Battle of Tsushima. Admiral Rozhestvensky was wounded in the head by a shell fragment, he was transferred to a destroyer that was eventually captured. Rozhestvensky was then taken prisoner by the Japanese navy. Above right: Russian sailors desparately cling to their sinking warships during the Battle of Tsushima.

Above left: The Russian ship Oleg with a gaping hole in her side. She escaped the carnage of Tsushima and limped to Manila where she was interned by American ships. Above right: Admiral Nebogatov commanding the Nakai I surrenders to the Japanese Navy near Takeshima.
During the night action Admiral Togo was able to rest his main fleet of armoured ships. At 9.30am, what remained of the Russian fleet was sighted heading northwards. At 10.34, realising that his situation was hopeless, Admiral Nebogatov ordered six ships remaining under his command to surrender, just south of Takeshima, XGE, an international signal of surrender, was hoisted up, it was only at 10.53 that the Japanese agreed to the surrender.
June 12th , 1905 – Japan’s Imperial Navy Begins Construction on Dokdo – Takeshima
The Battle of Tsushima confirmed the strategic value of Ulleungdo and Dokdo and more detailed plans to build military facilities on Dokdo were drafted immediately following the Battle of Tsushima. About two weeks after 4,380 Russian sailors perished in the Sea of Japan, the Imperial Navy dispatched the warship Hashidate to begin watchtower and telegraph construction on Takeshima.

Above left two images: The construction survey report from the Japanese Imperial Navy for watchtower and telegraph construction. Above right: These are survey maps of Takeshima. The above data was gathered by the warship Hashidate immediately following the Battle of Tsushima. (click images)
The defeat of the Russians around the waters of Ulleungdo Island and Dokdo first spurred a sense of urgency in the Japanese to step up military construction on the islets. With the Russian Navy being less of a threat, the Japanese weren’t as concerned about being attacked while constructing watchtowers. Thus, on June 12th a special team of construction engineers sent by the Japanese Imperial Navy surveyed Takeshima. The report and survey maps are above. (see entire report here)
Japan’s Declaration of Takeshima Day – Korea’s Outrage is Justified
“Historically speaking, what defined Japanese military aggression…?”
Ask any American the above question, they will tell you Japan’s December 7th 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor marked the start of Japanese hostilities. Ask those from northeast Asia and you will get different answers. Chinese and Taiwanese will tell you Japanese aggression started in 1894 with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War. If you ask a Korean they will undoubtedly tell you February 8th 1904 was the start of Japanese military dominance over Korea. (link)
With this in mind, imagine the West’s reaction if Japan commemorated a day celebrating, for example, Japan’s capture of Wake Island or other lands gained furthering Japanese expansionism during World War Two. Through this analogy we can appreciate Korea’s anger. Japan’s decision to honor an annexation of territory for the purpose of colonizing Korea is a slap in the face. To Koreans, Japan’s attempt to dispute the ownership of Dokdo-Takeshima stems from the legacy of Japanese colonialism and imperialism. Some of the newly discovered Japanese military records show these sentiments are well-founded. To the right, Korean actors dramatize Japan’s seizure of Dokdo in this demonstration in front of Gwanghwamun in downtown Seoul. An actor in traditional Korean clothing potrays “Dokdo” slain by a soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Why Japan’s Policy Toward the Dokdo – Takeshima Dispute is Failing

Unlike other countries once involved in colonialist adventures, Japan has not shed its colonial legacy entirely. This Japanese historical baggage still remains an important stumbling block for her. Japan must prove she is a sincere peaceful county to earn the prowess necessary to play a leading role in shaping international affairs.

Japan’s fundamental foreign policy in the Dokdo/Takeshima issue was to increase its diplomatic pressure on the world stage. However, regarding the announcement of Takeshima Day, it was both counterproductive and damaging for Japan to argue over such an unsubstantiated territorial claim to this small Korean islet. Only by washing away its imperialist stains and by giving up once and for all what it took in times of imperialism, can Japan contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The Battle of the Yalu

Sinking of Chinese battleship CHIH YUEN at the Battle of the Yalu.As hostilities began, the Japanese occupied the Korean peninsula on the pretext of preserving its independence. Having coerced cooperation from the decadent Korean dynasty, they invested the city of Pyongyang in August 1894; their fleet methodically destroyed all Chinese ships they found in harbor. Japanese Marshal Yamagata surrounded the city and defeated the defenders under Gen. Tso, who was killed in the battle, Sept. 15-16, 1894. The following day the 25 ships of the Beiyang Fleet sailed into Korea Bay to cover a troop landing at the mouth of the Yalu. There they met the 21 ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in what became known as the Battle of the Yalu (right). Adm. Ting Zhuqang in the Ding Yuen — a cavalry officer recently assigned to command the Beiyang Fleet — opened fire prematurely with his guns pointed dead ahead, destroying his own flying bridge and inflicting blast damage and perforated eardrums on himself and his staff; he was in the sick bay for most of the fight. Although the Chinese fought stoutly in most cases, they did so without their commander. Their ships were older and slower than the Japanese (15 kts versus as fast as 23), and, dare one say, handled with less finesse. And their defective ammunition failed to explode on impact time and again. The war of mobility advocated by the jeune école now served the Japanese well. They clearly had caught on to using speed and maneverability to advantage in action, enveloping the Chinese in a near-complete ring of fire and disabling eight of Adm. Ting’s best ironclads, including the cruiser Chih Yuen: sinking five, killing some 850 Chinese sailors, wounding a further 500. The Chinese battleships were largely unharmed. With one direct hit on the flagship, the Chinese caused serious damage to four of the Japanese vessels and casualties of 90 killed and about 200 wounded, but withdrew on Ting’s order as daylight faded and their ammunition ran out. Meantime on land, Gen. Yamagata routed Chinese forces and marched to the Yalu, the traditional border between Korea and Manchuria (well remembered from the more recent Korean War of 1950-53). In November, Marshal Oyama laid siege to Lüshun (Port Arthur), taking the fortress by storm on the 20th-21st as Ito’s torpedo boats rushed the harbor entrance and turned their machine-guns on the garrison once inside. And once within the town walls, the Japanese troops massacred the defenders to a man, then fell to looting the town to avenge supposed ill-treatment of Japanese POWs, in an incident that quickly got out of hand. The three days’ riot that ensued was sensationalized further by the international press, and is remembered to this day in China; a vast monument to the victims now occupies a prominent hilltop in Lüshun.


The Siege of Weihaiwei & the End Game

Having captured the Liaodong Peninsula, Oyama and Adm. Ito continued wreaking havoc on Chinese fortifications in the Shandong Peninsula on the opposite side of the Gulf of Chihli (or Bohai Gulf). Adm. Ting’s forces had retreated to their fortified base at Liukung Island in Weihaiwei Harbor. During the 23-day siege, they suffered further attrition defending against the bombardment of Weihaiwei, with Chen Yuen running hard aground and halving Chinese battleship strength (she was later refloated and taken into the Japanese fleet). In a battle fought in -26-degree cold (-32° C), 20,000 Japanese crossed the frozen harbor to storm Weihaiwei. On Feb. 12, 1895 Ting bowed to the inevitable and surrendered the remnant of his fleet and the great forts guarding the approaches to Beijing. Already damaged by a Japanese torpedo attack, his flagship was defiantly blown up by her crew to deny her to the Japanese. Japan thus picked up one recent ironclad and a half-dozen serviceable cruisers — in need of some repair, it is true, but at a nominal cost. In a tragic sequel, Adm. Ting refused Adm. Ito’s offer of asylum in Japan; Ting and the greater part of his staff all committed suicide instead. Apparently the cult of seppuku was not unique to the Japanese military class; certainly the shame of defeat is universal. How much greater that shame must be for the servants of an ancient Power, a leader in civilization for over 2,500 years, now clearly going to the dogs.


The Varyag
American-Built Protected Cruiser (1899/1902)

VARIAG at Kronstadt on delivery

The Varyag was built in the Cramps shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, which also produced the battleship Retvizan for the Tsar. She is seen above at Kronstadt shortly after delivery in 1902. Click here to enlarge photo. Varyag was part of the huge naval buildup leading to the Russo-Japanese War. At the very beginning of that conflict, the new cruiser was bested in battle and scuttled by her crew to avoid capture. The ship was subsequently salvaged by the Japanese and sailed in their fleet as HIJMS Soya for many years.

With her length and arrow-like form, Varyag was intended as a commerce raider, swooping down on her prey with overpowering speed. She was originally intended to be boilered with Belleville water-tube boilers, but the builders lobbied hard for using the Niclausse water-tube type instead. The Tsar’s admirals had cause to pull out their hair over that decision, for the ship never lived up to expectations in terms of speed: designed for 25+ knots, with 20,000-HP engines, she seldom exceeded 23. The ship’s engines and boilers were not improved by more than a year’s immersion in sea water off Chemulpo, Korea. In the vessel’s refit following salvage, an extensive rebuild was necessary. The Japanese started by replacing the Niclausse boilers with Miyabara.

The vessel’s name describes the Varangians — legendary traders, mercenaries, and pirates who controlled the water routes through the eastern fringes of Europe from Finland down to the Black Sea by a series of forts in the 9th and 10th centuries. Of Viking and Slavic stock, they controlled much of the trade with Constantinople in the waning years of the Byzantine Empire, and provided much of the military muscle that sustained the Kievan state (“Rus”). These burly warriors and watermen were among the original founders of the Russian state. In medieval times and, indeed, all the way down to the 1917 Revolution, Russian nobles calculated their rank by the proximity of their descent from Rurik the Viking — a legendary Varangian whose descendents founded the Kievan state. A number of powerful warships were named for Rurik in the later Russian Navy.


Ship’s Specifications

Profile & upper deck plan of protected cruiser VARIAG (1902)

Specifications for the Varyag:
Dimensions: 416 x 52′ x 21′ Displacement: 6,500 tons. Armament: (12) 6″/45 cal, (12) 12-pdr, (6) 3-pdr; (4) 18″ torpedo tubes. Armor: Harvey type throughout: CT: 6″, deck: 3″; engine hatches: 4″. Propulsion: coal-fired Niclausse boilers, replaced by Miyabara in 1907; (2) 4-cyl. vertical triple expansion engines, developing 20,000 hp, shafted to twin screw. Maximum speed: 24.6 kts. Fuel capacity: 770 tons of coal normal; 1,250 tons maximum. Operating radius: 960 nm @ 23 kts; 4,500 nm @ 10 kts. Crew: 571.

Metric Specifications:
Dimensions: 126.8m x 15.85m x 6.4m Displacement: 6,500 tons. Armament: (12) 152 mm/45 cal, (12) 12-pdr, (6) 3-pdr; (4) 45 cm torpedo tubes (2 dry, 2 submerged). Armor: Harvey type throughout: CT: 152 mm; deck: 76 mm; engine hatches: 101 mm. Propulsion: coal-fired Niclausse boilers, replaced by Miyabara in 1907; (2) 4-cyl. vertical triple expansion engines, developing 20,000 hp, shafted to twin screw. Maximum speed: 45.56 km/hr. Fuel capacity: 770 tons of coal normal; 1,250 tons maximum. Operating radius: 1,778 nm @ 42.6 km/hr; 25,002 km @ 18.52 km/hr. Crew: 571.


Ship’s History

As hostilities commenced in the first days of February 1904, the Varyag and the gunboat Koriets were surprised in the Korean port of Chemulpo (Inchon) by an overwhelmingly superior Japanese squadron. It was the day before Japan launched its surprise torpedo attack on Port Arthur when the Koriets stumbled upon a troop convoy with 4 batallions of soldiers was on its way to fight the Russians, with a planned landing at Inchon.

VARYAG at Chemulpo before the battleLate on the afternoon of Feb. 8, 1904, a squadron of six Japanese cruisers and eight destroyers, escorting the transports, passed off Inchon to ensure unopposed landings for Japanese troops that night. Setting out for Port Arthur, Koriets ran into the Japanese fleet and saluted the Japanese flag. To their horror, the Russians found their salute returned with deadly force: the sea seethed with torpedoes aimed at them, although none hit. Quickly switching from blanks to live ammo, Koriets got off the first Russian shots of the Russo-Japanese War before scurrying back to Chemulpo to raise the alarm.

Brazenly defying Korea’s neutrality, the Japanese commander, R. Adm. Uryu, proceeded to land his 3,000 troops that night; some occupied Chemulpo while the balance of the force prepared to march on Seoul. Being privy to the war plans, he surely knew that Korea was to be reduced to a puppet state and later taken over by Japan, and so had little reason to respect the Hermit Kingdom’s neutrality. Even so, the Japanese ships all withdrew beyond the harbor before dawn. Having discharged his primary mission, Uryu next morning issued an ultimatum to the Russians, sending the document by boat from the cruiser Naniwa: Leave port by noon or we will attack you in harbor. The captains of the neutral warships in harbor delivered a protest to Uryu, but the Russians had already determined to make such an end as would be celebrated in song. Following the orders of Captain Vsevolod Rudnev, the four funnels of Varyag belched black smoke as she raised steam and sortied to meet her doom, followed by her junior partner, at 11:30 a.m. Large battle flags streamed from their mastheads and the Varyag’s band played the national anthem, “God Save the Tsar!”, as the two warships steamed out to fight.

Japanese wood-block print of Chemulpo battle - KORIETS getting hit Despite the brave show, Russian gunnery proved sadly deficient in the battle that followed. Neither ship put so much as a scratch on any Japanese cruiser. Varyag took hits on her bow and after hull at the waterline, on the foremast and on the bridge; her fearless captain was among the wounded, struck by shrapnel from a shell bursting on the foremast. Varyag was still a tenable contender until her steering was damaged; she could still maneuver, with difficulty, using engines and a crew muscling the big wheels in the steering flat, but responsiveness was sluggish and she responded poorly in currents; Inchon is noted for tricky tides and currents. After an hour’s bloody affray, all the cruiser’s 6-inch guns had been put out of action. Varyag limped back into harbor about 12:45, listing and flaming, laden with 33 dead and 191 wounded. The Koriets, largely masked by the Varyag’s bulk, came back relatively unscathed. Faced with insuperable odds, Rudnev ordered both ships scuttled once the wounded had been taken off. Around 6:30 p.m. the big cruiser capsized onto her starboard side in the shallow anchorage. Meanwhile, the Koriets had been blown to atoms by her crew. At 4:00 sharp, two terrific explosions tore her hull and a dense, grey mushroom cloud shot skyward. As the smoke cleared over the turbulent water where the warship had floated, only jagged bits of wreckage and the top 4 feet of her funnel could be seen. Her hull had broken into three pieces, the foremost of which landed upside down in the harbor mud.

The survivors of both vessels escaped capture. The wounded were treated ashore in Inchon, while many of the survivors were taken aboard neutral warships that were in port, all of which had been watching the day’s events with eager interest. The foreign warships included HMS Talbot, the Italian cruiser Elba, the USS Vicksburg and Pompey (collier), and the French cruiser Pascal.

The Russian mariners enjoyed international fame for their heroic (and well-publicized) fight. After the war, the heavily damaged Varyag was salvaged and laboriously repaired in Japan. Honoring their foe, the Japanese conferred the Order of the Rising Sun on Capt. Rudnev and placed monuments to the battle at Seoul and Inchon; Korea was nominally independent but really under increasing Japanese control until 1910, when it was formally annexed by Japan.

Renamed Soya, the ex-Varyag was taken into the Mikado’s fleet, commissioning in 1908. But the ship was among several ex-Russian prizes sold back into the Tsar in 1916. The following year she was undergoing overhaul in Britain when successive waves of revolution and civil war broke over Russia. Sold to Germany for scrap, she foundered while under tow to the wreckers in 1920; her remains rest in the Firth of Clyde to this day. The site overlooking her sinking at Lendlefoot, Scotland was used for a joint Russo-Scottish ceremony dedicating a memorial marker on July 30, 2006 — Russian Navy Day. Because of their gallant action at Chemulpo, the ship and her crew are revered to this day in Russia. A song written by Rudolf Grenz, glorifying the ship’s exploits, has become the unofficial anthem of the Russian Navy. The fighting spirit of the Varyag thus is linked closely to the esprit-de-corps of the entire service.


Relevant Web Resources


A Varyag Picture Gallery

The VARIAG - wedge view, 1902
Varyag at Philadelphia shortly after completing.

The VARIAG fitting out at Philadelphia
Varyag fitting out at Cramps’ yard.

The VARIAG fitting out at Philadelphia
The Varyag’s forecastle head.

The VARIAG's wheelhouse
Wheelhouse of the Varyag.

The VARIAG fitting out at Philadelphia
Varyag’s housetop with funnels, ventilator cowls, and flying bridge for swift access.

The VARIAG fitting out at Philadelphia
Varyag viewed from astern.

The VARIAG - distant view w/battleship at Port Arthur, c. 1903
Arrival at Port Arthur: Varyag and one of the Petropavlovsks. Enlarge

The VARIAG in drydock at Port Arthur
Soon after arriving, Varyag occupies the graving dock at Port Arthur, 1903.
Enlarge


The Battle of Chemulpo

The gunboat KORIETS of 1886, dressed over all

The Varyag’s squadron-mate in the Far East was the 1,300-ton gunboat Koriets. This peculiar-looking ram, completed in 1887, carried two 8″/35 in sponsons, a 6″/35 on the quarterdeck, two 4.2″ guns, and six small quick-firing guns. The feisty Koriets had a speed of 13.3 kts, fired the first gunshots of the Russo-Japanese War. Her picturesque barquentine rig shown here had been cut down to a three-mast military rig some years before the battle.

The VARYAG and KORIETZ sortie from Chemulpo, 2/9/04
Varyag and Koriets steam into battle, 11:15 a.m., February 9, 1904.
Photos of the Japanese squadron at Chemulpo.

VARYAG in battle with the Japanese - boxtop art for Zvezda 1:350 model kit
Varyag‘s guns spit defiance at the numerically superior Japanese cruiser fleet.

The Russian vessels burning at Chemulpo, 2/9/04

The Varyag and Koriets burn and founder in Chemulpo Harbor as their crews row off: Japanese propaganda postcard.

The KORIETS' magazines explode at Chemulpo, 2/9/04
The Koriets blows sky-high at Chemulpo: photo taken by the American consul from the gunboat USS Vicksburg in port.

The VARYAG sunk at Chemulpo
Varyag scuttled by her crew at Chemulpo.


Final Years

The Japanese protected cruiser SOYA, formerly the Russian VARYAG, in secluded cove with misty trees
Varyag refurbished and mustered into the Mikado’s fleet as HIJMS Soya.

The Japanese protected cruiser SOYA, formerly the Russian VARYAG, in harbor with smoke
Another view of HIJMS Soya, ex-Varyag.

Postage stamp honoring the VARYAG
Soviet-era 3-kopeck postage stamp of the Varyag, ironically issued in the middle of the Cold War.

The RURIK's 10

The reverence which Russians feel for the ship may be appreciated on beholding this monument to the Varyag. Dedicated on Navy Day, 2006, it stands on the Scottish bluffs overlooking the spot where the cruiser sank in a raging storm in 1920.

 

The Treaty of Shimonoseki

The Chen Yuen in drydock at ShanghaiThe Japanese were now in a most advantageous position as the Chinese delegation under Li Hongzhang sued for peace in March 1895. An extremely punitive peace, along the lines of the treaty that concluded the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, was hammered out at Shimonoseki, overlooking the straits between Kyushu and Honshu — looking towards the great Yawata Steelworks then under construction at Fukuoka. As was common practice in those days, Japan’s occupation of Port Arthur and the Liaodong territory was euphemistically called a “lease” (the U.S. presence on Cuban soil at Guantánamo is so designated to this day). Japan’s primacy in Korea was recognized (Japan annexed the territory in 1910). China was assessed an indemnity of £25 million, equal to 15% of Japan’s GNP — and they couldn’t very well say no. Japan also swallowed what remained of the Chinese imperial fleet — to make it that much easier the next time she had a go at China, one supposes. With her newfound wealth, Japan hastened to order a half-dozen of the latest pre-dreadnought battleships from British yards — and settled in for a lengthy occupation of Weihaiwei to guarantee the indemnity would be paid on schedule. So far things seemed quite satisfactory from the Japanese point of view. At left, the Chen Yuen in drydock at Shanghai (enlarge). She and her sister Ding Yuen, Ting’s flagship, were China’s most advanced warships present at the Yalu, having been delivered in 1885.

Specifications for the pair:
Dimensions: 308′ x 59′ x 20′ Displacement: 7,430 tons std; 7,670 tons deep laden. Armament: four 12″/25 en barbette, with all-round 3.5″ gun shield; two 5.9″ in single turrets; six 37mm Hotchkiss machine guns; three torpedo tubes. Armor: Compound type. 14″ citadel, 12″ barbette, 3½” shields, 3″ secondary turrets & deck; 8″ CT. Fuel capacity: 700 tons of coal, normal; 1,000 tons maximum. Propulsion: 8 coal-fired cylindrical boilers; (2) 3-cyl horizontal trunk engines developing 7,200 IHP, twin screw. Speed: 15.7 kts. Tactical radius: 4,500 nm. Crew: 363. Cost: 6.2 million gold marks (US $1.5 million).

Metric specs:
Dimensions: 94m x 18m x 6.1m Displacement: 7,430 tons std; 7,670 tons deep laden. Armament: four 305 mm/25 en barbette, with all-round shield; two 150mm in single turrets; six 37mm Hotchkiss machine guns; three torpedo tubes. Armor: Compound type. 356 mm citadel, 305 mm barbette, 89 mm main gun shields, 76 mm secondary turrets & deck; 254 mm CT. Fuel capacity: 700 tons of coal, normal; 1,000 tons maximum. Propulsion: 8 coal-fired cylindrical boilers; (2) 3-cyl horizontal trunk engines developing 5,369 kW, twin screw. Speed: 29 km/hr. Tactical radius: 8,334 km. Crew: 363.


The Tripartite Intervention

Replica of battleship DING YUENBut some members of the imperialist “club” were not at all pleased at the prospect of their would-be new member. As nonwhite applicants to country clubs can attest, becoming the first person of color to stroll the links can be fraught with controversy; so much more so with becoming a member of the most exclusive club of all. The principal troublemaker was Russia, the avaricious presence in our old cartoon at the top of the page; coveting the very territories Japan had won by force of arms, with willing compliance from the Kaiser and more reluctant complicity by the French. In what became known as the Tripartite Intervention, the three Powers demanded that Japan relent and give the territories back to China “to guarantee China’s sovereignty.” In a display of unvarnished hypocrisy that would remain unequaled until the Soviet-Nazi Pact of 1939, the continental Powers backed up the demand with a massive naval and troop buildup in the Bohai Gulf, threatening joint action against Japan if she did not comply; and Japan had no choice but to knuckle under. No sooner had Japan backed down than Russia coerced these very same territorial rights for herself that she had so recently denounced Japan for getting. The difference, of course, was that Japan had won these privileges on the battlefield, while Russia merely exacted them by blackmail. This was only too typical of Russia’s behavior in the Far East all through the period.

Naturally enough, this incident and the monumental bad faith of Russia spawned bitterness and outrage in Japan. The continuing belittling behavior and offhanded attitude of the Tsar’s servants — particularly Viceroy Alexeiev at Port Arthur — rubbed ever more salt into Japan’s wounds. By 1898 Russia had moved into Port Arthur and begun to transform it into a formidable fortress and naval base from which the Tsar could base economic exploitation of Manchuria, railroad building, and further military adventures aimed at Japan and China, and indirectly at Britain and other imperial rivals. Half of Japan’s hard-won war gains had been given to a dangerous, treacherous rival, one new to a region that was old familiar turf for Japan. And it had been a great loss of face to submit to the Tripartite sabre-rattling. Japan was seething.


The Rise of the “Yellow Peril” Myth

Racist anti-Japanese cartoon of 1905One aspect that particularly rankled the Japanese was the blatant way Russia and her henchmen in the Intervention played the race card. It may not have been coincidental that right at this time, a great deal of literature about the “Yellow Peril” found its way into print. Partly used as an excuse to limit immigration to the U.S., part as a means of chastising Europeans for being too slack and luxury-loving and exhorting them to become more militaristic, the literature was a new branch of the jingoistic fiction of empire so much in vogue, from The Boys’ Own Paper to Rudyard Kipling‘s Barrack Room Ballads. Hitherto the racism of these writings had been aimed primarily at East Indians, Black Africans, and Native Americans; now “Orientals” started getting hit thick and hard.

The Germans were among the most active and inventive purveyors of the Yellow Peril myth; the term “Yellow Peril” was coined by Kaiser Wilhelm himself, in fact; governing several million Chinese in his Shandong colony, he was apparently feeling the heat from the new Power active in that neighborhood (note on map that Weihaiwei is only 200 km, or 124 mi., from Qingdao as the gull flies). The Kaiser’s feelings on race are on record and consistent; he also bandied about the terms “Black Peril” (black Africans) and “Slav Peril” to undergird the theory that the Reich was encircled by enemies, justifying ever-greater military expenditures. Many anecdotes center around his despatch of a 30,000-man force to wreak bloody vengeance on China after the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

It is said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and in the wake of Russia’s duplicity in the Tripartite Intervention, Great Britain reached out to Japan. Japan’s capital ships had been built in Britain and many of her leading naval commanders studied in British naval academies and served with the British fleet. So it was that in 1902 Britain signed her first ever foreign alliance: the Anglo-Japanese Pact of 1902. This was certainly aimed at Russia, Britain’s rival in the “Great Game” wherein Britain sought to secure the Khyber Pass region and protect her Indian Empire.

Dragon Figurehead of CHEN YUENBritain continued arming and training Japan in hopes she would fight a proxy war against Russia and win. Few other European Powers took the Japanese seriously; perhaps knowing the capabilities of her military minds at first hand, the British were more respectful of the disciplined Sons of Nippon. (Japan was also an excellent customer of Armstrong, Vickers, John Brown et al. as she raced to build up her predreadnought fleet to fight the Russians.) Thus it was that when Japan and Russia came to blows in 1904 — fighting a much longer and more costly war over the same ground Japan had won from China ten years earlier — the Japanese burned to prove themselves with an even more sweeping victory. In 1905 Japan did get to keep the territories she won by force of arms; but she was once again forced to abandon some of her broader war aims, ones which would give her legitimate membership in the “club.” Once again she was blackballed, denied a large indemnity for what had been a much longer, harder, more expensive war. Now that she had defeated a proper Caucasian Great Power fair and square, the hysterical racism reached an even louder pitch than when she had triumphed over China. For a full analysis, read our history of the Russo-Japanese War.


A Sino-Japanese War Picture Gallery

Japanese cruisers sink Chinese merchant shipping at Pyongyang, provoking confrontation with China.

A view of the Battle of the Yalu, one of several by Kobayashi Kiyuchika, a Japanese artist who documented the entire conflict superbly — from the Japanese point of view. Here the flagship Matsushima breaks the enemy line, blasting Chinese warships to port and to starboard. Enlarge

Another, more distant view of the Battle of the Yalu by Kobayashi. An officer surveys the action as the Chinese fleet burns a short distance across the waves.    Enlarge

Another triumphalist woodblock print by Kobayashi, treats the sinking of a Chinese vessel with considerable imagination. Where are the ghosts? Maybe you can see them when you click to enlarge.

Adm. Ting's surrender (1895): Woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyuchika

Adm. Ting and staff (including European captains) surrender what is left of the Beiyang Fleet after the naval battle and bombardment of Weihaiwei, Feb. 1895. Contemporary woodblock print by Migita Toshihide. The Chinese navy did not adopt western-style uniforms until 1909. Enlarge

The Chinese emissaries, including Li Hongzhang, meet with their Japanese counterparts to negotiate the Treaty of Shimonoseki, April 1895.

The 4,150-ton Elswick cruiser Yoshino was built by Armstrong’s in Britain, had a 2½” protective deck and mounted six 6″ guns. At 23 kts. she was the swiftest in the Japanese fleet in 1894-5. Ship was sunk in a collision with the Kasuga in 1904.

HIJMS Itsukushima firing a salute

The heaviest units in the Japanese fleet were a sort of hybrid protected cruiser/battleship built in France. They were custom designed for the IJN by Louis Émile Bertin, later to be Chief Constructor of the French Navy. These three ships each carried one 12.6″ Canet gun each en barbette and a dozen 4.7″ on broadside. The Itsukushima (shown), completed 1889, carried the big gun forward (schematic); her sister-ship Hashidate was built to the same design in Japan, completing 1891. The Matsushima of 1890 cleverly rearranged the same elements, mounting the gun aft, and actually proved a faster and handier ship (schematic) and was Ito’s flagship at the Yalu and later. But over all these were not successful ships; they were certainly not beautiful. The Canet guns were beset by technical failures so extreme they could only fire one round per hour. At the Yalu, the flagship suffered a 12″ hit which caused numerous casualties. After the peace, as soon as the Chinese indemnity payments started rolling in, Japan went shopping at British shipyards. Ten years later Japan’s British-built battle fleet annihilated a largely French-built (or at least French-influenced) Russian armada, validating Japan’s switch of providers.

The 220-foot, 3,700-ton central battery ship Fusô, built in Britain in 1878, was one of the oldest ironclads in the Japanese battle fleet in 1894-5. Protected by a 4½” belt of obsolete wrought-iron armor, she carried six 9.5″ (240mm) RML and 8 MG. At the Yalu she took 8 direct hits, killing 2 crewmen and wounding 12. Fusô was scrapped in 1910 after a long and distingished career.

The Tsi Yuen, like many of the Chinese cruisers of her generation (1884), was built at Vulcan Werft in Stettin, Germany. Shown here after her capture by Japan, she was typical of the protected cruisers in Ting’s fleet. At 2,300 tons, she mounted two 8.2″ Krupp BLR and one 5.9″, steamed at 15 knots on her twin compound engines, and carried a 3″ armored deck and 10″ compound armor on the barbettes. Delivery of the four cruisers and two battleships completing at Vulcan was delayed ten months so that they would not influence the outcome of the Sino-French War. After capture, Tsi Yuen sailed under the Rising Sun ensign for more than nine years. She was sunk by a mine during the Russo-Japanese War. Her guns are on display today at Lüshun and Liukung.

The Chen Yuen taken into Japanese service as the Chin En (the Japanese pronunciation of her name, written with the identical Chinese characters). She was later in the fleet that fought the Russians at Tsushima in 1905. Enlarge

After Port Arthur surrendered, Japanese troops butchered the remaining garrison and ransacked the town. The American and world press exaggerated this misbehavior, using the incident to push the “yellow peril” button. No such outcry went up 5 years later when the allied western nations pillaged Beijing in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion.

Touching painting of the toll of war on Chinese civiliansWar is never easy on civilians. In an age before photojournalism came of age, the combat correspondent artist depicted the scenes of struggle and suffering, often with remarkable clinical precision. Here on-the-scene artist H.W. Korkworth has rendered the despair of one unfairly despoiled civilian family in Manchuria (click here to see the fine detail). They sit in the street next to their ruined home, their butchered pony lying in the snow and their few undamaged possessions heaped in the roadway. The mother buries her face in her hands in despair as her young son tries to comfort her; Cossacks ride off into the snowy night, he gazes after them. Will he grow up determined to avenge this moment, hating the soldiers who did this to his family and the country that sent them? One wonders.

As a result of colonial conflicts, generations of Asians knew little but war and hardship in the last half of the 19th century and the first half of the twentieth. Korea and Manchuria were seats of conflict that did not pause until the Korean Armistice of 1953 — proof of the adage that mineral riches are often a curse rather than a blessing to the natives.

The elite members of the Imperial Club show little enthusiasm for their new member. The cartoonist pokes fun at the Japanese’s inappropriate mix of old and new attire: full western frock coat combined with traditional wooden geta on his feet, umbrella held awkwardly under the arm; buck-toothed grin and slitted eyes are easily identifiable racist stereotypes.

This British “chromo” cartoon of 1901 lampoons the situation after the Boxer Rebellion was quelled: The imperial powers cluster around the prostrate carcass of the golden dragon, China, to claim their share. Newcomers Japan (sabre-toothed tiger, with samurai short sword in mouth), Italy (toothy dog in carabinieri garb) and U.S. (one of 3 eagles) are just as aggressive, though not as large, as the Russian bear and British lion. France is seen here as a rooster, Austria the two-headed eagle. In truth, economic decline and social instability had wracked China since the 1860s. Even so, by 1900 signs of imminent collapse were appearing — a collapse greatly hastened by the dynasty’s siding with the Boxers. The several years of foreign occupation and looting that ensued destabilized Chinese society and resulted in increased foreign control and further deligitimization of the dynasty. In 1902, when order was restored, it had barely 10 years to live. The toothless Republic that succeeded it never established broad national control. In less time than it takes to tell, China broke down into chaos, civil war, and warlordism — when combined with the 8-year Japanese invasion and occupation, a dark tunnel of horrors from which the population did not emerge until 1950. This fine drawing may serve as a metaphor for the squabble of the imperial powers over how best to dismember the defunct Chinese Empire

The Russo-Japanese War Begins

Destroyers mixing it up outside Port Arthur
Russian and Japanese destroyers clash off Port Arthur in the opening phase of the war.

The war’s origins lay in the conflicting territorial ambitions of both sides for the strategic port city of Lüshun (Port Arthur), occupied by Russia since 1897 after Japan was displaced by the Tripartite Intervention of 1895. Russia had been energetically turning the town into an impregnable fortress and naval base ever since. The city was the key to Manchuria’s mineral wealth; Russia had built a railroad down the Liaodong Peninsula to exploit the massive coal and metal desposits of the region, running between Port Arthur and their railhead on the Trans-Siberian Railway at Mukden, the ancient Manchurian capital.
Map of the theatre of war
Their hatred inflamed by the gratuitous taunts and contempt of the Russian administration (Prince Alexander Alexeiev, Viceroy at Port Arthur; M. Pavlov, Russian Ambassador to Beijing), the Japanese gave up on diplomacy and advanced their plans for open war. In a striking precursor to Pearl Harbor, they launched a sneak attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. The Russian ships were blazing with light on the night of Februrary 8, 1904, when blacked-out Japanese torpedo boats crept into the enemy’s roadstead and delivered a devastating attack, neutralizing two of Russia’s best battleships (Tsesarevich and Retvizan) and incapacitating most of the rest of her fleet. In a follow-up raid the next day, Togo’s battleships steamed up and down just beyond the Tiger’s Tail, shelling the hapless Russian fleet at the waterline. The results showed the Russians to have been utterly unprepared for this crippling one-two blow.

It was an awkward situation for the Russians. They had only one drydock at Port Arthur capable of handling their largest vessels, so repairs had to be tackled serially, meaning their powerful fleet remained out of action for months. Meantime the harbor would be filled with grounded warships, canted at grotesque angles on the mudflats inside the Tiger’s Tail, awaiting their turn in drydock: reminders of the Port’s vulnerability to this superbly well-prepared enemy. In addition to the two battleships cited above, the Poltava was shelled at the waterline; the cruisers Pallada and Diana were seriously damaged by torpedoes; the cruiser Novik was damaged by shellfire; the 5-funnel Askold also suffered minor damage from Japanese shells. The Japanese suffered no losses in these initial raids.
Battle of Chemulpo
Also caught out as hostilities commenced were the Russian protected cruiser Varyag (built by Cramps in Philadelphia) and gunboat Koriets, in the Korean port of Chemulpo (Inchon). When a squadron of Japanese cruisers and destroyers arrived in the bay to ensure unopposed landings for Japanese troops on Feb. 8, the four-funneled Varyag sortied to meet her doom, her band playing the Russian nationl anthem as she stood down the harbor past warships of many nations. After an hour’s bloody affray, the cruiser limped back into the harbor to die; damaged, ountnumbered, and cornered, she was fired and scuttled by her own crew after the wounded had been taken off. The Koriets was blown up by her crew; the survivors escaped capture and many were taken aboard the French cruiser Pascal in port. They enjoyed international fame for their heroic (and well-publicized) fight. The heavily damaged Varyag was salvaged after the War and taken into the Mikado’s fleet, but was one of a number of ex-Russian vessels returned to the Tsar’s Navy in 1916. Click here for a full account of the action.

When Stepan O. Makaroff arrived in Port Arthur later in February, he took over as naval Commander-in-Chief there, immediately bringing energetic leadership and technical competence to the problems confronting the Pacific Squadron. Makaroff arrived on a train loaded with spare parts and shipbuilding tools and immediately set about repairing the damaged warships in situ by means of cofferdams built around damaged portions of their hulls. This greatly speeded their return to action. Makaroff, too, set an example of being ready to go at a moment’s notice. He was willing to leap onto a destroyer’s deck and join the chase at once, as opposed to waiting hours for grander ships to raise steam. That impetuosity of character later was to cost him dearly, but at the beginning it helped to stir up the lethargic Russian navy in the Far East.

Russian cruisers raiding commerce
Cruisers Rossiya and Gromoboy sink an unarmed Japanese merchantman, Feb. 11, 1904.

Russia’s second squadron in the Far East consisted of four large armored cruisers based at Vladivostok, on the other side of the Korean Peninsula. These vessels were ordered to sea to retaliate by raiding Japanese commerce in the Sea of Japan. In the one incident of note, the four cruisers encountered a wallowing 1,000-ton freighter, the Nakanoura Maru, built in 1865 and a smaller vessel, Zensuko Maru, only 9 years old and of 319 tons. The smaller of the two made good her escape while all 4 cruisers ganged up on the old cargo ship, sending her to the bottom (above) after taking her crew prisoner. This seems a peculiar strategy, and one contrary to the rules of cruiser warfare, which would have stopped at taking the vessel as a prize of war and paroling her crew. On a separate sortie, Gromoboi sank the Japanese troopship Hitachi Maru with great loss of life. These were the only exploits of the Vladivostok squadron, however. When Adm. Kamimura showed up with a battleship, six cruisers and a TB flotilla to bombard Vladivostok in revenge, the homeported fleet cowered inside the Golden Horn and would not be lured out. Though damage to the town was minimal, the bombardment noticeably dampened the residents’ morale. The Vladivostok Squadron was later defeated in battle with Kamimura’s cruisers off the southern coast of Korea in the action known as the Battle off Ulsan, Aug. 14, 1904.

PETROPAVLOVSK exploding after hitting a mineWith that, the Japanese had asserted strategic command of the sea and placed the Russians in a defensive mode from which they never truly recovered. The two Russian fleets never managed to link up. The Japanese Navy continued to harass the blockaded Russians, depleting their fleet with mines and torpedo attacks, bombarding the town and port of Port Arthur from long range, and inviting fleet action by sending weak squadrons to cruise close offshore, within sight of the harbor, while their battleship division lurked just over the horizon, ready to swoop down on unwary Russians. One of the signal Japanese successes was to lure out the Russians’ charismatic and inspiring commander, Admiral Stefan Makaroff, and lead him over a freshly laid minefield. Makaroff’s flagship, the battleship Petropavlovsk, detonated two mines and dissolved in a puff of grey-brown smoke (right), sinking in mere minutes with all hands. This catastrophe left the Russian navy bereft of its most capable and daring commander, as became apparent when the remaining Port Arthur fleet, attempting a breakout for Vladivostok, clashed with the Japanese in the Battle of the Yellow Sea, August 10, 1904. While Tsesarevich and Askold escaped with a severe mauling, Adm. Witgeft was killed in the battle and the remaining Russian ships retreated to Port Arthur, where they remained bottled up for the rest of the war, their battle damage unrepaired: a highly visible premonition of doom.

The remaining Russian warships in the East being in no condition to sortie, the Tsar determined to break the siege of Port Arthur. He scraped together his entire remaining strength in warships — indeed, a motley collection, since most of his best ships had been deployed to Port Arthur — and sent them off around the globe from the Baltic. The story of this gargantuan undertaking is well told in Richard Hough’s The Fleet That Had to Die, in Constantine Plekhanov’s The Tsar’s Last Armada, and in more abbreviated form on our Battle of Tsushima page. The Russians were refitting while halfway to the East, when they received news that Port Arthur had fallen in one of the greatest sieges of modern times; this time the fortress would remain in Japanese hands. Sunk by plunging shellfire from Japanese siege guns, the Russian warships caught at Port Arthur would all be salvaged, reconditioned, and see service under the Rising Sun — all but one. And following Port Arthur’s capitulation came an even greater defeat on land, as Gen. Alexei Kuropotkin (the Russian C.-in-C.) was dislodged from his heavily fortified position at Mukden, in what was the greatest pre-WWI land battle, involving more than 600,000 troops. Though the Russian armies outnumbered the Japanese almost 2:1, it ended in a Russian rout, with the Japanese driving their defeated enemy northwards along the high road and parallel railroad line, running them out of Manchuria. They did not return until 1945.

The war climaxed in a colossal naval defeat for the Russians when their Baltic Fleet, renamed the Second Pacific Squadron, reached the theater of war in late May 1905 after a long and trying passage of more than 19,000 nautical miles. At the Battle of Tsushima, one of the greatest naval victories of all time was won. This thrilling event is fully documented in our suite of pages relating to it. This naval win capped a sweep of all war objectives by Japan and set the stage for the peace negotiations, thoroughly documented in linked Web resources above. Once again, what was won on the battlefield was partially withdrawn at the peace table. In a little-remembered episode of Japanese-American friction, resentment over the perceived anti-Japanese bias of President Theodore Roosevelt, who brokered the peace deal, led to anti-U.S. riots across Japan when the terms of the treaty were published. Japanese resentment over the incident burned long: it was cited among the provocations justifying the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Russian battleships break out at the Battle of the Yellow Sea

A faithful view of the Russian fleet sortieing from Port Arthur en route to the Battle of the Yellow Sea, August 10, 1904. Prominent here are the American-built battleship Retvizan (left) and the five-funnel cruiser Askold (right).

Browse the pages above for a more detailed photo history of the campaigns of this, the greatest naval conflict of the Pre-Dreadnought Era, and the greatest land war prior to World War I. Examine the roots of the conflict — and its racial dimension — in our Sino-Japanese War page. Follow our hot links to the abundant material available on the World Wide Web. Or just browse through the pictorially rich histories of individual ships involved. It’s all just a mouse-click away at the Big, Bad Battleships Russo-Japanese War site.

Japanese TBs attacking Russian fleet, 1905
In a contemporary woodblock print, Japanese TBs attack Russian vessels at Tsushima, 1905

The Fleets Contrasted

Barbette and 12-in guns on replica of Chinese battleship DING YUEN, museum ship in Weihaiwei.But in the 1890s, Japan was still buying its ironclad warships overseas. Nor had China neglected modernization, though in that vast realm, adopting western ways was fraught with more difficulties and contradictions than in Japan. China had been deeply hurt and humiliated time and again at the hands of the western “barbarians”; these continual losses of face, coupled with the increasing internal troubles in China, had fanned the flames of xenophobia and resistance to all things western. It was thus something of a coup that reformer Li Hongzhang (together with Prince Kung and other progressive-minded officials) had been able to bring forth a modern naval establishment: A steam battle fleet, together with the shipyards and arsenals to supply it, located in Shanghai. By 1888, China fielded a fleet of some 78 steel warships, mostly built in England, Germany, and Italy, with several smaller vessels produced by the new Kiangnan and Fuzhou shipyards. The échelon battleship Chen Yuen and her sister Ding Yuen (right), mounting four 12-inch guns apiece, were built at Vulcan Werft in Stettin, Germany in 1882-5 for the Beiyang (northern) fleet. A large number of steel cruisers mounting 6-inch and 8-inch guns, mostly built at Armstrongs or Vulcan, made China’s navy the biggest in Asia; a large number of Rendel gunboats and Rendel cruisers performed river and coast patrol duties and could augment the cruiser navy in an emergency. On paper the Chinese fleet outnumbered the Japanese almost 4:1, and was rated eighth best in the world. Many of the officers were experienced Europeans acting as mercenaries in the Qing dynasty’s service; Adm. Ting’s flagship co-captain was an American, Philo McGiffen, USN (ret.); Ting’s chief military advisor was a German, Major von Hanneken, assisted by a Brit, W.F. Tyler, RNR.

The Japanese fleet, commanded by Vice Adm. Ito Sukeyuki, was under the influence of French 1880s doctrine, with a short-lived affiliation with the French navy cemented by the residence of naval architect Émile Bertin, who later rose to become Chief Constructor for the Marine Nationale Française. Bertin designed the protected cruisers Matsushima and Itsukushima, each mounting a single 12.6″ Canet gun and a dozen 4.9″ weapons, and both built in France. The jeune école philosophy had swayed Japanese naval purchases and strategy, especially after France’s lopsided victory over China in the Sino-French War of 1883-85. Following the naval rout at Fuzhou, Vietnam and present-day Cambodia and Laos were annexed to the French Empire in a union that would last until 1956. Otherwise the IJN was largely British-built, ranging from the Izumi (ex-Esmeralda, purchased from Chile), a 4,300-ton Elswick cruiser armed with two 10″ and six 6″ breech-loading guns, to the old Fuso, a central battery ship built in Britain in 1878 and modernized in the early 1890s for the war that was by then imminent. On paper there was narrow Chinese superiority, with two battleships, seven cruisers, a corvette, two gunboats, and two TBs confronting the Japanese force of one old battleship, eight protected cruisers, a corvette, a gunboat, and a converted liner; or 8 large and 4 small warships (China) versus 10 large and 2 small warships (Japan). Paper didn’t tell the whole story, though. Administrative control of the Chinese fleets lay with regional mandarins. These local fiefdoms were not accustomed to coöperating and making rapid decisions in the national interest. So when the Beiyang (Northern Division) fleet went to meet the Japanese, though it was only the largest of China’s four regional fleets, it did so with no backup from the other 53 warships in the Imperial Chinese Navy. Japan benefited from central control and clear lines of authority, running directly from the Emperor, who was revered as divine.

Moreover, the Chinese fleet had been in decline since 1889 due to a lack of interest in naval matters at the palace. The Dowager Empress Cixi, well along in her seemingly endless career of misrule, commandeered the moneys appropriated for maintaining the Navy and spent them instead on luxuries for herself, including a lavish landscape garden at the Summer Palace outside Beijing. The scenic lakes of this garden included pavilions in the shape of carved stone boats — a pointed slap at the Prince and the reformers. Morale in the fleet had slipped since funds for training and operations started being siphoned off. At the time the war began, there had been no target practice in the Beiyang fleet for months. The ships were in indifferent repair and discipline was slack. Guns were used (in one case) for storing pickles; in another, the ship’s officers had stripped the armament and sold it on the black market for ready cash. Just as in the earlier wars with the British, corruption in contracting ate away at the military effectiveness of the Chinese Navy: Many shells were found to be filled with flour or cement powder rather than explosives. Finally, the entire fleet had been inspected recently, so the ships were freshly coated with flammable paints and varnishes inside and out. By contrast, the Japanese navy was a taut, disciplined instrument of war, poised for combat at a moment’s notice.


The Battle of the Yalu

Sinking of Chinese battleship CHIH YUEN at the Battle of the Yalu.As hostilities began, the Japanese occupied the Korean peninsula on the pretext of preserving its independence. Having coerced cooperation from the decadent Korean dynasty, they invested the city of Pyongyang in August 1894; their fleet methodically destroyed all Chinese ships they found in harbor. Japanese Marshal Yamagata surrounded the city and defeated the defenders under Gen. Tso, who was killed in the battle, Sept. 15-16, 1894. The following day the 25 ships of the Beiyang Fleet sailed into Korea Bay to cover a troop landing at the mouth of the Yalu. There they met the 21 ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in what became known as the Battle of the Yalu (right). Adm. Ting Zhuqang in the Ding Yuen — a cavalry officer recently assigned to command the Beiyang Fleet — opened fire prematurely with his guns pointed dead ahead, destroying his own flying bridge and inflicting blast damage and perforated eardrums on himself and his staff; he was in the sick bay for most of the fight. Although the Chinese fought stoutly in most cases, they did so without their commander. Their ships were older and slower than the Japanese (15 kts versus as fast as 23), and, dare one say, handled with less finesse. And their defective ammunition failed to explode on impact time and again. The war of mobility advocated by the jeune école now served the Japanese well. They clearly had caught on to using speed and maneverability to advantage in action, enveloping the Chinese in a near-complete ring of fire and disabling eight of Adm. Ting’s best ironclads, including the cruiser Chih Yuen: sinking five, killing some 850 Chinese sailors, wounding a further 500. The Chinese battleships were largely unharmed. With one direct hit on the flagship, the Chinese caused serious damage to four of the Japanese vessels and casualties of 90 killed and about 200 wounded, but withdrew on Ting’s order as daylight faded and their ammunition ran out. Meantime on land, Gen. Yamagata routed Chinese forces and marched to the Yalu, the traditional border between Korea and Manchuria (well remembered from the more recent Korean War of 1950-53). In November, Marshal Oyama laid siege to Lüshun (Port Arthur), taking the fortress by storm on the 20th-21st as Ito’s torpedo boats rushed the harbor entrance and turned their machine-guns on the garrison once inside. And once within the town walls, the Japanese troops massacred the defenders to a man, then fell to looting the town to avenge supposed ill-treatment of Japanese POWs, in an incident that quickly got out of hand. The three days’ riot that ensued was sensationalized further by the international press, and is remembered to this day in China; a vast monument to the victims now occupies a prominent hilltop in Lüshun.


The Siege of Weihaiwei & the End Game

Having captured the Liaodong Peninsula, Oyama and Adm. Ito continued wreaking havoc on Chinese fortifications in the Shandong Peninsula on the opposite side of the Gulf of Chihli (or Bohai Gulf). Adm. Ting’s forces had retreated to their fortified base at Liukung Island in Weihaiwei Harbor. During the 23-day siege, they suffered further attrition defending against the bombardment of Weihaiwei, with Chen Yuen running hard aground and halving Chinese battleship strength (she was later refloated and taken into the Japanese fleet). In a battle fought in -26-degree cold (-32° C), 20,000 Japanese crossed the frozen harbor to storm Weihaiwei. On Feb. 12, 1895 Ting bowed to the inevitable and surrendered the remnant of his fleet and the great forts guarding the approaches to Beijing. Already damaged by a Japanese torpedo attack, his flagship was defiantly blown up by her crew to deny her to the Japanese. Japan thus picked up one recent ironclad and a half-dozen serviceable cruisers — in need of some repair, it is true, but at a nominal cost. In a tragic sequel, Adm. Ting refused Adm. Ito’s offer of asylum in Japan; Ting and the greater part of his staff all committed suicide instead. Apparently the cult of seppuku was not unique to the Japanese military class; certainly the shame of defeat is universal. How much greater that shame must be for the servants of an ancient Power, a leader in civilization for over 2,500 years, now clearly going to the dogs.

 


The Treaty of Shimonoseki

The Chen Yuen in drydock at ShanghaiThe Japanese were now in a most advantageous position as the Chinese delegation under Li Hongzhang sued for peace in March 1895. An extremely punitive peace, along the lines of the treaty that concluded the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, was hammered out at Shimonoseki, overlooking the straits between Kyushu and Honshu — looking towards the great Yawata Steelworks then under construction at Fukuoka. As was common practice in those days, Japan’s occupation of Port Arthur and the Liaodong territory was euphemistically called a “lease” (the U.S. presence on Cuban soil at Guantánamo is so designated to this day). Japan’s primacy in Korea was recognized (Japan annexed the territory in 1910). China was assessed an indemnity of £25 million, equal to 15% of Japan’s GNP — and they couldn’t very well say no. Japan also swallowed what remained of the Chinese imperial fleet — to make it that much easier the next time she had a go at China, one supposes. With her newfound wealth, Japan hastened to order a half-dozen of the latest pre-dreadnought battleships from British yards — and settled in for a lengthy occupation of Weihaiwei to guarantee the indemnity would be paid on schedule. So far things seemed quite satisfactory from the Japanese point of view. At left, the Chen Yuen in drydock at Shanghai (enlarge). She and her sister Ding Yuen, Ting’s flagship, were China’s most advanced warships present at the Yalu, having been delivered in 1885.

Specifications for the pair:
Dimensions: 308′ x 59′ x 20′ Displacement: 7,430 tons std; 7,670 tons deep laden. Armament: four 12″/25 en barbette, with all-round 3.5″ gun shield; two 5.9″ in single turrets; six 37mm Hotchkiss machine guns; three torpedo tubes. Armor: Compound type. 14″ citadel, 12″ barbette, 3½” shields, 3″ secondary turrets & deck; 8″ CT. Fuel capacity: 700 tons of coal, normal; 1,000 tons maximum. Propulsion: 8 coal-fired cylindrical boilers; (2) 3-cyl horizontal trunk engines developing 7,200 IHP, twin screw. Speed: 15.7 kts. Tactical radius: 4,500 nm. Crew: 363. Cost: 6.2 million gold marks (US $1.5 million).

Metric specs:
Dimensions: 94m x 18m x 6.1m Displacement: 7,430 tons std; 7,670 tons deep laden. Armament: four 305 mm/25 en barbette, with all-round shield; two 150mm in single turrets; six 37mm Hotchkiss machine guns; three torpedo tubes. Armor: Compound type. 356 mm citadel, 305 mm barbette, 89 mm main gun shields, 76 mm secondary turrets & deck; 254 mm CT. Fuel capacity: 700 tons of coal, normal; 1,000 tons maximum. Propulsion: 8 coal-fired cylindrical boilers; (2) 3-cyl horizontal trunk engines developing 5,369 kW, twin screw. Speed: 29 km/hr. Tactical radius: 8,334 km. Crew: 363.


The Tripartite Intervention

Replica of battleship DING YUENBut some members of the imperialist “club” were not at all pleased at the prospect of their would-be new member. As nonwhite applicants to country clubs can attest, becoming the first person of color to stroll the links can be fraught with controversy; so much more so with becoming a member of the most exclusive club of all. The principal troublemaker was Russia, the avaricious presence in our old cartoon at the top of the page; coveting the very territories Japan had won by force of arms, with willing compliance from the Kaiser and more reluctant complicity by the French. In what became known as the Tripartite Intervention, the three Powers demanded that Japan relent and give the territories back to China “to guarantee China’s sovereignty.” In a display of unvarnished hypocrisy that would remain unequaled until the Soviet-Nazi Pact of 1939, the continental Powers backed up the demand with a massive naval and troop buildup in the Bohai Gulf, threatening joint action against Japan if she did not comply; and Japan had no choice but to knuckle under. No sooner had Japan backed down than Russia coerced these very same territorial rights for herself that she had so recently denounced Japan for getting. The difference, of course, was that Japan had won these privileges on the battlefield, while Russia merely exacted them by blackmail. This was only too typical of Russia’s behavior in the Far East all through the period.

Naturally enough, this incident and the monumental bad faith of Russia spawned bitterness and outrage in Japan. The continuing belittling behavior and offhanded attitude of the Tsar’s servants — particularly Viceroy Alexeiev at Port Arthur — rubbed ever more salt into Japan’s wounds. By 1898 Russia had moved into Port Arthur and begun to transform it into a formidable fortress and naval base from which the Tsar could base economic exploitation of Manchuria, railroad building, and further military adventures aimed at Japan and China, and indirectly at Britain and other imperial rivals. Half of Japan’s hard-won war gains had been given to a dangerous, treacherous rival, one new to a region that was old familiar turf for Japan. And it had been a great loss of face to submit to the Tripartite sabre-rattling. Japan was seething.


The Rise of the “Yellow Peril” Myth

Racist anti-Japanese cartoon of 1905One aspect that particularly rankled the Japanese was the blatant way Russia and her henchmen in the Intervention played the race card. It may not have been coincidental that right at this time, a great deal of literature about the “Yellow Peril” found its way into print. Partly used as an excuse to limit immigration to the U.S., part as a means of chastising Europeans for being too slack and luxury-loving and exhorting them to become more militaristic, the literature was a new branch of the jingoistic fiction of empire so much in vogue, from The Boys’ Own Paper to Rudyard Kipling‘s Barrack Room Ballads. Hitherto the racism of these writings had been aimed primarily at East Indians, Black Africans, and Native Americans; now “Orientals” started getting hit thick and hard.

The Germans were among the most active and inventive purveyors of the Yellow Peril myth; the term “Yellow Peril” was coined by Kaiser Wilhelm himself, in fact; governing several million Chinese in his Shandong colony, he was apparently feeling the heat from the new Power active in that neighborhood (note on map that Weihaiwei is only 200 km, or 124 mi., from Qingdao as the gull flies). The Kaiser’s feelings on race are on record and consistent; he also bandied about the terms “Black Peril” (black Africans) and “Slav Peril” to undergird the theory that the Reich was encircled by enemies, justifying ever-greater military expenditures. Many anecdotes center around his despatch of a 30,000-man force to wreak bloody vengeance on China after the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

It is said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and in the wake of Russia’s duplicity in the Tripartite Intervention, Great Britain reached out to Japan. Japan’s capital ships had been built in Britain and many of her leading naval commanders studied in British naval academies and served with the British fleet. So it was that in 1902 Britain signed her first ever foreign alliance: the Anglo-Japanese Pact of 1902. This was certainly aimed at Russia, Britain’s rival in the “Great Game” wherein Britain sought to secure the Khyber Pass region and protect her Indian Empire.

Dragon Figurehead of CHEN YUENBritain continued arming and training Japan in hopes she would fight a proxy war against Russia and win. Few other European Powers took the Japanese seriously; perhaps knowing the capabilities of her military minds at first hand, the British were more respectful of the disciplined Sons of Nippon. (Japan was also an excellent customer of Armstrong, Vickers, John Brown et al. as she raced to build up her predreadnought fleet to fight the Russians.) Thus it was that when Japan and Russia came to blows in 1904 — fighting a much longer and more costly war over the same ground Japan had won from China ten years earlier — the Japanese burned to prove themselves with an even more sweeping victory. In 1905 Japan did get to keep the territories she won by force of arms; but she was once again forced to abandon some of her broader war aims, ones which would give her legitimate membership in the “club.” Once again she was blackballed, denied a large indemnity for what had been a much longer, harder, more expensive war. Now that she had defeated a proper Caucasian Great Power fair and square, the hysterical racism reached an even louder pitch than when she had triumphed over China. For a full analysis, read our history of the Russo-Japanese War.


A Sino-Japanese War Picture Gallery

Japanese cruisers sink Chinese merchant shipping at Pyongyang, provoking confrontation with China.

A view of the Battle of the Yalu, one of several by Kobayashi Kiyuchika, a Japanese artist who documented the entire conflict superbly — from the Japanese point of view. Here the flagship Matsushima breaks the enemy line, blasting Chinese warships to port and to starboard. Enlarge

Another, more distant view of the Battle of the Yalu by Kobayashi. An officer surveys the action as the Chinese fleet burns a short distance across the waves.    Enlarge

Another triumphalist woodblock print by Kobayashi, treats the sinking of a Chinese vessel with considerable imagination. Where are the ghosts? Maybe you can see them when you click to enlarge.

Adm. Ting's surrender (1895): Woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyuchika

Adm. Ting and staff (including European captains) surrender what is left of the Beiyang Fleet after the naval battle and bombardment of Weihaiwei, Feb. 1895. Contemporary woodblock print by Migita Toshihide. The Chinese navy did not adopt western-style uniforms until 1909. Enlarge

The Chinese emissaries, including Li Hongzhang, meet with their Japanese counterparts to negotiate the Treaty of Shimonoseki, April 1895.

 

The 4,150-ton Elswick cruiser Yoshino was built by Armstrong’s in Britain, had a 2½” protective deck and mounted six 6″ guns. At 23 kts. she was the swiftest in the Japanese fleet in 1894-5. Ship was sunk in a collision with the Kasuga in 1904.

HIJMS Itsukushima firing a salute

The heaviest units in the Japanese fleet were a sort of hybrid protected cruiser/battleship built in France. They were custom designed for the IJN by Louis Émile Bertin, later to be Chief Constructor of the French Navy. These three ships each carried one 12.6″ Canet gun each en barbette and a dozen 4.7″ on broadside. The Itsukushima (shown), completed 1889, carried the big gun forward (schematic); her sister-ship Hashidate was built to the same design in Japan, completing 1891. The Matsushima of 1890 cleverly rearranged the same elements, mounting the gun aft, and actually proved a faster and handier ship (schematic) and was Ito’s flagship at the Yalu and later. But over all these were not successful ships; they were certainly not beautiful. The Canet guns were beset by technical failures so extreme they could only fire one round per hour. At the Yalu, the flagship suffered a 12″ hit which caused numerous casualties. After the peace, as soon as the Chinese indemnity payments started rolling in, Japan went shopping at British shipyards. Ten years later Japan’s British-built battle fleet annihilated a largely French-built (or at least French-influenced) Russian armada, validating Japan’s switch of providers.

The 220-foot, 3,700-ton central battery ship Fusô, built in Britain in 1878, was one of the oldest ironclads in the Japanese battle fleet in 1894-5. Protected by a 4½” belt of obsolete wrought-iron armor, she carried six 9.5″ (240mm) RML and 8 MG. At the Yalu she took 8 direct hits, killing 2 crewmen and wounding 12. Fusô was scrapped in 1910 after a long and distingished career.

The Tsi Yuen, like many of the Chinese cruisers of her generation (1884), was built at Vulcan Werft in Stettin, Germany. Shown here after her capture by Japan, she was typical of the protected cruisers in Ting’s fleet. At 2,300 tons, she mounted two 8.2″ Krupp BLR and one 5.9″, steamed at 15 knots on her twin compound engines, and carried a 3″ armored deck and 10″ compound armor on the barbettes. Delivery of the four cruisers and two battleships completing at Vulcan was delayed ten months so that they would not influence the outcome of the Sino-French War. After capture, Tsi Yuen sailed under the Rising Sun ensign for more than nine years. She was sunk by a mine during the Russo-Japanese War. Her guns are on display today at Lüshun and Liukung.

The Chen Yuen taken into Japanese service as the Chin En (the Japanese pronunciation of her name, written with the identical Chinese characters). She was later in the fleet that fought the Russians at Tsushima in 1905. Enlarge

After Port Arthur surrendered, Japanese troops butchered the remaining garrison and ransacked the town. The American and world press exaggerated this misbehavior, using the incident to push the “yellow peril” button. No such outcry went up 5 years later when the allied western nations pillaged Beijing in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion.

Touching painting of the toll of war on Chinese civiliansWar is never easy on civilians. In an age before photojournalism came of age, the combat correspondent artist depicted the scenes of struggle and suffering, often with remarkable clinical precision. Here on-the-scene artist H.W. Korkworth has rendered the despair of one unfairly despoiled civilian family in Manchuria (click here to see the fine detail). They sit in the street next to their ruined home, their butchered pony lying in the snow and their few undamaged possessions heaped in the roadway. The mother buries her face in her hands in despair as her young son tries to comfort her; Cossacks ride off into the snowy night, he gazes after them. Will he grow up determined to avenge this moment, hating the soldiers who did this to his family and the country that sent them? One wonders.

As a result of colonial conflicts, generations of Asians knew little but war and hardship in the last half of the 19th century and the first half of the twentieth. Korea and Manchuria were seats of conflict that did not pause until the Korean Armistice of 1953 — proof of the adage that mineral riches are often a curse rather than a blessing to the natives.

The elite members of the Imperial Club show little enthusiasm for their new member. The cartoonist pokes fun at the Japanese’s inappropriate mix of old and new attire: full western frock coat combined with traditional wooden geta on his feet, umbrella held awkwardly under the arm; buck-toothed grin and slitted eyes are easily identifiable racist stereotypes.

This British “chromo” cartoon of 1901 lampoons the situation after the Boxer Rebellion was quelled: The imperial powers cluster around the prostrate carcass of the golden dragon, China, to claim their share. Newcomers Japan (sabre-toothed tiger, with samurai short sword in mouth), Italy (toothy dog in carabinieri garb) and U.S. (one of 3 eagles) are just as aggressive, though not as large, as the Russian bear and British lion. France is seen here as a rooster, Austria the two-headed eagle. In truth, economic decline and social instability had wracked China since the 1860s. Even so, by 1900 signs of imminent collapse were appearing — a collapse greatly hastened by the dynasty’s siding with the Boxers. The several years of foreign occupation and looting that ensued destabilized Chinese society and resulted in increased foreign control and further deligitimization of the dynasty. In 1902, when order was restored, it had barely 10 years to live. The toothless Republic that succeeded it never established broad national control. In less time than it takes to tell, China broke down into chaos, civil war, and warlordism — when combined with the 8-year Japanese invasion and occupation, a dark tunnel of horrors from which the population did not emerge until 1950. This fine drawing may serve as a metaphor for the squabble of the imperial powers over how best to dismember the defunct Chinese Empire

 

Although the empire is commonly referred to as “the Japanese Empire” or “Imperial Japan” in English, the literal translation from Japanese is Greater Japanese Empire (Dai Nippon Teikoku). The nomenclature Empire of Japan had existed since the feudal anti-shogunate domains, Satsuma and Chōshū, which founded their new government during the Meiji Restoration, with the intention of forming a modern state to resist western domination.

 

After two centuries, the seclusion policy, or Sakoku, under the shoguns of the Edo period came to an end when the country was forced open to trade by the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. The following years had seen increased foreign trade and interaction, commercial treaties between the Tokugawa Shogunate and Western countries were signed. In large part due to the humiliating terms of these Unequal Treaties, the Shogunate soon faced internal hostility, which materialized into a radical, xenophobic movement, the sonnō jōi (literally “Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians”).[1]

In March 1863 the “Order to expel barbarians” issued. Although the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order, it nevertheless inspired attacks against the Shogunate itself and against foreigners in Japan. The Namamugi Incident during 1862 led to the murder of an Englishman, Charles Lennox Richardson by a party of samurai from Satsuma. The British demanded reparations and responded by bombarding the port of Kagoshima in 1863, for his death the Tokugawa government agreed to pay an indemnity.[2] Shelling of foreign shipping in Shimonoseki and attacks against foreign property led to the Bombardment of Shimonoseki by a multinational force in 1864.[3] The Chōshū clan also carried out the failed Hamaguri Rebellion. The Satsuma-Chōshū alliance was established in 1866 to combine their efforts to overthrow the Tokugawa bakufu. In early 1867, Emperor Komei died of smallpox and was replaced by his son Mutsuhito(Meiji).

On November 9, 1867 Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned his post and authorities to the emperor, agreeing to “be the instrument for carrying out” imperial orders.[4]The Tokugawa Shogunate had ended.[5] However, while Yoshinobu’s resignation had created a nominal void at the highest level of government, his apparatus of state continued to exist. Moreover, the shogunal government, the Tokugawa family in particular, would remain a prominent force in the evolving political order and would retain many executive powers,[6]a prospect hard-liners from Satsuma and Chōshū found intolerable.[7]

On January 3, 1868, Satsuma-Chōshū forces seized the imperial palace in Kyoto, and the following day had the fifteen-year-old Emperor Meiji declare his own restoration to full power. Although the majority of the imperial consultative assembly was happy with the formal declaration of direct rule by the court and tended to support a continued collaboration with the Tokugawa, Saigō Takamori threatened the assembly into abolishing the title “shogun” and order the confiscation of Yoshinobu’s lands.[8]

On January 17, 1868, Yoshinobu declared “that he would not be bound by the proclamation of the Restoration and called on the court to rescind it.” [9] On January 24, Yoshinobu decided to prepare an attack on Kyoto, occupied by Satsuma and Chōshū forces. This decision was prompted by his learning of a series of arsons in Edo, starting with the burning of the outworks of Edo Castle, the main Tokugawa residence.

 

Main article: Boshin War
Campaign map of the Boshin War (1868–1869). The Southern domains of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa (in red) joined forces to defeat the Shogunate forces at Toba-Fushimi, and then progressively took control of the rest of Japan until the final stand-off in the northern island of Hokkaidō

Campaign map of the Boshin War (1868–1869). The Southern domains of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa (in red) joined forces to defeat the Shogunate forces at Toba-Fushimi, and then progressively took control of the rest of Japan until the final stand-off in the northern island of Hokkaidō

The Boshin War (戊辰戦争, Boshin Sensō?, “War of the Year of the Dragon”) fought between January 1868 and May 1869. The alliance of southern samurai and court officials had now secured the cooperation of the young Emperor Meiji who dissolved the two-hundred-year-old Shogunate. Violence committed by pro-imperial forces in Edo led Tokugawa Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the emperor’s court at Kyoto. However, the tide rapidly turned in favor of the smaller but relatively modernized imperial faction and resulted in defections of Daimyos to the Imperial side; the Battle of Toba-Fushimi being a decisive victory — in which a combined army from Chōshū, Tosa and Satsuma defeated Yoshinobu’s army. A series of battles were then fought in pursuit of supporters of Yoshinobu; Edo surrendered to the Imperial forces and afterwards Yoshinobu personally surrendered. Yoshinobu was stripped of all his power by new Emperor Meiji, most of Japan now accepted the emperor’s rule.

The remnants pro-Tokugawa forces(led by Hijikata Toshizo), however, then retreated to northern Honshū and later to Ezo(present day Hokkaidō), where they established the breakaway Republic of Ezo. An Expeditionary force was despatched by the new government and the Ezo forces were overwhelmed. The siege of Hakodate came to an early end in May 1869 and the remaining forces surrendered. Imperial rule was supreme throughout the whole of Japan; all defiance to the emperor and his rule ended.

 

Main article: Charter Oath

The Charter Oath was made public at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on April 7, 1868. The Oath outlined the main aims and the course of action to be followed during Emperor Meiji’s reign, setting the legal stage for Japan’s modernization and can also be considered the first constitution of modern Japan.[10]

The aims of the Meiji leaders were also to boost morale and win financial support for the new government. Its five provisions consisted of:

  • Establishment of deliberative assemblies
  • Involvement of all classes in carrying out state affairs
  • The revocation of sumptuary laws and class restrictions on employment
  • Replacement of “evil customs” with the “just laws of nature”
  • An international search for knowledge to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule.

 

Main article: Meiji period
Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of the Empire of Japan (1867–1912)

Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of the Empire of Japan (1867–1912)

Merchant Thomas Blake Glover received second highest order of Japan, Order of the Rising Sun with Gold and Silver Star (2nd class) from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan and its industrialization

Merchant Thomas Blake Glover received second highest order of Japan, Order of the Rising Sun with Gold and Silver Star (2nd class) from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan and its industrialization

Several prominent writers under the constant threat of assassination from their political foes, such as Fukuzawa Yukichi were influential in convincing Japanese people for westernization. For instance some of his works that were well known were “Conditions in the West”, “Leaving Asia“, and “An Outline of a Theory of Civilization” that detailed Western society and his own philosophies. In the Meiji Restoration period, military and economic power was well emphasized. Military strength became the means for national development and stability. Imperial Japan became the only non-Western world power and a major force in east and southeast Asia in less than 30-50 years as a result of industrialization and economic development.

As one writer Albrecht Furst von Urach comments in his booklet “The Secret of Japan’s Strength,”

The rise of Japan to a world power during the past 80 years is the greatest miracle in world history. The mighty empires of antiquity, the major political institutions of the Middle Ages and the early modern era, the Spanish Empire, the British Empire, all needed centuries to achieve their full strength. Japan’s rise has been meteoric. After only 80 years, it is one of the few great powers that determine the fate of the world.

[11]

HIH Princess Kaneko Higashi-fushimi in western clothing

HIH Princess Kaneko Higashi-fushimi in western clothing

The sudden and fast westernization once adopted changed almost all arenas of Japanese society ranging from language, etiquette, judicial and political system, armaments, arts, etc. Japanese government sent students to Western countries to observe and learn their practices as well as paying foreign scholars to Japan to educate the populace, the so called “foreign advisors” coming in from variety of studies. For instance the judicial system and constitution were largely modeled on that of Germany. It also outlawed customs linked to Japan’s feudal such as displaying and wearing katana in the public and top knot both of which were characteristic of the samurai class, which were abolished all together with the caste system. This would later bring the Meiji government into conflict with the Samurai.(Satsuma Rebellion)

Moreover the Meiji government brought numerous armaments, ships and such that to build their conscription based national army (Imperial Japanese Army) and navy (Imperial Japanese Navy).

 

上諭—"The Emperor's words" parts of constitution

上諭—”The Emperor’s words” parts of constitution

The constitution also recognized the aforementioned acknowledgment of a need for change and modernization after removal of the shogunate:

We, the Successor to the prosperous Throne of Our Predecessors, do humbly and solemnly swear to the Imperial Founder of Our House and to Our other Imperial Ancestors that, in pursuance of a great policy co-extensive with the Heavens and with the Earth, We shall maintain and secure from decline the ancient form of government…In consideration of the progressive tendency of the course of human affairs and in parallel with the advance of civilization, We deem it expedient, in order to give clearness and distinctness to the instructions bequeathed by the Imperial Founder of Our House and by Our other Imperial Ancestors, to establish fundamental laws….

Imperial Japan was founded, de jure, after the 1889 signing of Constitution of the Empire of Japan. The constitution formalized much of its political structure and gave many responsibilities and powers to the Emperor.

Article 4. The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution.

Article 6. The Emperor gives sanction to laws, and orders them to be promulgated and executed.

Article 11. The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and Navy.[12]

Although it was in this constitution that the title Empire of Japan was officially used for the first time, it was not until 1936 that this title was legalized. Until then, the names “Nippon” (日本; Japan), “Dai-Nippon” (大日本; Greater Japan), “Dai-Nippon/-Nihon Koku” (日本國; State of Japan), “Nihon Teikoku” (日本帝國; Empire of Japan) were all used.

 

1 yen convertible silver note issued in 1885

1 yen convertible silver note issued in 1885

The process of modernization was closely monitored and heavily subsidized by the Meiji government, enhancing the power of the great zaibatsu firms such as Mitsui and Mitsubishi. Hand in hand, the zaibatsu and government guided the nation, borrowing technology from the West. Japan gradually took control of much of Asia’s market for manufactured goods, beginning with textiles. The economic structure became very mercantilistic, importing raw materials and exporting finished products — a reflection of Japan’s relative scarcity of raw materials.

Economic reforms included a unified modern currency based on the yen, banking, commercial and tax laws, stock exchanges, and a communications network. Establishment of a modern institutional framework conducive to an advanced capitalist economy took time but was completed by the 1890s. By this time, the government had largely relinquished direct control of the modernization process, primarily for budgetary reasons. Many of the former daimyo, whose pensions had been paid in a lump sum, benefited greatly through investments they made in emerging industries.

The government was initially involved in economic modernization, providing a number of “model factories” to facilitate the transition to the modern period. After the first twenty years of the Meiji period, the industrial economy expanded rapidly until about 1920 with inputs of advanced Western technology and large private investments.

Japan emerged from the Tokugawa-Meiji transition as the first Asian industrialized nation. From the onset, the Meiji rulers embraced the concept of a market economy and adopted British and North American forms of free enterprise capitalism. Rapid growth and structural change characterized Japan’s two periods of economic development after 1868. Initially, the economy grew only moderately and relied heavily on traditional Japanese agriculture to finance modern industrial infrastructure. By the time the Russo-Japanese War began in 1904, 65% of employment and 38% of the gross domestic product (GDP) was still based on agriculture, but modern industry had begun to expand substantially. By the late 1920s, manufacturing and mining contributed to 23% of GDP, compared with the 21% for all of agriculture. Transportation and communications developed to sustain heavy industrial development.

From 1894, Japan built an extensive empire that included Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, and parts of northern China. The Japanese regarded this sphere of influence as a political and economic necessity, preventing foreign states from strangling Japan by blocking its access to raw materials and crucial sea-lanes. Japan’s large military force was regarded as essential to the empire’s defense and prosperity through obtaining natural resources, which the Japanese islands were lacking in.

 

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements

Fleet Admiral Marquis Togo Heihachiro commander during First Sino-Japanese War

Fleet Admiral Marquis Togo Heihachiro commander during First Sino-Japanese War

Prior to its engagement in the First World War, the Empire of Japan fought in two significant wars after its establishment following the Meiji Revolution. The first was the First Sino-Japanese War, fought between 1894 and 1895. The war revolved around the issue of control and influence over Korea under the rule of the Joseon Dynasty. A peasant rebellion led to a request by the Korean government for China to send troops in to stabilize the region. The Empire of Japan responded by sending their own force to Korea and installing a puppet government in Seoul. China objected and war ensued. In a brief affair with Japanese ground troops routing Chinese forces on the Liaodong Peninsula, and the near destruction of the Chinese navy in the Battle of the Yalu River. China was forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which ceded parts of Manchuria and the island of Formosa to Japan (see Taiwan under Japanese rule and Japanese Invasion of Taiwan (1895)). After this war, regional dominance shifted from China to Japan.

 

Main article: Russo-Japanese War
Greater Manchuria, Russian (outer) Manchuria is region to upper right in lighter Red; Liaodong Peninsula is the wedge extending into the Yellow Sea.

Greater Manchuria, Russian (outer) Manchuria is region to upper right in lighter Red; Liaodong Peninsula is the wedge extending into the Yellow Sea.

Fleet Admiral Baron Goro Ijuin

Fleet Admiral Baron Goro Ijuin

The Russo-Japanese War was a conflict for control of Korea and parts of Manchuria by the Russian Empire and Empire of Japan that took place from 1904 to 1905. The war is significant as the first modern war where an Asian country defeated a European power. The victory greatly raised Japan’s measure in the world of global politics. The war is marked by the Japanese rebuff of Russian interests in Korea, Manchuria, and China, notably, the Liaodong Peninsula, controlled by the city of Port Arthur.

Originally, in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, Port Arthur had been given to Japan. This part of the treaty was overruled by Western powers, which gave the port to the Russian Empire, furthering Russian interests in the region. These interests came into conflict with Japanese interests. The war began with a surprise attack on the Russian Eastern fleet stationed at Port Arthur, which was followed by the Battle of Port Arthur. Those elements that attempted escape were defeated by the Japanese navy under Admiral Togo Heihachiro at the Battle of the Yellow Sea. A year later, the Russian Baltic fleet arrived only to be annihilated in the Battle of Tsushima. While the ground war did not fare as poorly for the Russians, the Japanese army was significantly more aggressive than their Russian counterparts and gained a political advantage that accumulated with the Treaty of Portsmouth negotiated in the United States by the American president Theodore Roosevelt. As a result, Russia lost the part of Sakhalin Island south of 50 degrees North latitude (which became the Karafuto Prefecture), as well as many mineral rights in Manchuria. In addition, Russia’s defeat cleared the way for Japan to annex Korea outright in 1910.

 

Main article: Taishō era

 

Map of Tsingtao, 1912, prior to the Battle of Tsingtao.

Map of Tsingtao, 1912, prior to the Battle of Tsingtao.

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Taishō, the second emperor of the Empire of Japan

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Taishō, the second emperor of the Empire of Japan

Japan entered World War I in 1914, seizing the opportunity of Germany‘s distraction with the European War and wanting to expand its sphere of influence in China. Japan declared war on Germany in August 23, 1914 and quickly occupied German-leased territories in China’s Shandong Province and the Marianas, Caroline, and Marshall Islands in the Pacific which were part of German New Guinea. The siege of Tsingtao, a swift invasion in the German colony of Jiaozhou (Kiautschou) proved successful and the colonial troops surrendered on 7 November 1914.

With Japan’s Western allies, notably the United Kingdom, heavily involved in the war in Europe, it sought further to consolidate its position in China by presenting the Twenty-One Demands to China in January 1915. Besides expanding its control over the German holdings, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, Japan also sought joint ownership of a major mining and metallurgical complex in central China, prohibitions on China’s ceding or leasing any coastal areas to a third power, and miscellaneous other political, economic, and military controls, which, if achieved, would have reduced China to a Japanese protectorate. In the face of slow negotiations with the Chinese government, widespread anti-Japanese sentiment in China, and international condemnation, Japan withdrew the final group of demands, and treaties were signed in May 1915.

 

Main article: Siberian Intervention

After the fall of the Tsarist regime and then provisional regime in 1917, the new Bolshevik signed a separate peace with Germany. In 1918, the allies agreed to send an expeditionary force to Siberia to support pro-Tsarist White Russians and rescue the trapped Czech Legion.

In July 1918, President Wilson asked the Japanese government to supply 7000 troops as part of an international coalition of 25,000 troops planned to support the American Expeditionary Force Siberia. Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake agreed to send 12,000 troops, but under the Japanese command rather than as part of an international coalition. The Japanese had several hidden motives for the venture, one was an intense hostility and fear of communism, second a determination to recoup historical losses to Russia and lastly the perceived opportunity to settle the “northern problem” in Japan’s security by either creating a buffer state, or through outright territorial acquisition.

By November 1918, more than 70,000 Japanese troops under Chief of Staff Yui Mitsue had occupied all ports and major towns in the Russian Maritime Provinces and eastern Siberia.

In June 1920, America and its allied coalition partners withdrew from Vladivostok after the capture and execution of White Army leader Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak by the Red Army. However, the Japanese decided to stay, primarily due to fears of the spread of communism so close to Japan, and Japanese controlled Korea and Manchuria. The Japanese army provided military support to the Japanese-backed Provisional Priamur Government based in Vladivostok against the Moscow-backed Far Eastern Republic.

The continued Japanese presence concerned the United States, which suspected that Japan had territorial designs on Siberia and the Russian Far East. Subjected to intense diplomatic pressure by the United States and Great Britain, and facing increasing domestic opposition due to the economic and human cost, the administration of Prime Minister Kato Tomosaburo withdrew the Japanese forces in October 1922. Casualties and expenses from the expedition were 5000 dead from combat or illness and over 900 million yen.

 

The election of Kato Komei as Prime Minister of Japan continued democratic reforms that had been advocated by influential individuals on the left. This culminated in the passage of universal male suffrage in March 1925. This bill gave all male subjects over the age of 25 the right to vote, provided they had lived in their electoral districts for at least one year and were not homeless. The electorate thereby greatly increased from 3.3 million to 12.5 million.[13]

 

Main article: Shōwa era

 

Main articles: Tokkou keisatu, Kempeitai, and Tokeitai
 This short section requires expansion.

Important institutional links existed between the Party in Government (Kodoha) and Military and Political Organizations like the Imperial Young Federation, and the “Political Department” of the Kempeitai; Amongst the himitsu kessha (secret societies), the Kokuryu-kai (Black Dragon Society), and Kokka Shakai Shugi Gakumei (the National Socialist League) also had close ties to the government. The Tonarigumi (residents committee) groups, the Nation Service Society (national government trade union) and Imperial Farmers Association were all allied as well. See more:List of Japanese institutions (1930 – 1945)

Other organizations and groups related with the government in wartime were: Double Leaf Society, Toseiha, Kodaha, Kokuhonsha, Taisei Yokusankai, Imperial Youth Corps, League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War, Tokko,Tokeitai, Keishicho (to 1945), Shintoist Rites Research Council, Treaty Faction, Fleet Faction and Imperial Volunteer Corps

 

General Sadao Araki

General Sadao Araki

Sadao Araki was an important figurehead and founder of the Army party and the most important right-wing thinker in that time; his first ideological works date from his leadership of the Kodaha (Imperial Benevolent Rule or Action Group), opposed by the Toseiha (Control Group) led by General Kazushige Ugaki. He linked the ancient (bushido code) and contemporary local and European fascist ideals (see Japanese fascism), to form the ideological basis of the movement (Shōwa nationalism).

From September 1932, the Japanese were becoming more locked into the course that would lead them into the Second World War, with Araki leading the way. Totalitarianism, militarism and expansionism were to become the rule, with fewer voices able to speak against it. In a September 23 news conference, Araki first mentioned the philosophy of “Kodoha” (The Imperial Way Faction). The concept of Kodo linked the Emperor, the people, land and morality as indivisible. This led to the creation of a “new” Shinto and increased Emperor worship.

Emperor Shōwa, the third emperor of the Empire of Japan

Emperor Shōwa, the third emperor of the Empire of Japan

The state was being transformed to serve the Army and the Emperor. Symbolic katana swords came back into fashion as the martial embodiment of these beliefs, and the Nambu pistol became its contemporary equivalent, with the implicit message that the Army doctrine of close combat would prevail. The final objective, as envisioned by Army thinkers and right-wing line followers, was a return to the old Shogunate system, but in the form of a contemporary Military Shogunate. In such a government the Emperor would once more be a figurehead (as in the Edo period). Real power would fall to a leader very similar to a Führer or Duce, though with the power less nakedly held. On the other hand, the traditionalist Navy militarists defended the Emperor and a constitutional monarchy with a significant religious aspect.

A third point of view was supported by Prince Chichibu, a brother of Emperor Shōwa, who repeatedly counseled him to implement a direct imperial rule, even if that meant suspending the constitution. [14] In time Japan would turn to a form of government that resembled Totalitarism. However, although this unique style of government was very similar to Fascism there were many significant differences between the two and therefore could be termed Japanese nationalism.

 

At same time, the zaibatsu capitalist groups (principally Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo, and Yasuda) looked toward great future expansion. Their main concern was a shortage of raw materials. Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoye combined social concerns with the needs of capital, and planned for expansion.

Poster of Manchukuo promoting harmony between Japanese, Han Chinese and Manchu. The caption says: "With the help of Japan, China, and Manchukuo, the world can be in peace."

Poster of Manchukuo promoting harmony between Japanese, Han Chinese and Manchu. The caption says: “With the help of Japan, China, and Manchukuo, the world can be in peace.”

The economic seeds of World War II were planted in the mid 19th century. The main goals of this expansionism were acquisition and protection of spheres of influence, maintenance of territorial integrity, acquisition of raw materials, and access to Asian markets. Western nations, notably Great Britain, France, and the United States, had for long exhibited great interest in the commercial opportunities in China and other parts of Asia. These opportunities had attracted Western investment because of the availability of raw materials for both domestic production and re-export to Asia. Japan desired these opportunities in planning the development of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.

IJN Yamato, the largest battleship in history (1941)

IJN Yamato, the largest battleship in history (1941)

The Great Depression, just in many other countries, had hindered Japan’s economic growth. The Japanese Empire’s main problem lay in that rapid industrial expansion had turned the country into a major manufacturing and industrial power that required raw materials, however these could only be obtained overseas as there was a critical lack of natural resources on its home islands.

In the 1920s and 1930s Japan needed to import raw materials such as iron, rubber and oil to maintain strong economic growth. Most of these resources, however came from the United States. The Japanese felt that acquiring resource-rich territories would establish economic self-sufficiency and independence, they also hoped to jump-start the nation’s economy in the midst of the depression. As a result Japan set its sights on East Asia, specifically Manchuria with its many resources, Japan needed these resources to continue its economic development and maintain national integrity.

Once outright war began, the Domei Tsushin Press Agency celebrated the quality of Japan’s armaments, stating that Mitsubishi and the others had taken the measure of the “white barbarians”.

 

 

 

Main article: Invasion of Manchuria
Japanese troops entering Shenyang, China during Mukden Incident.

Japanese troops entering Shenyang, China during Mukden Incident.

With little resistance, Japan invaded and conquered Manchuria in 1931. Japan claimed that this invasion was a liberation of the Manchus from the Chinese, although the majority of the population were Han Chinese. Japan then established a puppet regime called Manchukuo, and installed the former Emperor of China, Puyi, as the official head of state. Jehol, a Chinese territory bordering Manchuria, was also taken in 1933. This puppet regime had to carry on a protracted pacification campaign against the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies in Manchuria. In 1936, Japan created a similar Mongolian puppet state in Inner Mongolia named Mengjiang (Chinese:yup) which was again predominantly Chinese.

 

Japan invaded China in 1937, creating what was essentially a three-way war between Japan, Mao Zedong‘s communists, and Chiang Kai-shek‘s nationalists. On 13 December that same year, the Nationalist capital of Nanking fell to Japanese troops. In the event known as the Rape of Nanking, Japanese troops massacred a large number of city’s population. It is estimated that nearly 300,000 people, almost entirely civilians, were killed. In total, 20 million Chinese, mostly civilians, would be killed during World War II. A puppet state was also set up in China quickly afterwards, headed by Wang Jingwei. The second Sino-Japanese war would continue into World War II with the Communists and Nationalists in a temporary and uneasy alliance against the Japanese.

 

Main article: Battle of Lake Khasan
Main article: Battle of Halhin-Gol

The Battle of Lake Khasan was an attempted military incursion of the Japanese 19th Division into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union. This incursion was founded in the belief of the Japanese that the Soviet Union misinterpreted the demarcation of the boundary based on the Treaty of Peking between Imperial Russia and Manchu China (and subsequent supplementary agreements on demarcation), and furthermore, that the demarcation markers were tampered with.

The following year, Nomonhan Incident(Battle of Halhin-Gol) occurred on 11 May 1939, when a Mongolian cavalry unit of some 70 to 90 men entered the disputed area in search of grazing for their horses, and encountered Manchukuoan cavalry who drove them out of the disputed territory. Two days later the Mongolian force returned and the Manchukoans were unable to evict them.

The Japanese IJA 23rd Division and other units of the Kwantung Army then became involved. Joseph Stalin ordered STAVKA, the Red Army‘s high command, to develop a plan for a counterstrike against the Japanese. Georgy Zhukov, led a devastating offensive employing encircling tactics making skillful use of their superior artillery, armor and air forces in late August that nearly annihilated the 23rd Division and decimated the IJA 7th Division. On September 15 an armistice was arranged. Nearly two years later, on April 13, 1941, the parties signed a Neutrality Pact, in which they agreed to abide by the existing border.

 

Imperial Japan in 1942 after the conquested territories

Imperial Japan in 1942 after the conquested territories

Main articles: Tripartite Pact and Axis Powers

The Second Sino-Japanese War had seen tensions rise between Imperial Japan and the United States, events such as the Panay incident and the ‘Rape of Nanking’ turned American public opinion against Japan. With the occupation of French Indochina in the years of 1940/41 and the continuing war in China, the United States embargoed strategic materials such as scrap metal and oil to Japan, which were vitally needed for their war effort. The Japanese were faced with the option of either withdrawing from China and losing face or seizing and securing new sources of raw materials in the resource rich, European controlled colonies of South East Asia — specifically British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies

On September 27, 1940, Imperial Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, their objectives to “establish and maintain a new order of things” in their respective world regions and spheres of influence. With Nazi Germany in Europe, Imperial Japan in Asia and Fascist Italy in North Africa. The signatories of this alliance become known as the Axis Powers. The pact also called for mutual protection—if any one of the member powers were attacked by a country not already at war, excluding the Soviet Union, and for technological and economic cooperation between the signatories.

On 31 December 1940, Matsuoka Yosuke told a group of Jewish businessmen that he was “the man responsible for the alliance with Hitler, but nowhere have I promised that we would carry out his anti-Semitic policies in Japan. This is not simply my personal opinion, it is the opinion of Japan, and I have no compunction about announcing it to the world.”

 

Main article: Pacific War

 

USS Arizona sinking.

USS Arizona sinking.

After facing an oil embargo by the United States and its own reserve oil supply about to run short, the Japanese government decided to take action and execute a plan developed by the military branch largely lead by Osami Nagano and Isoroku Yamamoto to bomb the United States naval base in Hawaii, thereby bringing the United States to World War II on the side of Allies. On 4 September 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider the war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided:

Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defence and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war … [and is] … resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-a-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives … In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

The Imperial Japanese Navy made its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, on the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941. The Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces sustained significant losses. The primary objective of the attack was to incapacitate the United States long enough for Japan to establish its long-planned Southeast Asian empire and defensible buffer zones. The U.S. public saw the attack as a treacherous act and rallied against the Empire of Japan. The United States entered the European Theatre and Pacific Theater in full force. Four days later Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany declared war on the United States bringing the separate conflicts into a cohesive conflict.

 

Victorious Army troops march through Singapore (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

Victorious Army troops march through Singapore (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

On December 8, 1941 British Malaya was invaded by Japanese 25th Army under general Tomoyuki Yamashita. Defending Malalya was a Commonwealth army comprised of British, Indian, and Australian forces plus Malays from the Federated Malay States. Imperial Japanese Army was able to quickly advance down the Malayan peninsula, forcing the Commonwealth forces to retreat towards Singapore. The British lacked aircover and tanks, the Japanese had total air superiority. The sinking of H.M.S Prince of Wales and H.M.S Repulse on December 10, 1941 led to the east coast of Malaya being exposed to Japanese landings and the elimination of British naval power in the area. On January 31, 1942, the last Allied forces crossed the straight of Johore and into Singapore.

On February 7, 1942 the Japanese invaded the island of Singapore, despite determined resistance and fierce fighting they were able to push back the Commonwealth forces. On February 15, 1942 Singapore fell to the Japanese, resulting in the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. About 80,000 Indian, Australian and British troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken in the Japanese invasion of Malaya.

 

Main article: Burma Campaign

 

 

Japanese armored units at Bataan

Japanese armored units at Bataan

Japan launched air raids on US military positions in the Philippines following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941, and Japanese troops landed in the Philippines on December 10, initiating the invasion of the Philippines. During this Campaign, the Japanese pushed the combined Filipino-American force towards the Bataan peninsula and later the island of Corregidor. By January of 1942 General Douglas MacArthur and President Manuel Quezon were forced to flee in the face of Japanese advances.

This marked among one of the worst defeats suffered by the Americans, leaving over 70,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war in the custody of the Japanese. Ten thousand of these prisoners later died on the Bataan Death March, known as Batān Shi no Kōshin by the Japanese. Japanese military rule lasted for over two years, the result being the resistance of several guerrilla armies and the incredible sufferings endured by the Philippine population.

 

Main article: Battle for Australia
Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander of bombing of Darwin and Pearl Harbor

Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander of bombing of Darwin and Pearl Harbor

The two Japanese air raids on Darwin, on February 19, 1942 were by far the biggest ever attack by a foreign power against the Australian mainland. They were also a significant action in the Pacific campaign of World War II and represented a major psychological blow to the Australian population, several weeks after hostilities with Japan had begun. The raids were the first of about 100 air raids against Australia during 1942 and 1943.

 

Main article: Japanese war crimes

Many political and military Japanese leaders were convicted for war crimes before the Tokyo tribunal and other allies tribunals in Asia. However, all members of the imperial family implicated in the war, such as emperor Showa and his brothers, cousins and uncles such as Prince Chichibu, Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi and Prince Asaka, were exonerated from criminal prosecutions by Douglas MacArthur.

 

Main article: Unit 731

Unit 731 was a covert medical experiment unit of the Imperial Japanese Army, researching biological warfare through human experiments during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 to 1945) and World War II. Disguised as a water purification unit, it was based in the Pingfang district of the northeast Chinese city of Harbin, part of the puppet state of Manchukuo. Unit 731 was officially known as the “Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory”.

As many as ten thousand people, both civilian and military, of Chinese, Mongol, and Soviet origin were subjects of experimentation by Unit 731. Some Allied prisoners of war also died at the hands of Unit 731. In addition, Unit 731’s biological weapons research resulted in tens of thousands of deaths in China – possibly as many as 200,000 casualties by some estimates.

Unit 731 was one of many units used by the Japanese to research biological warfare; other units include Unit 516 (Qiqihar), Unit 543 (Hailar), Unit 773 (Songo unit), Unit 100 (Changchun), Unit 1644 (Nanjing), Unit 1855 (Beijing), Unit 8604 (Guangzhou), Unit 200 (Manchuria) and Unit 9420 (Singapore).

Many of the scientists involved in Unit 731 went on to prominent careers in politics, academia and business. Some were arrested by Soviet forces and tried at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials; those who surrendered to the Americans, were granted amnesty in exchange for the data collected.

Because of the nature of their experiments and practices, Unit 731’s actions are considered war crimes.

 

Main article: Nanking Massacre

The Nanking Massacre, commonly known as “The Rape of Nanking“, refers to the most infamous of the war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War II—acts carried out by Japanese troops in and around Nanjing (then known in English as Nanking), China, after it fell to the Imperial Japanese Army on December 13, 1937. The duration of the massacre is not clearly defined, although the period of carnage lasted well into the next six weeks, until early February 1938.

The extent of the atrocities is debated, with numbers ranging from the claim of the Japanese army at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that the death toll was military in nature and that “no such atrocities ever occurred”, to the Chinese claim of a non-combatant death toll of 300,000. The West has generally tended to adopt the Chinese point-of-view, with many Western sources now quoting 300,000 dead. This is partly due to the commercial success of Iris Chang‘s “The Rape of Nanking“, which set the stage for the debate of the issue in the West; and the existence of extensive photographic records of the mutilated bodies of women and children.

 

Main article: Sook Ching massacre

When the Japanese occupied Singapore, the Japanese military authorities became concerned about the local Chinese population. The Japanese Imperial Army had become aware that the ethnic Chinese had strong loyalties to either the United Kingdom or China, with wealthy Chinese financing Chiang Kai-Shek‘s effort in the Second Sino-Japanese War, after Japan had invaded China on July 1937, with other charity drives. The military authorities, led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita, decided on a policy of “eliminating” the anti-Japanese elements.

Soon after the fall of Singapore, Lieutenant-Colonel Masayuki Oishi, commander of No. 2 Field Kempeitai, took over the offices of the Supreme Court building. Singapore was broken up into sectors, each placed under the control of a Kempeitai officer. The Japanese set up designated “screening centers” all over the colony. The blueprint was to gather and screen all Chinese males between 18 to 50 years old, and eliminate those thought to be anti-Japanese. The ones who passed the “screening” would receive a piece of paper with “Examined” written on it, or have a square ink mark on their arms and shirts. Those who did not pass the “screening” would be stamped with triangular marks. There were trucks near these screening centers to send those anti-Japanese elements to their deaths. The Japanese Army chose remote sites such as Changi, Punggol, Blakang Mati and Bedok to perform the executions, with the victims thrown overboard off boats or machine-gunned to death off the harbour.

 

Japanese: 慰安婦 The term “comfort women” pertains to women and girls who served as prostitutes during the Imperial Era of Japan. Many historians believe that an estimated 200,000 women were taken as comfort women during the reign.[15] Most of the women were believed to be from Korea, with the a good percentage also from China and also other populations in the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. Some Japanese historians debated the fact that Japan had actually forced or kidnapped women from other nations into sexual slavery. Evidence that disputes that comes in forms of personal testimonies of living former sex slaves, witnesses, and actual former Imperial Soldiers. While historians and politicians such as Abe dispute that there was an actual coercion of foreign women into slavery, Japanese documents in 1992 and 2007 were found supporting the coercion of women into sexual slavery.[16]

 

 

The Mikuma shortly before sinking during Battle of Midway.

The Mikuma shortly before sinking during Battle of Midway.

Japanese military strategists were keenly aware of the unfavorable discrepancy between the industrial potential of the Japanese Empire and that of the United States. Because of this they reasoned that Japanese success hinged on their ability to extend the strategic advantage gained at Pearl Harbor with additional strategic victories. Only decisive destruction of the United States’ Pacific Fleet and conquest of its remote outposts would insure that the Japanese Empire was not overwhelmed by America’s industrial might. In May of 1942, failure to decisively defeat the Allies at the Battle of Coral Sea in spite of Japanese numerical superiority equated to a strategic defeat for Imperial Japan. This setback was followed in June of 1942 by the catastrophic loss of a four carrier task force at the Battle of Midway. Midway was a decisive defeat for the Imperial Japanese Navy, and proved the turning point for the war. Further defeats by the Allies at Guadalcanal in September 1942, and New Guinea in 1943 put the Empire of Japan on the defensive for the remainder of the war. The US Sixth Army led by General MacArthur landed on Leyte on 19 October 1944, in the subsequent months(Philippines campaign of 1944–1945) American troops together with guerrilla forces liberated much of the Philipines. By 1944 the Allies had seized or bypassed and neutralized many of Japan’s strategic bases through amphibious landings and bombardment. This, coupled with the losses inflicted by allied submarines on Japanese shipping routes began to strangle Japan’s economy and undermine its ability to supply its army. By early 1945 the US Marines had wrested control of the Ogasawa Islands in several hard-fought battles such as the Battle of Iwo Jima, marking the beginning of the fall of the islands of Japan.

 

Main article: Kamikaze
USS Bunker Hill was hit by two kamikazes on May 11, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. Out of a crew of 2,600, 372 were killed.

USS Bunker Hill was hit by two kamikazes on May 11, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. Out of a crew of 2,600, 372 were killed.

During 1943 and 1944, Allied forces, backed by the industrial might and rich resources of the United States, were advancing steadily towards Japan. Commander Asaiki Tamai asked a group of 23 talented student pilots, whom he had personally trained, to volunteer for the special attack force. All of the pilots raised both of their hands, thereby volunteering to join the operation. Later, Tamai asked Lieutenant Yukio Seki to command the special attack force. Seki is said to have closed his eyes, lowered his head and thought for ten seconds, before asking Tamai: “please let me do that”. Seki thereby became the 24th kamikaze or suicide pilot to be chosen.

 

Nuclear weapon attack by the US is commonly cited as ending the war sooner against the Empire of Japan.

Nuclear weapon attack by the US is commonly cited as ending the war sooner against the Empire of Japan.

After securing airfields in Saipan and Guam in the summer of 1944, the United States undertook an aggressive campaign of carpet bombing Japanese cities in an effort to pulverize Japan’s industry and shatter its morale. While these campaigns led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians they did not succeed in persuading the Japanese to surrender. In the summer of 1945, the United States dropped two nuclear weapons on Japan. The atomic bombing was the first and last used against another nation. These bombs killed around 100,000 to 200,000 people in a matter of minutes, and many more people died as a result of nuclear radiation in the following weeks, months, and years.

 

The commander of the Japanese 18th Army in New Guinea surrenders his sword to the commander of the Australian 6th Division.

The commander of the Japanese 18th Army in New Guinea surrenders his sword to the commander of the Australian 6th Division.

Having ignored (mokusatsu) the Potsdam Declaration, the Empire of Japan surrendered and ended World War 2, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a declaration of war by the Soviet Union. In a national radio address of 15th August, emperor Showa announced the surrender to the Japanese people.

 

Main article: Occupied Japan

A period known as Occupied Japan followed after the war largely spearheaded by United States General of the Army Douglas McArthur to revize the Japanese constitution and de-militarize Japan. The American occupation, with economic and political assistance, continued well into the 1950s. After the dissolution of the Empire of Japan, Japan adopted a parliamentary-based political system, with the Emperor changed to symbolic status.

American General of the Army Douglas MacArthur later commended the new Japanese government that he helped established and the new Japanese period when he was about to send the American forces to the Korean War:

The Japanese people, since the war, have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have, from the ashes left in war’s wake, erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity; and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice. Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust… I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith. I know of no nation more serene, orderly, and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.

For historian John W. Dower, however, «In retrospect, apart from the military officer corps, the purge of alleged militarists and ultranationalists that was conducted under the Occupation had relatively small impact on the long-term composition of men of influence in the public and private sectors. The purge initially brought new blood into the political parties, but this was offset by the return of huge numbers of formaly purged conservative politicians to national as well as local politics in the early 1950s. In the bureaucracy, the purge was negligible from the outset (…) In the economic sector, the purge similarly was only mildly disruptive, affecting less than sixteen hundred individuals spread among some four hundred companies. Everywhere one looks, the corridors of power in postwar Japan are crowded with men whose talents had already been recognized during the war years, and who found the same talents highly prized in the “new” Japan.» [17]

 This short section requires expansion.

 

 

In the administration of Japan dominated by the Army political movement during World War II, the civil central government was under the management of military men and their right-wing civilian allies, along with members of the nobility and Imperial Family.

The Emperor was in the center of this power structure as supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces, head of state, representative of the “Imperial Sun Lineage” for State Shinto, and chief of the Imperial Household.

Other important institutions linking to the government were the National Youth Association and the “political sections” of the Kempeitai and Tokeitai. These secret societies were a source of loyalists. Other allied groups included residents’ committees, the government trade union, local farmers associations, and the state religious and educational systems. Imperial Armed Forces political sections supported the formation of similar right-wing movements in all the occupied lands of the early Pacific War.

The rivalties between the Army and Navy became the principal right-wing political movement in the Empire of Japan in the 1930s, the two factions emerged as leaders among many similar groups and secret societies.

His Imperial Highness Prince Yorihito Higashi-Fushimi

His Imperial Highness Prince Yorihito Higashi-Fushimi

Prime Minister General Kuniaki Koiso

Prime Minister General Kuniaki Koiso

Fleet Admiral Viscount Inoue Yoshika

Fleet Admiral Viscount Inoue Yoshika

 

The military of Imperial Japan was divided into two main branches under Imperial General Headquarters responsible for the overall conduct of operations including prominent military leaders and commanders:

  • Prominent generals and leaders:

 

 

Posthumous name1 Given name² Childhood name³ Period of Reigns Era name4
Meiji Tennō
(明治天皇)
Mutsuhito
(睦仁)
Sachi-no-miya
(祐宮)
1867–1912
(1890-1912)5
Meiji
Taishō Tennō
(大正天皇)
Yoshihito
(嘉仁)
Haru-no-miya
(明宮)
1912–1926 Taishō
Shōwa Tennō
(昭和天皇)
Hirohito
(裕仁)
Michi-no-miya
(迪宮)
1926–1989
(1926–1947)6
Shōwa
1 Each posthumous name was given after the respective era names as Ming and Qing Dynasties of China.
2 The Japanese imperial family name has no surname or dynastic name.
3 The Meiji Emperor was known only by the appellation Sachi-no-miya from his birth until 11 November 1860, when he was proclaimed heir apparent to Emperor Kōmei and received the personal name Mutsuhito .
4 No multiple era names were given for each reign after Meiji Emperor.
5 Constitutionally.
6 Constitutionally. The reign of the Shōwa Emperor in fact continued until 1989 since he did not abdicate after World War II.

 

The Cessa Dog’s Breed,Jenis Anjing yang cantik

Hallo Teman-teman ,my loving friends from SD Don Bosko II Pulo Mas, special for you I upload,saya tampilkan gambar Jenis Anjing yang cantik-cantik.dengan judul Dogs breeds.

Silahkan menikmatinya,

salam dari

Cessa

Dog Breeds

<!–

 

Affenpinscher

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Teman-teman suka yang mana ?

Harap beritahu cessa Liwat Comment

Terima Kasih

Pug

Pug

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

ampai disini dulu

salam dari

Cessa

terima kasih opa Driwan

The mystery of Aztec Mexican Quetzalcoatl Flying Dragon legend

Aztec Quetzalcoatl

Flying Dragon mystery

Picture

Created by

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

Copyright@2012

 

 Huitzilopochtli, The Aztec God of War

 

 Quetzal Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forward

Moctezuma's headdress in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna

I am jus seen at discovery channel TV about the legend of Aztec bigger flying dragon Qetzal or quetzalos(?0. This legend very interesting due to the recent discovery of the bigger flying dynosaurus which near same with the Aztec quetzal dragon legend. In that legend told that every 52 years the world will became worst if the ritual with sacrifice to the Aztec dragon did not done.

A Scaly Image of Quetzalcoatl

To open The mystery I will research the informations realted with this Aztec Quetzal flyingdragon.

I hope this informations will useable for the next generations especially for my grandson Antoni and grand daughter cessa and celine for them this study dedicated.

Jakarta Mei 2012

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

 

 

 

THE INFORMATIONS REALTED WITH QUETZALCOALTZ AZTEC DRAGON

  

FLYING DINOSAURS, FLYING REPTILES, PTEROSAURS

QUETZALCOATLUS

 

Dragon of the Flying Reptiles, page 35 (Cryptonaut) Tags: vintage paleontology pterosaur quetzalcoatlus paleoart

Clouds

 

Flying reptiles have captured the popular imagination ever since Arthur Conan Doyle made them part of his science fiction story The Lost World. These great creatures have been extinct since the Mesozoic era ended 65 million years ago. Scientists named them “flying lizards” or pterosaurs (TERA sores), nearly two centuries ago, when their fossil remains were first found. How such large animals could actually fly has long been a scientific puzzle, since they weighed about as much as a human being. Today’s hang-glider pilots must solve the problem of getting themselves airborne by using other aircraft, or leaping from great heights. How a giant lizard would take off is an unanswered question. The flying reptile was called “one of the greatest freaks of all time” by the late Harvard professor Percy Raymond. The flight mechanism was bat-like rather than bird-like. A membrane of skin stretched from the trunk to the front limb, but was attached to a greatly elongated fourth finger of the hand, and not to all four fingers as with a bat. Flying reptiles were probably soarers and gliders rather than active flyers. They could fold their wings like bats, and may have had similar roosting habits.

Plumend Serpent Head

Until recently, it was thought that a wingspan of about 24 feet was the maximum size, for one of these winged lizards. Then in 1971, Douglas Lawson, a University of Texas student, discovered the fossil bones of an even larger specimen, with a wingspan of 36 to 39 feet. It was named after the Aztec god who looked like a feathered serpent: Quetzalcoatlus northropi. Pronounced “kwet zel KWAT lus,” this creature was one of the last of the pterosaurs to survive. Its neck was extremely long, its slender jaws were toothless, and its head was topped by a long bony crest. Like other pterosaurs, it had fingers on the front edge of its wing with sharp claws that could grip prey.

 

The eating habits of QuetBoa Constrictorzalcoatlus are

 

 

 

 

unknown, and there are different theories about the feeding habits of flying reptiles. Some experts think they ventured far out to sea, skimming over the surface of the water, and skillfully fed on fish. Others think they may have been carrion feeders, like modern vultures, and fed upon the carcasses of dinosaurs. Their long beaks and necks made them capable of probing deeply for food, on sea or land.

Aeronautical engineers and paleontologists have theories about how large animals launched themselves into space and stayed there. As a flying machine Quetzalcoatlus lacked the muscle power to run rapidly until it reached an airspeed that allowed it to take off. Likewise, it did not have the muscle or skeletal structure to flap its wings constantly to maintain flight. Perhaps it became airborne by dropping from the height of a cliff, or the crest of a wave. Or perhaps it waited until the hot sun warmed the ground and created strong thermal updrafts. Maybe it could stand up on its hind legs and catch an appropriate breeze, and with a single flap of its wings and a kick of its feet become airborne. Once aloft, it may have stayed in the air for long periods, riding air currents with minimal effort as it soared slowly and gracefully over land or water looking for prey. Its aeronautical design suggests that it could coast more slowly than a bird, before it stalled and had to land. The great wings may have allowed it to land gently, but its size, weight and long, weak hind limbs suggest that it did not live in trees as birds do.

Flying reptiles became extinct about the same time that dinosaurs did, at the close of the Age of Reptiles, or the Mesozoic Era. Even as they reached new records of size, a changing geography and their failure to adapt to new environments doomed pterosaurs. The Inland Sea, which covered so much of the interior of North America, drained away, and similar events around the globe affected the climate and food supply. Birds were better suited to flight and adapting for survival in almost every way, and became increasingly diversified.

 


 Babies (Mark Witton) Tags: animal paleontology extinct palaeontology tyrannosaurus prehistory cretaceous pterosaur mesozoic quetzalcoatlus flyingreptile azhdarchidae

The Quetzalcoatl Kite (wolfpix) Tags: kite nikon kites layang kiteflying quetzalcoatl saranggola drachen cerfvolant drachenfliegen cometa pterodactyl layanglayang vlieger  cometas  cerfsvolants pterosaur cervovolante  quetzalcoatlus  latawiec cervivolanti cerfvol cometavuelo kitevo cervovolo   nikonfieldscope pterodon nikond5000 paprovdrak
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
What's that, then? (Mark Witton) Tags: skeleton fossil paleontology naturalhistorymuseum palaeontology pterosaur mesozoic quetzalcoatlus
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum epoxirex assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus (Turniposaurus) Tags: canada museum paleontology drumheller alberta canonpowershota95 palaeontology royaltyrrellmuseum pterosaur mesozoic quetzalcoatlus
 
Quetzalcoatlus (D. S. Haas) Tags: toronto ontario canada fossil royalontariomuseum pterosaur halas michaelleechincrystal quetzalcoatlus haas
 
quetzalcoatlus (wgelnaw) Tags: skeleton fossil pterosaur quetzalcoatlus
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus (Heather Yarnell) Tags: water waterfall model stream dinosaur nest missouri powellgardens pterosaur kingsville quetzalcoatlus cretaceousperiod jurassicgarden
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Flying Reptiles, page 35 (Cryptonaut) Tags: vintage paleontology pterosaur quetzalcoatlus paleoart
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
 
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus 1.14.11 (Houston Museum of Natural Science) Tags: museum houston science exhibition sciencemuseum pterosaur hmns quetzalcoatlus houstonsciencemuseum assemblingapterosaur
 
Quetzalcoatlus and St. Paul, Minnesota (carl lexicon) Tags: museum skeleton stpaul science pterosaur quetzalcoatlus pterodactyloid
 
Quetzalcoatlus (createttea) Tags: museum fossil dinosaur rom pterosaur quetzalcoatlus
 
Quetzalcoatlus (createttea) Tags: dinosaur rom museum fossil quetzalcoatlus pterosaur

THE LEGEND: Does The Cloud Dragon Live On?

 Picture

 

Policeman Arturo Padilla of San Benito, Texas, was driving his police cruiser through the wee hours of the morning in 1976 when something unusual appeared in his headlights. It looked like a big bird. Only a few minutes later fellow officer Homer Galvan reported it too. A black silhouette that glided through the air. According to Galvan it moved without ever flapping it’s wings.

Picture

A short time later Alverico Guajardo, a resident of Brownsville, Texas, reported he’d heard a thumping noise outside his mobile home at about nine-thirty at night. When he looked out the door he saw a monstrous bird standing in his yard. “It’s like a bird, but it’s not a bird,” he said. “That animal is not from this world.”

Sightings of the big bird multiplied. A radio station offered a reward for the creature’s capture. A television station broadcast a picture of an alleged bird track. It was some twelve inches long. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, concerned that hunters might mistake a large rare and protected bird, like a whooping crane, for this creature announced that, “All birds are protected by state or federal law.”

In February 1976 several school teachers told of a large flying creature, at least 12 foot across, diving at their cars as they drove to work. One of them checked the school library and found a name for the animal: A Pterosaur.

Pterosaurs were an order of reptiles that lived, and went extinct, with the dinosaurs. They were the first true flying animals with vertebrates. Their wings were composed of a membrane of skin that stretched from the side of the body, along the arm, out to the tip of an enormously elongated fourth finger, and then back to the ankle.

Computer analysis of pterosaur fossils suggest that they were slow gliders capable of making very tight airborne turns. A large Pteranodon, with a wingspan of 30 feet could turn, in mid-flight, in a circle only 34 feet in diameter.

The largest known Pterosaur (indeed the largest known flying animal of all time), the Quetzalcoatlus, had a wingspan of 50 feet (larger than that of many small planes) and weighed about 190 pounds. Unlike many of the other Pterosaurs Quetzalcoatlus lived inland and probably had a vulture-like existence. It’s long neck would have helped it to “probe” dinosaur carcasses for meat.

Quetzalcoatlus, interestingly enough, brings us back to Texas. The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in Big Bend National Park, Texas, in 1972, just four years before the first sightings of the Texas “Big Bird.” Is there a connection?

Have there been Pterosaurs hiding in Texas for the last 65 million years? Or could it be the publicity surrounding the discovery of Quetzalcoatlus four years before triggered the misidentification of normal large birds like the sandhill crane, brown pelican or the vulture? We may never know, because after the two month flap of sightings in 1976, reports of the big birds dwindled. The Pterosaurs, if they ever existed, have gone back into hiding.

THE ABOVE ARTICLE: Copyright Lee Krystek 1996. All Rights Reserved.

 


Petroglyph found among Native American rock art,
San Rafael Swell, Black Dragon Wash, Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Above : A generalized pterosaur wing (hum= humerus, r= radius, u= ulna, mc= metacarpus, pt= pteroid, c= carpus, I-IV= numbered digits). Also pictured: A generalized pterosaur pectoral girdle (sc= scapula, cor= coracoid, hum= humerus, ster= sternum).

 

 

The pterosaur wing (shown above) was supported by an elongated fourth digit (that is, like on a hand, a “pinky finger” several feet long). Pterosaurs had other morphological adaptations for flight, such as a keeled sternum (shown above) for the attachment of flight muscles, a short and stout humerus (the first arm bone), and hollow but strong limb and skull bones. Pterosaurs also had modified scales that were wing-supporting fibers, and that possibly formed hairlike structures to provide insulation — bird feathers are analogous to the wing fibers of pterosaurs, and both are thought to possibly have been evolved originally for the primary purpose of thermoregulation (which implies, but does not prove, that both pterosaurs and the earliest birds were endothermic). Pterosaurs also had a bone unique to their clade. It is called the pteroid bone, and it pointed from the pterosaur’s wrist towards the shoulder, supporting part of the wing membrane. Such a novel structure is rare among vertebrates, and noteworthy; new bones are unusual structures to evolve — evolution usually co-opts bones from old functions and structures to new functions and structures rather than “reinventing the wheel”. The wing membrane of pterosaurs most likely did not include the hindlimbs; there is no evidence for the existence of such a membrane, but if such a membrane were to exist, a gliding origin for pterosaur flight would probably be more feasible.

For an interesting comparison in wing design and flight adaption between the elongated fourth finger approach used by the pterosaurs and the feathered bird-wing structure used by the twenty-five foot wingspan Teratorn

THE LEGEND OF AZTEC QUETZAL FLYING DRAGON

 

Mexico inches closer to loan of Moctezuma’s headdress

Moctezuma's headdress in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna

Moctezuma’s headdress is a large and elaborate 16th century crown which according to legend once belonged to Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, made from the iridescent green tail feathers of the Resplendent Quetzal. Moctezuma either gave it to Hernán Cortés as a gift upon his arrival at Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire and modern day Mexico City, or it was pillaged by Cortés’ forces after the siege of Tenochtitlan in 1521.

There is no record of where it was taken, nor is there any evidence that it belonged to Moctezuma. We don’t even know for sure that it’s a headdress. It doesn’t match any of the headdresses depicted in contemporary accounts. In the 19th century the assumption was that it was a mantle, and recent scholarship suggests they might have been right about it being a mantle, but that it was worn by a priest to ritually transform him into the incarnation of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, rather than by the king.

What we do know is that by 1575 it was in the extensive private collection of Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, at Ambras Castle in Innsbruck. Ferdinand was the nephew of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who was also King of Spain during the Conquista. He could easily have gotten his hands on the headdress via his family connections.

It remained in the castle until the early 19th century when Vienna’s Museum of Ethnology was entrusted with most of the Castle Ambras collection. The headdress was the subject of much anthropological fascination from then on, including from Zelia Nuttall, the American archaeologist, anthropologist and expert in pre-Columbian Mexico who in 1890 first identified it as an Aztec “quetzalapanecayotl” or a featherwork crown.

Resplendant Quetzal

The piece is 46 inches high at the peak and 69 inches wide. In addition to the 400 dramatic quetzal tail feathers that adorn the outer layer, there are rows of blue Lovely Cotinga feathers, pink flamingo feathers, smaller quetzal feathers and white and red feathers from the squirrel cuckoo. The inner rings are studded with gold and gemstones. The Aztecs venerated the Resplendent Quetzal as the god of the air, a symbol of rebirth and of freedom.

Given its beauty, historical significance and powerful symbolism, it’s no surprise that the headdress has been the subject of a long-standing dispute between Mexico and Austria.

 Replica of Moctezuma's headdress at the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City

There are no Aztec headdresses left in Mexico because the Spanish took them all — the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City only has a replica of Moctezuma’s headdress on display — so Mexico has been trying for decades to get this one back, even going so far as to petition the United Nations for its return, but to no avail.

In 2008, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) entered into talks with the Austrian Government and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the parent institution of the Museum of Ethnology. They agreed first to do an extensive scientific analysis on the headdress to assess its condition and do any conservation necessary that will allow the piece to travel. In 2011, a tentative deal was struck: Mexico would officially recognize Austria’s uncontested ownership of the headdress, Austria would loan Mexico the headdress and in return Mexico would loan Austria the golden stagecoach of Maximilian I of Mexico, emperor of the Second Mexican Empire (1863-1867) and brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

There was still one major stumbling block, however. According to Mexican law, all pre-Columbian artifacts belong to the nation. Once they cross the border, no matter who else might lay claim to them, they become property of the state and cannot leave the country. No matter the terms of the loan agreement, Austria had no intention of letting the headdress into Mexico until the government’s assurances had the force of law.

A new bilateral cultural exchange agreement between Austria and Mexico that would resolve the issue has just been approved by the Mexican Senate and Austria’s cabinet. The Senate’s amendments to the cultural property law allow for long-term loans of artifacts while acknowledging the lender’s ownership rights. Austria’s legislature has to approve the deal, which is expected to happen within the next few months, and both parties need to sort out how to transport the fragile headdress without damaging it, but it looks like the biggest obstacle to the return of this glorious symbol of Mexican heritage might just have been overcome.

 

Quetzalcoatl and the Nak

 
 
One of the interesting legends to examine cross-culturally is the Mexican deity Quetzalcoatl, who is depicted at times as a plumed serpent and other times as a human being. Quetzalcoatl was considered the god of the wind, wisdom and life.In contrast, the mythical nak of the Lao are often connected to bodies of water, such as the rivers, lakes, and oceans, and they were symbolic of fertility, wisdom and immortality. The nak are capable of also appearing as human beings.From a speculative literature point of view, it might be interesting to consider the possibilities were the two to ever meet, especially given both cultures’ later engagement with colonial powers. But would they find other interesting points of commonality or conflict worth exploring?

Stories of a plumed serpent named Kukulcan emerged around 500 BC to AD 900, and around the end of the 12th century, the king of the Toltecs, Topiltzin conferred upon himself the title of Quetzalcoatl. At some point, the Aztecs incorporated legends of the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl into their pantheon.

According to one legend, after a series of conflicts and  the treachery of his nemesis Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl was said to have left the Americas on a raft of entwined serpents, sailing to the east, although the Aztecs predicted one day he would return.

The Plumed Serpent, Quetzalcoatl: A Symbol of Connectedness

Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent,” played a dominant role as a god, model, myth, historical figure and symbol in ancient Mexican consciousness of Aztecs, Mayans and other cultures. He was an hombre-dios (“man-god”), who incarnated on earth, to bring spirit and matter into harmony. In his human form, according to legend, he founded the fabulous capital of the Toltecs, Tollan, where art and culture thrived. The myth of Quetzalcoatl also becomes intricately tied to the fortunes of a later empire, the Aztecs.

A Scaly Image of Quetzalcoatl

A Scaly Lizard-like Image of Quetzalcoatl from crystalinks.com

The history of the Aztec Empire begins with the Toltecs, since the Aztecs borrowed “Tollan” and “Quetzalcoatl” as symbols of authority and legitimation of their rule. These words became associated with different places and men, as symbols of connection to classical lineage of the Toltec rulers. Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs, borrowed the legend of Quetzalcoatl to justify its pre-eminence in Mesoamerica along with linking the origins of the Aztecs to ancient Tollan, “the city of the Gods.” However, the legend of Quetzalcoatl also contained within it the seeds of destruction for their civilization under the Spanish.

View of Tula-Tollan
The modern ruins of the fabled Tollan of the Toltecs

Atlantes Warriors
Statues of Altante Warriors on top of the pyramid

The Plumed Serpent has proved to be an illusive figure for scholars, so many interpretations have emerged about him. The three main schools of thoughts are the diffusionist, symbolic and historical. Diffusionist writers view Quetzalcoatl as originating outside ancient Mexico in a Judeo-Christian, Asian or other foreign culture. They claim that the bearded depictions of Topiltzin, the legendary ruler connected to the god Quetzalcoatl, are not characteristic of American Indians. Therefore, he must have come across a Transatlantic journey to teach the indigenous people a mystical, visionary religion that encouraged high moral standards of penance and self-sacrifice.

This school has been discredited among serious scholars due to unusual claims, including claims of Topiltzin’s extraterrestrial origins. Many writers in this school also exhibit ethnocentric biases, particularly with the assumption that original thought in Indian peoples must have an outside source.

The historical school wishes to uncover the actual Quetzalcoatl who inhabited Tollan. It takes an extremely rational and empiricist attitude to myth and legend of Quetzalcoatl. The problem with this approach lies in the lack of authentic Pre-Columbian sources. So their arguments cannot go beyond speculation.

The symbolic school because of its acceptance of myth as testament of Mesoamerica’s imagination offers the most depth. Quetzalcoatl as a symbol represents the Ancient Mexicans search for wholeness and integration. His name can be divided into Quetzal, a beautifully plumed bird, and Coatl, a snake or serpent.

Quetzal Bird The Quetzal represented the aspiration of the spirit in its flight, and many tales were told of her ability to communicate with the gods in flight similar to the eagle in North American Indian stories.
Boa Constrictor The serpent, in contrast, represented an association with the earth, since it crawls upon the ground or borrows underneath. It represented the energies of the earth in fertility and cyclic renewal.

Quetzalcoatl, called Kukulcan and Gugumatz among the Mayans, was not merely an historical figure to the Ancient Mexicans but he was a figure that united spirit and matter. The quetzal bird represented the spiritual urge to take flight and transcend the bounds of corporeal existence and the serpent represented being grounded in physical reality to the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Myths embody the the universal quest for meaning in life, and the desire to know the transcendent spiritual world. Quetzalcoatl as the legendary Topiltzin, tried to overcome the duality of spirit and matter, and reconciled them in a holistic vision as embodied in the Plumed Serpent. Topiltizin becomes the Redeemer of humankind through his reconciliation of opposites.

The ancient Mexicans were largely concerned with sublime mysticism and transcendence of the human spirit but the Aztecs degraded this spiritual vision as a cult of human sacrifice grew, even though the original Quetzalcoatl myth extolled the virtues of self-sacrifice over the killing of others.

During the creation of a new age or sun, according to mythic accounts, Quetzalcoatl through his own blood gave life to humans, formed from the bones and ashes of people from the previous age. When Quetzalcoatl appears in the form of Topiltzin, he teaches people to turn away from human sacrifice and instead to engage in self-sacrifice in service of others. Legends also attribute him with encouraging his followers to be creative through the arts.

Plumed SerpentPlumend Serpent Head

Under Topiltzin, the human incarnation of Quetzalcoatl, Tollan prospered under his peaceful rule but priests wanting to reinstate human sacrifice conspired against him. He was forced to flee to the Yucatan, where afraid of being captured he sacrificed himself in a burning pyre and his heart rose to heaven as the morning star, Venus. The Aztec account varies. In their version, he says farewell to his followers with the prophecy to return one day from the East and reclaim his rule. He then floats away on a raft of snakes.

Quetzalcoatl’s brother, Huitzilopochtli, becomes the main god in the Aztec pantheon. He is the sun god and the god of war who requires human sacrifice. In Aztec cosmology, the sun required energy from human blood in order to continue. Without those sacrifices, the present age and their rule would come to an end. The Queztalcoatl tradition extolled virtues of self-sacrifice, which the Aztec rulers reduced to the massive sacrifice of others. In this way, the Aztec empire betrayed its spiritual inheritance to gain worldly power.

Huitzilopochtli, The Aztec God of War
Fierce image of Huitzilopochtil

A Pious Image of Quetzalcoatl by Susanne Iles
Painting by Susanne Iles, a painter and writer. Visit her site for detailed information on dragon mythology by clicking her name above.
The Aztecs legitimated their rule by claiming they were Topiltzin’s descendants and they would rule until the return of their god, Quetzalcoatl. When Montezuma met Cortez, he thought that Quetzalcoatl had returned. The myth that justified Aztec power also ironically became the cause of its demise, since the Aztec ruler was paralyzed to ask his warriors to attack a god. The Spanish conquerors took advantage of this weakness with the eventual domination of Spanish colonial rule and the suppression of indigenous cultures.

The study of Quetzalcoatl is complicated by the fact that he takes on many aspects, though underlying motif remains an attempt to reconnect body and spirit. The Plumed serpent becomes a perfect representation of wholeness, since it combines the spirit’s longing for spiritual transcendence, yet the body is the vehicle through which we can serve others. Sublime teachings such as these can be lost when worldly power guides rulers. The balance between the spiritual and physical then is broken.

Personally I developed a fascination with snakes during my childhood in Central India where I grew up in an undeveloped, forested area at that time. I was able to see different species of snakes or their old skin left behind after shedding it. I also heard mythic stories of snakes in Indian folklore. Later in my university life, the myth of Quetzalcoatl piqued my interest and imagination in another direction. Those experiences along with study of Quetzalcoatl, find expression in our novel.

 
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                                                                           Quetzalcoatl: Manifestations of the Feathered Serpent
  Of all deities that can be found throughout the ancient world, none has inspired the human imagination and curiosity more than the concept of the Feathered Serpent from ancient Mexico. The reason for this curious phenomenon would of course be obvious. The elemental concept of the Feathered Serpent is wholly a human conceptualization of nature, consisting of two opposites converging that amounts to a being that was at first a (Feathered) Bird, and then also finally a Serpent. The question then, and which has haunted the contemporary mind for so many decades now is: “How did this Serpent ever become feathered?” There almost seems to be a process involved, now forgotten over the long era’s of time since this deities inception, which came shortly after the  birth of Mesoamerica perhaps now almost 3,000-years ago.  Furthermore, the image and iconography of the Feathered Serpent is in itself intriguing, as the image seems to conjure up so much uplifting emotion, and flights of fancy that relate to the notion of a transformation of the mind, within the environmental entrapment’s of matter that finally congeal pointedly to emerge in the realization of an ultimate oneness that is found between the opposite forces of matter the (Serpent), and the mental spirit or the (Feathered Bird). Therefore, with this intriguing symbol we are summoned to seek the psychological transformation that we innately sense  as our own personal right, and as our ultimate human duty. The intuitive conclusion is that Quetzalcoatl as the Feathered Serpent, is a symbol of the spiritual enlightenment that is found and discovered through the convergence and full consolidation of life’s lessons, which are to be perceived within the infinite potential of the moment at hand. To this degree, the Feathered Serpent is indeed a symbol of personal fulfillment through the endorsement of transformed perception – thus the implication of this deities resplendent  feathers that grace the body of the symbolically rejuvenated reptile.  The very word “Quetzalcoatl,” is a joint Nahuatl word meaning, Quetzal (Bird) and Coatl (Serpent). However, because the deity in concept is older than the Nahuatl language itself, it  has of course then taken on other names throughout the time of Mesoamerican history. For that matter, the deity is a cultural inheritance that was for the most part, previously derived  from the southeastern regions of the rainforests where the ancient Olmec and Maya had once dwelled. One of the oldest monuments dedicated to the likeness of the Feathered Serpent, in fact comes from the rainforest region of La Venta, which displays a priest involved in a ritualistic adornment, and who almost seems to be coiled and emerging, as he is pulled upwards along with the large beaked serpent whose head  travels up towards the heavens with a characteristic crest of feathers indicating its transformed status from one being into another. A being which like a cloud emerges from the lower worlds of water, and evaporates up into the higher worlds of the air through the dynamic element of fire. Indeed, the flight of clouds thru the air is in reality one of the original and preeminent symbols of the Feathered Serpent, since its initial conceptualization with the original agricultural societies within Mesoamerica.
                                                                                                                                               
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                                                                                  Monument 19 from La Venta 
  One of the earliest depictions of Quetzalcoatl, as “The Feathered Serpent,” from the ancient Olmec site of La Venta. The deity as a full fledged concept is plainly pronounced with the depiction of a crest of feathers atop the serpents head, which itself has been endorsed with the beak of a bird to indicate the transformed status of the zoological phenomenon that bridges the opposites of the higher, and the lower worlds as a indication of the precipitation and floral bounty found throughout the rainforests. The human being at the center of the stela does not necessarily itself have to represent Quetzalcoatl as the human archetype found in later representations throughout ancient  Mesoamerica, however it could very well be just that, implying that the figure is beginning a trip into the underworld via the path of the Feathered Dragon.
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  In the premier agricultural realm of Teotihuacan, we find many iconographic displays of this deity’s image strewn all throughout the ancient city. This is especially prevalent upon the frontal decoration of what is presumed to be the temple of this deity at Teotihuacan, where carved serpent heads with crested feather collars alternate with another deity that is presumed to be an ancient version of the goggled eyed rain god later known as Tlaloc. This ancient Teotihuacan version of Tlaloc was previously in those times a war god, whose frightening characteristics of thunder and lightning no doubt then colored his later emergence as a war god, right along with the multitudinous drops of rain that fell like arrows across the land. This is despite this deities previous positioning as an agricultural god, which he would by default naturally retain along with the attractive company of the Feathered Serpent as a companion deity; and or, as an avatar as some prefer to see these two separate deities as operating within the realms of rain, water, and fecundity.
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  The ancient Teotihuacan war god or “Tlaloc,” was first and foremost a solar agricultural deity, which was responsible for bringing the rain waters from within the underworlds of the mountain caves out into the open air in the form of the clouds that then became the much needed and desired precipitation. The legacy of this ancient deity displays clearly the iconographic marks of a bird deity, which are plainly displayed with the curious “goggle eye’s,” so common in many other ancient Mesoamerican deity’s of rain. The goggle eyes are apparently a symbol of the midnight owl who’s flight into the underworld darkness was designed to retrieve the the essence of the water serpent found in the deeps of the mountain caves. As the bird of midnight (the sun) obtained the water serpent, and then rose once again with the serpent within it’s beak, the two beings then merged as one to become a Feathered Serpent, or symbolically the form of a rain cloud also represented by the form of the Milky Way.  This Teotihuacan mural form the De Young Museum collection clearly shows the iconographic mark of the owl with the “owl claw,” that emanates outward from the headdress to the lower right. This is undoubtedly the symbol of the midnight sun with its duty of retrieving the water serpent. The pinnacles within the headdress are apparently snow capped mountains, which contained the watery resource.            The difference which lies between the two deities of Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl is an important question to explore, since they both pertain to the generation of rain storms, and to the abundance of agricultural greenery that is produced therein. However, as both god heads refer to the characteristics of the seasonal onslaught of life giving rain storms, it was the symbol of Quetzalcoatl as the Feathered Serpent that would eventually come to embrace the image of the shifting winds, and even more specifically, to the hurricanes that visit the coasts from the immediate seas where these cyclones are born. Tlaloc on the other hand, is the inland storm whose collective eminence is born from the peaks of mountains where rain clouds gather; or from the massive mountainous white thunderheads that rise from the inland desert floor.    In any case, it seems that the Tlaloc rain god is to be understood as the elder deity, while the Feathered Dragon is to be understood as the cultural aftermath that really is in essence finally an avatar or “reincarnation” of Tlaloc, just as would be the case in: Tlaloc as (Mountain Water Source), and Quetzalcoatl as (Wind and Rain Cloud). Once again however, it would be the difference between the inland environments, and the outward designations of the watery sea’s that should ultimately create a diversion between these two companion deities from an earlier historical standpoint. For that matter, Quetzalcoatl would have previously, early on retained a relationship to the ancient primordial water goddess; the one who we would come to know thru the Nahuatl name as the “Precious Skirt of Jade,” Chalchihuitlicue. This feminine water source deity would be the earlier counterpart of the upcoming masculine Quetzalcoatl, who would later become by reputation as a rain maker, also the male god of water. Finally, in the latest version of Aztec mythologies we see Tlaloc and Chalchihuitlicue as being related thru marriage.  Therefore, it is to be understood that there is a correlation between all three of these deities that would subsist on the most basic and essential element of water and its availability through the seasons. We should take special note of the fact that Chalchihuitlicue serves as the ruler of the day sign of “Coatl,” or the Serpent, which holds a high degree of physical similarity with the movement and flow of waters found within the indispensable rivers of ancient history that were a key source of survival and territorial designation for those times.                                                                                                                                                        2
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  The ancient Teotihuacan version of the water goddess “Chalchihuitlicue,” meaning, ‘Skirt of Jade’. She was the personification of all water sources in the forms of lakes, rivers, and the oceans as well. In this pictograph mural, she is seen pouring fourth the bounty of the waters, which in them contain life forms such as sea shells, and other beings indicating her status as a bearer and a preserver of all life forms. In her headdress, there is the symbol of the Quetzal Bird, which also bears the fangs of the solar Tlaloc Rain deity. The curious headdress itself is a symbolic pictograph of the Milky Way, which in this case also apparently contain the implications of male sexual organs as symbols of fertility. The goddess herself also wears the “Tlaloc Rain Fangs,” as a nose pendant indicting her affiliation to the cult of fertility. 
 
  The opposite of water is fire, and the direct manifestation of the earthly fire is the upward solar fire or sun, which is the true source of rain and its deliverance. When in coming to terms with the ancient Tlaloc deity, one must go beyond singular definitions of godhead, and instead journey into the realm of  the multifaceted manifestations that permeate various monotheistic concepts. In this respect, the ancient Tlaloc is not only the primordial and fecundate earth monster, but it is also the sun that arises out of the bowels of earth at dawn, and that will plunge into the darkness of evening to be finally delivered to the hour of midnight in the form of an owl – the midnight solar bird of darkness. The solar connection of the ancient Tlaloc deity to the owl is obvious, with the trademark goggled eyes that designate this god all throughout Mesoamerican history. The origins of this goggled eyed characteristic are to be found specifically with the Zapotec conceptual rain deity of “Cocijo.” As well, goggled eyed deities are to be found within the Maya realm as well, although usually in more of a subtle form, but nonetheless just as frequently. In short, these goggled eyes, which permeate Mesoamerican iconography could just as well be said to represent the midnight sun. Indeed, the true identity of the ancient Tlaloc deity is the midnight sun, in the form of an owl that finally picks up the water serpent at the midnight hour. Upon rising upward, these two animals merge as one to become a Feathered Serpent, or more specifically the form of a rain cloud. 
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                                                                              Mural 1: Olmec Cave Rock Painting from Oxtotitlan.     These rock paintings that are to be found at the natural rock shelter of “Oxtotitlan,” are said to represent the earliest sophisticated paintings of the Mesoamerican culture, and are dated from about 900 BCE to 500 BCE. The human figure is clearly regarded as a ruler deity or (Quetzalcoatl) who is wearing the contraption of an Owl Costume, and once again representing here the nature of the precipitation phenomenon in the form of the midnight sun, which is an owl that takes up the water serpent that is found within the resource of the mountains, and the caves. The painting itself is a full sky constellation form, with the double avian seat of the ruler representing the Milky Way. From the mouths of the double avian images seem to hang the formation of water serpents; but also at once the frontal version of the image indicates that this is a serpent head with fangs, and so therefore once again indicating the message of the retrieved Feathered Serpent. The Owl Head to the upper left is the constellation of Ursa Major, while the Red Dot above the rulers hand is the star Arcturus. The backward slash symbols or, “\\ \\” are in all probability the specified direction of the spiral arms of the Andromeda Galaxy as they are seen appearing within the Milky Way Arm. (Interpretation from the author: October 2011).     
  Thus, for that matter the true facial identity of the ancient Tlaloc Serpent Mask is that of an owl picking up a serpent with its beak, only that the owl beak for aesthetic reasons has long ago disappeared from the iconographic record. For that matter, it is also true that the Tlaloc Mask also bears features of the “Midnight Mountain Jaguar,” Tepeyollotl, and therefore making this Tlaloc being a mixed combination of owl and jaguar. The fangs of the Tlaloc being indeed are to be understood as elongated drops of rain falling from the bitten ‘rain serpent’, and in essence representing the serpents blood, which has fallen as a result of being consumed by the midnight owl. However, it could also be added that at least in concept that if this ‘ midnight sun owl’ has indeed arrived to the center of the earth, then in keeping with tradition it has in a sense died there as well. Thus, for having caught the rain serpent at the hour of midnight, the midnight bird has died as well along with the water serpent, and now (at least theoretically) the spirit of both beings will emerge to finally rise from the head of the dead owl (now a Jaguar being) as one entity, in the form of the resplendent and luminous Feathered Milky Way being, which is the true iconographic source of the “Quetzalcoatl Concept” since its initial inception so long ago. With this idea we also become more familiar with Quetzalcoatl’s vague iconographic Jaguar affiliation. (From the Author: October 1, 2011). 
                                                                                                                                                     
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   The famous drawing by Alfonso Caso, showing the evolutionary source of the Tlaloc Mask as it stemmed initially from the Olmec sources, and moved simultaneously into the Mayan and Zapotec worlds, and which finally amounted to the Teotihuacan version that would finally become the Mixtec version; which finally became the well outlined and documented “Tlaloc Rain God Mask,” of the later Nahuatl speaking Aztec Civilizations. The mask is principally understood as a Jaguar being, however there are also the overriding implications of the “Midnight Owl,” aspect indicated by the goggles as a symbol of the midnight sun, which takes part in the seasonal precipitation phenomenon.
 

  By applying this intuitive hypothesis variably, we perhaps can now become more acquainted with how the Quetzalcoatl Milky Way being had ever become the symbol of the wind, with the notion that this luminous Milky Way being could indeed be the ‘released spirit’ of the physical midnight sun, which theoretically had died with the water serpent in its mouth within a heroic act of service towards life and humanity.  Of course, the traditional Quetzalcoatl symbol displays the more esteemed and colorful feathers of the Guatemalan Quetzal Bird, and this is perhaps indicative of the difference that is found between the two formulations in the whole process of the resurrection, and diffusion of energy that is finally symbolized with the fecundate, dark-gray bloated rain clouds that vacillate over head. These will bring about the desirable and renewed greenness to the land, thus the implication of the green Quetzal Bird.
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  The Teotihuacan Quetzalcoatl Dragon Maw: A symbol of the Milky Way and the Galactic Center as a source of fertility.   Furthermore, it is the luminous conglomeration of the Galactic Center that seems to be billowing from out of the Feathered Milky Way Dragons Maw. This bright luminous center had become the preeminent symbol of wind and rainfall as this constellation center was seen moving across the southern sky’s during the summer months when the monsoon rains of Mexico were in their season. In its own way, this massive Dragon constellation form seems to be deliberately showering the earth as it moves across the sky. Many murals at Teotihuacan recall just such an image of the early Quetzalcoatl Milky Way being as the deliverer of rain and the following abundance it produces. Also, for that matter however, it would appear that the Milky Way Dragon would also be responsible for the other more powerful forces of hurricanes which battered the land with destructive winds, and that were in turn greatly feared for having the potential to carry off the populace, just as was said to have happened to the 2nd Sun of “Ehecatl Tonatiuh,” as it is seen featured on the face of the Aztec Sunstone. These people of the second creation were said in myth to have been transformed into Monkey’s. In this way, the zoological reference of the Monkey then by default becomes an inherit aspect of the Quetzalcoatl concept.    However, it is precisely where the ancient Milky Way Dragon begins to become more, and more diversified in concept that the initial premonition of the Feathered Dragon as the wind and rain giver, then eventually begins to fade into many other much more numerous, and yet less concise conceptualizations. It could be said for that matter that at some hypothetical point in history, that the Milky Way Dragon had lost its sole identification with the sinuous Feathered Body of the early Serpent form, in order to take on a more resolute and determined role as the servant of man. This change seemed to have taken place sometime after the fall of Teotihuacan, with the later emergence of groups such as the Mixtec’s. Indeed, it is in the Mixtec Codices that we are to find the likeness of a “man-like being,” who emerges and is born from within the core of the heavens, and then takes on the name of “9-Wind,” the birth date name of the conceptualized “Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl,” or “Wind Serpent Man.”  Soon after this point in history, it would then seem that the initial fertile aspect of the Milky Way Dragon had disappeared a little further into the background, in order so that the more male oriented element of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, which was positioned as a being that acted as a cultural curator of the arts, and the sciences could then emerge as an archetype for the new growing communities. It is also true that the iconographic representations listed earlier above and  beginning as far back with the Olmec may have been representing this man like archetype as well, however it becomes even more prominent later in Mesoamerican history.  With this change that was initiated, the priests then began to further construct and advertise a man like entity gifted with the pertinent intellectual skills, and the superhuman prowess that retained some of the earlier supernatural powers of the Milky Way Dragon as being a bearer, and creator of either the constructive or destructive weather conditions that man subsisted on. For that matter, the  Milky Way Dragon was retained as the logo of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, but was also reserved as an iconographic eccentricity that recalled the past, and the greatness of the former civilizations from within Mesoamerica’s ancient foundations.                                                                                                                                                       4
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  Quetzalcoatl from the Codex Laud: Here in the form of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, the male human orientated figure inherits the luminous “Dragon Maw Mask” of the Milky Way, although now more specifically it is the eccentric “Buccal Wind Mask,” often thought of as the relic of an exotic jungle bird. The actual Feathered Serpent can also dawn this mask as well, for in reality the mask initially came from the earlier dragon source anyway. Also however, the mask can symbolize the stars of Leo, where Quetzalcoatl’s royal scepter is to be found as the sun passes along throughout the hurricane season through these and other nearby stars. (From the Author: May 1994). Ehecatl’s function found here on the royal Jaguar seat indicates his status as the god of royal lineages, and the foundation of law and order. The above image may contain some of the legacy about Quetzalcoatl as the high priest who attempted to abolish sacrifice in a acculturated mythological concept, but not necessarily as a historical fact, which it is usually pursued as. The concept and source of the Feathered Dragon is more important to the study and comprehension of the deity, as it comes down to us from the confused mythological histories of Mesoamerica.  For that matter, the brightness of the nearby Galactic Center to the concept of the Dragon Maw, may in itself just as well indeed create a bridge-link between the significance of the brightness of the planet Venus, and the meaning of Quetzalcoatl as well as being related to stellar light sources.    
 
  Also deep within the former glory of the Feathered Dragon as a zoological stellar being, and also as a being, which for having been related to the production of weather it was to also have had by default very specific ‘solar associations’ that were more pronounced with the ‘solar Tlaloc war god affiliation’ that had denoted the cycles of the sun as the seasonal cause of annual precipitation. Along with the daily, and the yearly cycles of the sun, the cycle of Venus as a companion of the sun on its journey throughout the parameters of space and time had been closely noted long ever since the time of Mesoamerica’s beginnings. The connection of the planet Venus to a water and fertility Milky Way Dragon has naturally been lost due to the misappropriation of the stellar cosmologies that once permeated the Mesoamerican psychological landscape. Along with the stellar orientation of the summer solstice sun, we are also to find and discover the most important and brightest star in the sky “Sirius,” shining brightly in the Milky Way Dragons tail near the ecliptic when the sun entered the summer months. Due to the inherit brightness of the star Sirius, and the planet Venus, a simulacrum had been long developed between the two bodies, which could have also hinged on the cycle of the rains found during those summer months when the sun was generally conjunct the star Sirius. With this innate affiliation of the star Sirius and the planet Venus we might finally resurrect a connection between the planet Venus and the cycles of rain that are aptly an integral part of the Quetzalcoatl legacy.  Because the brightness of the star Sirius directly opposes the Galactic Center at the opposite end of the Milky Way Dragon, there may indeed be the bases of a long lost concept of death and resurrection of the solar god head at the two ends of the winter and summer solstices.        
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   Tlaloc-Mixcoatl-Tlahuizcalpantecutli: In this unique aboriginal representation of the Tlaloc Rain Deity, we can see elements of three different godheads stemming from the rain god, with the ancient hunter associations of the Mixcoatl (Cloud Serpent), which bears the red and white stripes of the ‘running blood rain clouds’. For this prevalent aspect, there then is also is a Venus War element that must be acknowledged as well, as we see the deity bearing a shield on his wrist, while he hurls a lighting bolt in the other. The jaw bone deities painted on the vessel also allude to the Venus Warlord principal of this Tlaloc manifestation, which is probably related more specifically to the winter and summer solstice rains.               
  Traditionally, as well the planet Venus had always had associations of war due to its observed cycles falling in conjunction with the various conflicts throughout the land. For this reason, the following archetype of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl was to retain certain attributes of battlefield skills that aided the warrior on the battlefield; these were retained in the form of the Venus War lord “Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli.” These warrior like aspects of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl could even indeed be said to have been initially garnered from the even more ancient deity of “Mixcoatl,” a Nahuatl word meaning “Cloud Serpent,” that also referred to the Milky Way Dragon. The two mythologies of Quetzalcoatl, and Mixcoatl in fact have so much in common that in one corpse of mythologies, Mixcoatl was said to be the father of Quetzalcoatl under his veneration of the date name of “Ce Acatl,” or 1-Reed, which outlined Quetzalcoatl’s  jurisdiction as the Toltec god of warriors. Here again, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli would configure heavily within the Quetzalcoatl mythologies, and more specifically we might even conclude that Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is actually a regenerated derivative of the earlier Mixcoatl aboriginal legacy.                                                                                                                                                      5
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                                                                                                                                             Official Map of the Universe. Copyright. Courtesy of: Tomas J. Filsinger 
Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli: Lord of the House of Dawn, was more likely a derivative of the aboriginal hunter plains deity of Mixcoatl. In this observation, we are more likely to derive a Dragon aspect for the Venus War Lord, which could take on many aspects of the fearful portent that went along with the sight of Venus as both the Morning or Evening Star. Above we see a turquoise back shield made in the image of the god, which encapsulates the four directions. It is being assumed here by this author that the “Bird-Dragon,” aspect of the symbol has been extracted specifically from the southern end of the Milky Way as a Double Headed Dragon. The eye of the deity in this case sits in an area where the summer solstice currently resides, there can also be found as well various stellar filaments that resemble an eye; giving new meaning to the concept of “Gem in Eye.” The mouth in this case incloses the 1st brightest star Sirius, counterpart of the Venus War Lord, and then curves upward geometrically to surmount the 14th brightest star of Procyon.  Orion in this case forms the lower jaw of the Dragon. (Personal Discovery of the Author: 2002).      Both the legacy of Mixcoatl as an ancient aboriginal hunter-warrior, and the legacy of the meaning of the ‘reed shaft’ as an arrow used in the art of the hunt and war may variably and justifiably be related to the star Sirius, and the similar stellar locality of the hunter constellation of Orion.  Indeed for that matter, Mixcoatl in the Mesoamerican mythologies was known as a god of the rains, which was demonstrated by the red and white body paintings that signified a rain of blood falling like water from the whiteness of clouds above; and which were also symbolized by way of a simulacrum with the “White Milky Way Cloud Dragon.” Mixcoatl was indeed related though somewhat confusingly along with Quetzalcoatl to the planet Venus, but this can be further confirmed and corroborated with the star Sirius and planet Venus connection. The legacy of Mixcoatl in Mesoamerica, can very much resemble that of Osiris in the ancient Egyptian world  as a superintendent of the dead signified by the white road of the Milky Way, the passage way to the underworld.
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  Mixcoatl from the Codex Laud. Here we see Mixcoatl in a classic and repeated image of the god attacking a jaguar, and as a symbol of the Milky Way the cat is bleeding. The cat is seen turning around to claw the organ of the naked aboriginal god – in truth this Codice painting is a star map in reverse. The gods organ is the Andromeda Galaxy, while the jaguars paw is the constellation of Perseus. See star map above. (From the Author: October 2011).
 
  Intrinsic to the Quetzalcoatl / Mixcoatl archetypical affiliation garnered through the Milky Way Dragon, and the planet Venus associations, there was to remain as well, the underworld association brought forth from the earlier Mixcoatl blueprint that survived in the newly emerging Quetzalcoatl archetype within the form of his inherit twin deity known as “Xolotl,” who is outlined as specifically a god of death, the place of the underworld, and it’s inherit dark contraption of the ball game. Within this dualistic two fold mythology between Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl, we then find the appropriation of the two different phases of Venus as a Morning and Evening star as being assigned to each one of these two Quetzalcoatl archetypes. Naturally, as Xolotl was to absorb the more dark and deathly element of the Quetzalcoatl religion, this deity would of course be identified with the Evening Star phase of Venus, which follows the sun into the dark underworld after sunset. Accompanying the sun on it’s underworld journey, this deity was aptly to absorb the classic affiliation of the ‘dog servant ‘ companion of the sun through the underworld. The vestiges of Sirius as the “Dog Star,” are evident here with the earlier mention of the Sirius / Venus connection that pervades the cyclic nature of the sun, and it’s celestial journeys through the encampments of night, and the passageways of the ecliptic throughout the year where the sun once again meets with Sirius for a helical setting in May, and later a helical rising in August.                                                                                                                                                        6
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   A unique and rare ceramic mask of a humanoid dog being wearing the “Tlaloc Owl Eyes,” of the underworld. Such a comparative blend of mythological elements proves indeed that the Owl Eyes are an aspect of the underworld, which the sun traverses at night. The dog is the companion of the dead on the journey through the underworld, and often dogs were ritually killed ahead of time to assist the owner in their future deaths. The twin of Quetzalcoatl, or Xolotl, which basically means “wrinkled,” had assigned manifestations of the Lord of the Dead (Mictlantecuhtli). One of these ancient aspects of Mictlantecuhtli was the symbol of the dog as a celestial omen and as the 10th day sign of “Izcuintli,” which is seen mounted on the face of the Aztec Calendar Stone in conjunction with a Sirius star symbol along side the 11th sign of the Monkey. When Xolotl is featured in the Codices wearing the dog head it specifically represents Quetzalcoatl’s Evening Star aspect. Picture is used with permission from the Justin Kerr collection at the Maya Vase website. #6486©
http://www.famsi.org/research/kerr/                                                                                                                                                                                                     www.mayavase.com.

  Due to the dual nature of the Quetzalcoatl / Xolotl archetype, the planet Venus with its dual modes of Morning and Evening Star appearances has been the most formally accepted version of  the Quetzalcoatl identity.  However, this “Venus Archetype,” for the Quetzalcoatl legacy has suffered on certain accounts of iconographic identification since in reality, once again, the true meaning of ‘Quetzalcoatl’ is indeed the image of the “Feathered Serpent,” while Venus can only fulfill the nature of a serpent form conceptually, and perhaps only as being a ‘forerunner’ and providing the official path of the sun on its journey throughout the heavens. For this matter, in reality, as we saw earlier the true identity of the Feathered Serpent image should come to be understood as being originally derived from the Milky Way, mean while the location of the star Sirius within the Milky Way Dragons tail could indeed provide some good evidence for the further associations of the planet Venus to the legacy of the Feathered Dragon and its iconographic designations. However, this does not mean that there are not to be other stellar iconographic legacies that are to be related to the Quetzalcoatl archetype as it was exercised throughout Mesoamerican history.
  Germane to the Quetzalcoatl iconographic legacy is also the scepter that he is often seen carrying, which is called the “xoniquilli,” and which is usually seen encrusted with seven stars that have been said to represent the ‘little dipper’ or Ursa Minor. The specifics of the stellar connection to Quetzalcoatl’s scepter have been outlined by various authors (Brundage.1981:85). Yet along with Ursa Minor, the curved constellation of Leo may configure strongly as well in this regard since the scepter held by Quetzalcoatl has implications of royalty. These royal implications are stressed as well by the location of Ursa Major in the sky, which serves as the rotating pivotal center symbolized by the star Polaris. While authors have noted this inherent connection of Ursa Minor, what has not been well noted, or understood is the fact that a stellar representation of Quetzalcoatl is actually holding the royal xoniquilli in the northern sky. (From the Author: June 1986) This formal image of Quetzalcoatl is indeed the stellar body of Perseus as it appears to be standing on the Pleiades star cluster. For this reason, Quetzalcoatl has been referred to as the “god who stands on the marketplace stars.” This perception is instructively reinforced with the pointed constellation of Cassiopeia that is seen routinely emerging out of the northeastern sky as a symbol of Quetzalcoatl’s pointed “Huaxtec Cap.”     
                                                                                                                                                       7
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  Quetzalcoatl from the Codex Ramirez, and as is seen in the book “Americas Assignment with Destiny,” by Manny P. Hall. Unknown to the general public, and the scholarly community as well, this codice picture actually outlines one of the most important constellation forms in ancient Mesoamerica, which is Quetzalcoatl as the Perseus and Cassiopeia star groups. The Mesoamerican Pleiades symbol are quite evident below this deities foot, and the scepter he bears is also well known and accepted to be the constellation of Ursa Minor. The journey that the Perseus star group makes into the underworld on a daily and seasonal basis provides strong evidence for the legend of Quetzalcoatl’s underworld journey to retrieve the bones of man. The constellation form is routinely seen rising in the north-eastern horizon beginning in the summer months at the time of dawn. This is due to the fact that when the sun is at the summer solstice, that it is also apparent that the constellation form seems to be pulling ahead of the sun at dawn, somewhat in the same sense that the planet Venus moves ahead of the sun as the Morning Star. This constellation form also lies within a vicinity of the Milky Way where it would seem that it is darting out like an arrow of light from the vicinity of the star Sirius. (Specific Discovery of the Author: See T.I.M.E. Chapter above for more details pp. 2 and 3). Also Note: That this constellation discovery was the bases and the inspiration of the painting at the top of this page in the header that was created by the author in 1991.           There then are the legends of Quetzalcoatl as the deity that journeys into the underworld to retrieve the bones of man. At times he is specifically designated as the god Xolotl in this case.  As usual, we are perhaps to retrieve the usual planetary Venus archetype to understand this occupation of the legendary Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl here as the redeemer of man. However, due to the periodic rising’s and falling of the Perseus constellation, we might actually have the bases of the myth that sends Quetzalcoatl into the underworld to retrieve the bones of man, and where he then confronts the Lord of the Dead (Mictlantecuhtli) who tests and challenges Quetzalcoatl before finally tripping him as he tries to flee from the underworld with the bones of man. Quetzalcoatl having been tripped by the Lord of the Dead, then accidentally drops the bones of man, which shatters the bones into numerous pieces. Having been evaded of the Perseus connection of the Quetzalcoatl legacy, we have not yet been able to retrieve the possibility concerning the whereabouts of the broken bones of man. However, in truth, the Pleiades star cluster has been referred to as many things throughout history. In Mesoamerica, they could be thought of as a hand full of seeds, but always they were thought of pertaining to the concept of ‘many’ parts due to their numerous bright appearance. For that matter, one of their current Nahuatl names is known as “Miactin,” meaning ‘many’. Although far from the usual deliverance of narrative information, the facts nonetheless could point to the Pleiades as being the dropped and shattered bones of man. Bones were indeed thought of as the ‘seeds’ of life that were rejuvenated by the labors of Quetzalcoatl. (From the Author: September 23, 2010).        This particular stellar constellation of Quetzalcoatl may have been important to the Xochicalco New Fire Ceremony, which reopened the new 52-year cycle with the date of 2-Serpent. The assumption here would be that the old 52-year cycle was closed with the date of 1-Lizard, which is related to the constellation of Perseus by virtue of the angle that this constellation rises in, and which is found in the north-eastern direction where the 4th sign of the Lizard or (Cuetzpallin) is situated within the 20-day horizontal compass. If this 52-year New Fire Ceremony reopening had taken place on the date of 2-Serpent, in the year of 1-Rabbit, then the date of observance would have been around October 20th. This may have meant that this particular version of the rite was taken care of nearer to the dawn, and as well it is the speculation of this author that it may have involved the situation of the Andromeda Galaxy with respect to the Pleiades, since both stars are located within the Perseus stellar complex. In fact, interestingly, the smaller portion of the Andromeda Galaxy seems to be the expelled breath of this Perseus-Quetzalcoatl constellation as it relates to the star group of Cassiopeia. (See page 10 of the “New Fire Ceremony,” chapter found above).  Of course, as is well known, the name of this 4th sign of the 20-day cycle in the Mayan version is called “KAN,” and specifically refers to ‘ripe corn’. The legacy of the Quetzalcoatl archetype revolves around the rejuvenation of mankind through resurrecting the bones of man from the underworld. Alternatively, Quetzalcoatl is said to have resurrected the corn seed from the same location as well, and then was to mix the two with his own blood to create the new version of man. For the matter of the Mayan day sign, this Perseus star group buried in the middle of the Milky Way Arm indeed can resemble a corn plant as it ‘sprouts’ from the north eastern horizon. On the subject of the origin of the Quetzalcoatl mythology, some would prefer to believe that the earlier Mayan mythology of Hun Nal Ye was to be the precursor to the Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl concept. However, in reality, there are many elements of iconography that displace such a narrowed view point that assigns the origins of Quetzalcoatl specifically to Hun Nal Ye.   For one thing, there never was any specific association of Hun Nal Ye, to the Milky Way Dragon. Nor was there ever any association of Hun Nal Ye to the wind or the rain. Only does this most precise association come through with the death and resurrection of the corn god from the underworld, and the occupation of the ‘twins’ who execute this duty, and who only resemble Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl in concept. For that matter, the reality of the situation is that Hun Nal Ye is more aptly related to the Flayed God of Springtime, Xipe Totec. In truth, this ancient horrific deity is actually the true counterpart to Quetzalcoatl in his more humanoid archetypical form. Indeed, the Perseus star group is also related to Xipe Totec as well. As can be seen in various iconographical representations, both gods wear the conical “Huaxtec Cap,” which is variably related to the Cassiopeia star group. Also, both deities of Xipe, and Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl have the characteristic stripe down the eye and through the cheek. This is firstly an aspect of the Xolotl Dog, and the Huehue Coyotl concept that was then projected upon these two deities by virtue of the stellar location of the Andromeda Galaxy and its barred spiral arm. (From the Author: 2002). The buccal nose mask seen above and so indicative to Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl is borrowed over from the area of the Galactic Center as an initial aspect of the “Feathered Milky Way Dragon,” which was then placed upon the more humanoid Quetzalcoatl archetype.                            
                                                             

                                                                                                                                                       8
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  Xipe Totec from the Codex Laud: Here he is seen as the god of spring, and attending to the planting care of the young corn deity, who is subject to interference from animals and birds. This gods Metztli, which took place in the spring of late February and early March, was also relevant to the placement of the sun within and around the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia. Therefore, Xipe Totec’s 2nd Metztli is indispensable in recognizing that the 18-periods of the year in the Aztec Calendar are not part of a slip cycle, but instead are fixed by virtue of the correction procedure held in every 52-years when the Pleiades reached the zenith at midnight in the year 2-Reed on the day 4-Movement.     
  
   The relative relationship of Xipe Totec, and Quetzalcoatl is reinforced and yet suppressed all at once, with the location of the spring rites of the second 20-day Metztli of “Tlacaxipeualiztli,” and finally the 3rd and 4th Metztli’s of “Tozoztontli,” and “Huey Tozoztli,” the Small and Great Feasts of “Vigilance,” implying ‘penance’. Xipe and Quetzalcoatl are the two gods of penance and sacrifice, except that Quetzalcoatl had become the god of self-sacrifice and penance. This idea is recognized and put forward in the 40-day period of Tozoztli, but strangely these two 20-day Metztli cycles found in late March and April are not ruled by him. It is the supposition of this author that possibly these two Metztli cycles were at one time perhaps related to Quetzalcoatl in other cultures, but were to have been later suppressed by the Mexica-Azteca. If this is by any chance the case, then it is no wonder that Quetzalcoatl has no official rulership of any of the 20-day Metztli cycles found in the later Mexica-Azteca religions. The first smaller feast was officially ruled by the earth goddess Coatlique, while the great feast was ruled by the corn god “Centeotl,” and “Chicome Coatl,” or 7-Serpent; two deities which are variably Quetzalcoatl affiliations. It is also worth noting as well that these two ceremonies took place, and still occur when the sun is within a relative vicinity to the Perseus constellation complex.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
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   The 3rd and 4th Metztli cycles of Tozoztontli, and Hue Tozoztli: “The Lesser and Greater Vigil’s” that were celebrated in late March, and through the latter part of April, were specifically dedicated to the gods of the spring and the blossoming of the earth with flowers and agriculture. The first cycle was ruled by the earth goddess Coatlique (Serpent Skirt), while second greater cycle was ruled by Centeotl, and Chicome Coatl (7-Serpent), and who are both agricultural deities of the of corn growing ritual. Above it can be seen that both cycles have been represented by a stellar constellation represented by a bird being pierced by a bone. These two diagrams, which are both from Diego Duran’s “Ancient Calendar,” specifically show elements of the spring blossoming as part of the environmental scenario. According to Duran, as it was mentioned by him in his manuscript, this stellar formation was thought to be specifically the stars of “Taurus,” and while this idea may be subject to further debate we can still be assured that this is nonetheless a spring ceremony when the sun is approaching the Hades Star Cluster in any case. In the opinion of this author, rather it would seem instead that the bird iconography is not so precise in this case, and that instead the light of the Andromeda Galaxy would represent the bone thrusted into the image of an outstretched bird that is the full extent of the Milky Way. When this is taken into consideration, it can be seen where the constellation form would correspond perfectly with the solar time of year when the sun is just within the vicinity of the Andromeda Galaxy. Other than that the Gemini / Orion / Taurus star groups would be setting in the west at sunset during this time of year. (See star map under page 5 above).              As the theory is generally accepted, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl as a legendary and/or mythological ruler was to have undergone a certain historical expulsion from his empire between 923 and 947 CE. The evidence for such a divine human legacy in Mesoamerica is actually, though not surprisingly very sparse. The uniqueness of a semi-divine ruler has permeated high culture ever since the dawn of major civilizations, and was used to serve as a bases of edict for their ruling classes. The consequences have always naturally resulted in the negative circumstances, or of failure for the semi-divine ruler, who for having succumbed to their own human nature had become derailed by typical community sins. With this natural inclination of the semi-divine ruler as being part human in the first place, a role model was being provided to remind the earthly human rulers of their own mortality, and potential for personal ruin through negligence, and lack of religious vigilance.         The myth of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl is no different in this respect, and for that matter there were many historical rulers and priests who were given the name, title, and role of “Quetzalcoatl.” It is very unfortunate that the general public who briefly peers into the mysteries of ancient Mesoamerica, must become forever sidetracked by relating every aspect of the Feathered Serpent symbolism to the legend of the mythical ruler for the city of “Tollan,” which means the ‘Place of Reeds’ by the archetypical lake of the community of: In Atl, In Tepetl: The place of ‘the water, and the mountain’, which served as the celestial foundation of the human home and community on earth. For that matter, there were to be many Tollans as well, found throughout the land of ancient Mexico, both in concept and in name. Of course, it was the natural reaction of the natives to focus the mythological reputation of a conceptual community history onto their own past and cultural record, in order to serve as a bases for their own social engineering.                                                                                                                                                          9
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  Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl from the Florentine Codex: After the Spanish Conquest Bernadino de Rivera (Sahagun) had written a volume on the myth of Topiltzin (Our Prince) Quetzalcoatl, as advised through native informants. However, despite the implied legitimacy of the former rulers legacy, in truth each and every aspect of this ‘deities’ regalia is a result of stellar iconography: The Pointed Crown, the Curved Staff, the Shelled Earing, the Striped Cheek, and even the pose of letting blood from the shins is of a stellar origin. The Shield? Therefore, what aspect of this ‘deity’ is actually human? Deep within the reservoir of the symbolic language of mythology, and the stellar format from which it is derived, there remains the potential within the development of so many gods arriving from the heavens to finally embody a ‘flesh and blood presence’ about them. This is demanded by the community at large, who would demand that their gods should be as real as they feel they are. For this task of being real, there is also the command that these ‘super-humans’ should also rule them as well. The concept of a celestial emissary has haunted the imagination of man for as long as the concept has been needed to relieve the hardship of political rivalry, and social confusion in a world ruled at large by humans. 
 
  In the case of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, the legacy of his implied rulership centers around the abolishment of human sacrifice throughout the land, and pointing therefore to the controversial need to do so in Mesoamerica. In place of the old edict, the divine ruler only demanded that there should be the sacrifice of butterfly’s, snakes, birds, and other animals, as offerings to the gods. As an aspect of social legitimacy, the offering of one’s own blood was the center piece of the royal edict, which then became part of the essential symbolism repeated within the iconographic legacy associated with the divine ruler. As earlier mentioned above, this may have been part and parcel of the spring rites of “Tozoztontli,” and “Hue Tozoztli,” the Small and Great Vigil, which took place after the rites of Xipe Totec. However, for the mythological reputation associated with Quetzalcoatl as being anti-human sacrifice, the later Mexica-Azteca may have suppressed this aspect of the deities affiliation with those ceremonies. Nonetheless, this spring ceremony affiliation might have been principally recognized in places sacred to the Quetzalcoatl mythology, such as in the ancient city of Cholula, (circa 100-1521 CE) where the largest pyramid in Mesoamerica now stands; and where in truth the original edict for the abolishment of human sacrifice may have actually ever arrived from, if it indeed is true. The city of Cholula was an eventual mecca point for the authority of kings who had arrived there from throughout the land to receive royal legitimacy born from out of the Quetzalcoatl concept.
 
  However, royal lineage was a legacy of Mesoamerica in whole since its beginning, therefore there is no need to associate the bases of the royal lineage with the mythological legacy of Topitzin Quetzalcoatl. Rather instead, the Feathered Serpent concept had gained this aspect of social hegemony, for the very element of reliability and stability that the Feathered Serpent had portended as a good omen pertaining to a generous rainfall, and the blossoming of vegetation that came about as a result. Quetzalcoatl was the myth of plenty, and the promise of fulfillment found in a structured world of divine order. For this reason, his early mythology related heavily to the needs of man for the bases of rain, and the abundant foods it produced. Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent was therefore the god of universal generosity, and an advocate for the survival of man as being apart of his very spirit as the movement of the winds.

  Naturally,
as a part of the overall Milky Way serpent legacy, the virtual image of man was to be found there in the heavens as well. The suggestion has been earlier given by default, with the explanation of so many deities arriving out of the heavens in the basic form of man with his serpent like body, and other serpent like extensions to aid him in the environment. Therefore, the Feathered Dragon had early on in Mesoamerica, had become the god of man both in physical form, and therefore in religious resolution. In Mesoamerica, the 5-fold star created by the 584-day journey of Venus upon the ecliptic may have been a symbol of man’s body, although admitting as well that there is no official word of this found in any codices. Nonetheless, most anything associated with man was associated with Quetzalcoatl as the Feathered Dragon in Mesoamerica; and that included both man’s life at birth, and as well as his death. For this reason when we see the image of a man arriving out of the jaws of a Feathered Dragon in Mesoamerica, we do not necessarily see the image of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl as an ancient king, but rather our own image as a divine mortal of periodic reawakening’s.       
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Aztec Mythology: The Influence of Aztec Mythology on Mexican Culture and History

James W. Salterio Torres
Jordan High School for Careers

Introduction

The impact of the Latin American intellectual explosion in literature dramatically increased the number of books written by Latin American writers translated from Spanish to English and the number of persons reading this literature. After the Mexican Revolution, the awakened interest in Mexican authors (such as Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, Rosario Castellanos, and other writers) in Mexican mythology and culture was reflected in their works.

In art, Mexican mural painters Diego de Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and painter Frida Kahlo expressed their deeply felt Mexican heritage by focusing on traditional pre-Columbian art and artifacts, especially on the art and mythology of the Aztecs.

This unit will introduce students to the Aztec major and minor gods and their attributes and functions within Aztec society. Unfortunately, the rich range of the mythology of the Aztecs has been overshadowed by their belief in their sun’s need for human sacrifice to survive, a practice that was especially repugnant to the Spanish priests, and was a direct cause of the destruction of Aztec temples and religious writings and practices. Enough, however, has survived and been rewritten, often by churchmen themselves, to once again describe these gods and the rites that accompanied their worship. In this unit I shall retell some of these tales.

This unit will describe unique characteristics belonging to each god and his influence in the everyday life of the people. For example, Yacatecutli was a god important to the economy of the state. He was the god of the merchants or pochtecas. Much like the Greek god Hermes, he protected merchants from all sorts of dangers during their travels. Tezctzoncatl, the god of pulque wine, was blamed for the offences of his intoxicated followers, similar to the Greek god Dionysus whose ate, or madness, overpowered his maenads. Others gods are responsible for providing men with sustenance, such as Chicomencoatl, the goddess of corn maize, and the god Opochtli, worshiped by fishermen, who is said to have invented the fishing net and type of spear used by fishermen.

This unit will point out similarities between Aztec mythology and other world mythologies. From the Aztecs’ creation myth and its variations, to the long northern trek of the Aztecs led by their tribal god Huitzilopochtli, who refers to them as “the chosen,” until they received a sign indicating where they should build their capital, Tenochtitlan. Students will compare this journey to Moses leading the Jews from Egypt into the promised land of Israel.

I will use this unit to argue that the Mexican psyche has been enormously shaped by its mythological background and history, that the celebration of the Day of the Dead, the Mexican belief that “la vida no vale nada” (life is worthless), and other aspects of popular Mexican culture are reflections of this mythology, and that this Mexican worldview works itself into literary works, such as Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo, where the protagonist descends to a town called Comala, an allegorical descent into Hell, and walks among and speaks to the dead, while

seeking an almost mythical cacique long since dead and El llano en llamas; Ruben Romero’s La vida inútil de Pito Pérez; Octavio Paz’s brilliant essays on the Mexicans’ fundamental nature El laberinto de la soledad; Agustin Yanez’s Al filo del agua; Carlos Fuentes’ La muerte de Artemio Cruz; and other Mexican writings.

Students will discuss specific authors who have used Aztec mythology, in one form or another in their writings, including the Chilean Nobel prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda in his Canto General. Students will discuss the mythological elements in Carlos Fuentes’ science fiction story Chac Mol, even though the story deals with a Mayan, not an Aztec, deity.

This unit is written for a 12th grade Advanced Placement course in Spanish and Spanish-American Literature. It will expose my Spanish AP students to Mesoamerican mythology, allowing them to study and compare the similarities and differences with the better-known classical Greek and Roman myths. Students will study and use handouts and visual aids, that is, illustrations of the gods taken from the various codices.

This unit will be taught completely in Spanish; therefore, all of the material in the unit will be translated into Spanish.

OBJECTIVES

This unit will meet the following Project Clear for Languages Other Than English (Foreign Language) objectives:

Goal 1: Communication (Reading) 9.1.h Students will read to discover meaning through context and visual clues.

Goal 1: Communication (Writing) 9.1.i Students will write in the target language to convey a message or to exchange information about everyday activities or oneself.

Goal 2: Cultures: 9.2.a Students will describe some of the daily activities of the people of the target language and how this is reflected in their culture and language.

9.2.b Students will locate the major countries and areas of the world where the target language is spoken and identify some well-known personalities as well as some of the characteristics of the people.

Goal 3: Connections: 9.3.a Students will use the language to make connections with other subject areas and to acquire information.

Goal 4: 9.4.a Students will compare and contrast one language and culture to another language and culture.

UNIT BACKGROUND

Foreword

Desde ‘ab inicio’ adoramos nuestros dioses y los tenemos por buenos, así deben ser los vuestros y no cureis más al presente de hablarnos de ellos./Throughout all time we have worshipped our own gods and thought they were good. I do not doubt the goodness of the god whom you worship, so do not trouble to speak to us about them at present. (Díaz del Castillo 317)

Moctezuma’s words to Cortes contain the seed for the destruction of the Aztec religious system by the Spanish Catholic Church. The religious intolerance of the Spaniards, which had been reinforced by their long and bloody reconquista of Spain from the Moors, ending with the expulsion of the Moors and the Jews from Spain in 1492, was in sharp contrast to the Aztec religion, which had already incorporated a great number of ancient Mesoamerican gods into its pantheon. Edith Hamilton contrasts the gods of the Greeks with those of primitive man as follows:

Horrors lurked in the primeval forest, not nymphs and naiads. Terror lived there, with its close attendant, Magic, and its most common defense, Human Sacrifice…These and their like were what the pre-Greek world worshipped. One only need place beside them in imagination any Greek statue of a god, so normal and natural with all its beauty, to perceive that a new idea had come into the world. With its coming, the universe became rational. (4, 8)

It is precisely the Aztec’s desire to make their world rational that gave rise to many, even the most terrifying of their myths. Many of the Aztec gods are agricultural gods, and the need to appease these gods through ritualistic planting and sacrifices is shared by cultures that depend on agriculture. The Aztec’s creation myths are an attempt to explain the origins of the universe and of man. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, human sacrifice, the most disgusting ritual, is normally the focus of a study of the Aztecs and their religion.

The Aztec religion was polytheistic and some of the anthropomorphic gods in the Mexican pantheon were originally human heroes elevated to divine stature, for example Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tula and Mixcoatl among the Chichimecs. Mesoamerican religion is pervasive in every aspect of their culture. In a very crowded pantheon it is difficult to assign lordship over a distinct sphere – sun, moon, maize, pulque or earth – to one specific god. To add more confusion, the Aztec gods often have a number of avatars (e.g. Quetzalcoatl, Ehecatl, Xolotl Tlahuizcalpentecuhtli).

In the end, the Spaniards destroyed Indian libraries, temples, and idols, and other religious manifestations of the Mesoamerican Indians. Most of the accounts and descriptions of the Aztecs and Mayan gods that have survived are seen through a Hispanic prism. But, you only have to attend the Catholic rituals in some of the regions populated by the descendants of the Aztecs and the Maya in Mexico and Central America and of the Incas in Peru, and you will witness the power these religions had to assimilate the gods of other cultures. The semblance may be a normal Catholic mass, but it is always refreshing to see that the conqueror’s religion has been assimilated into the religion of the conquered, which has discovered under the guise of the saints and prophets of the Catholic faith many of their old, familiar gods. They are as familiar to them as when an old, Mexican peasant still addresses corn, the sacred plant, as “Your Lordship.”

The Origin of the Aztecs

About nine hundred years ago, a tribe of Native Americans called the Aztecs were told by their gods that to the south lay a fertile land where they would found a great city. Led by their tribal god Huitzilopochtli, they abandoned their homeland, reportedly Chicomoztoc, or Seven Caves, or, according to other accounts, from another place called by different names, Aztlan and Azcatitlan, probably located in northwestern Mexico. Modern researchers have not been able to locate this site. According to legend, eight different tribes abandoned this site, among them the Mexica-Azteca.

Huitzilopochtli smeared resin on their ears and foreheads and stuck balls of feather-down on them as a sign that they were his chosen people. The god also commanded them to change their name from Aztecs to Mexica. They began an arduous three-hundred-year journey southward in search of a new place to live.

About AD1250 the Aztecs arrived and settled in Chapultepec, or Grasshopper Hill, but they made many enemies among the surrounding tribes by stealing their married women and because of their repugnant sacrifices. They were driven from Chapultepec and forced to hide in the swamps surrounding the Lake of Tezcoco (Lake of the Moon). Later, they settled in some small islands in the Lake of Tezcoco, near what is now Mexico City.

The fertile highland valley in which they settled had been under the rule of the Toltecs who had consolidated their power gradually in the area after founding their capital Tula about AD 950. The Toltecs enjoyed a rich legacy of myths and legends. In 1168, the Chichimecs destroyed the city of Tula and Toltec rule came quickly to an end. When the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico, they found several tribes living in the area, but after the fall of the Toltecs no dominant power had risen to take their place. The Toltecs’ influence over the Aztecs, however, was significant because the Aztecs adopted their culture, including their myths and legends. As historian Nigel Davies puts it:

Basic to the Mexica version of their history is the reported intermarriage of their elite with the Culhua nobility, par excellence, the guardians of the Toltec tradition. This injection of Culhua blood served the Mexica as a pretext, however contrived, to pose as the true heirs of Tula, depicted in Aztec legend as a fabulous city whose temples were faced with gold and turquoise. By virtue of this claim, in their future career of conquest they were merely regaining what was theirs by right, as the ‘Colhua Mexica,’ or the latter-day Toltecs. (224)

Religion permeated every aspect of Aztec life. The Aztecs assimilated many of the gods from other cultures into their pantheon, including such vital gods as Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc, and others, from early Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Toltecs and other neighboring tribes.

As the chosen people of the Sun God Huitzilopochtli, the Aztecs had the divine mission to feed the god the hearts and blood needed to make sure the Sun God had the strength to keep moving through the sky. Rather than apply mechanical methods to meet life’s challenges, the Aztecs applied spiritual methods. For this reason they practiced countless ceremonies, rituals, divinations, magical phrases and formulas to appease or coerce their gods to grant their wishes.

Foundation Myth

The Founding of Tenochtitlán

The witch, Malinalxochitl, sister of the god Huitzilopochtli, did nothing but cause trouble for the Mexica during their long journey from the north. She charmed spiders and scorpions and ordered them to bite her enemies. The Mexica asked her brother, Huitzilopochtli, what could be done with her. “Leave her behind,” he replied, “when she is fast asleep, pick up and leave her behind.” And the Mexica did just that. They left her behind at Malinalco.

When the goddess woke up, she became extremely angry with the Mexica. Malinalxochitl learned that the Mexica were at Chapultepec and ordered her young son Copil to avenge her. Copil went and stirred up trouble among the local tribes against the Mexica. He climbed a hill near Chapultepec to watch the Mexica’s defeat.

But two Mexica priests climbed up the hill behind him and captured him. They sacrificed him, cut out his heart and threw it away near the present site of the Zocalo.

Copil’s heart landed on a rock and from that rock grew a nopal cactus that would later give its name to Tenochtitlán (Place of the Cactus Stone). The date of the founding of Tenochtitlan is generally given as 1324 or 1325, but other dates as early as 1280 and as late as 1362 have been suggested.

Etiological Myth

The Origin of the Nopal Cactus

A long time ago, the Aztecs, who called themselves the Mexica, from whence we get the name “Mexican,” were a tribe that inhabited northern Mexico. The gods spoke to the tribal priests and said to move south to a fertile land where they would found a great city. Led by their tribal god, the warlike and cruel Huitzilopochtli, they began a journey to the south that lasted several hundred years, undergoing many hardships, until they reached a fertile valley surrounded by mountains and two volcanoes. In the middle of this valley was the Lake of Texcoco dotted with large and small islands. Peaceful tribes inhabited the shores of the lake. The Aztecs settled on one of the islands to wait for a sign from the gods, a beautiful eagle sitting atop a plant, where the gods had instructed them to build their capital.

Huitzilopochtli, their tribal god and god of war, was a cruel deity who demanded human sacrifices every day. Soon, the Aztecs were at war with their peaceful neighbors to capture prisoners to sacrifice to the god.

To the North lived Huitzilopochtli’s sister with her husband and their son, Copil. Young Copil grew up hearing stories of his uncle’s cruelty. Copil felt his uncle’s behavior brought shame to the family and it was especially painful to his mother. Copil promised his mother that he would raise an army to capture his uncle and stop the killing and suffering. He reached the shores of the Lake of Texcoco, the Lake of the Moon, and in the distance, in the middle of the lake, he saw the island inhabited by the Aztecs and their god. Tired of the long day’s march, Copil decided to rest his men and make camp for the night. He would carry out his plan early the next morning.

But, little did the naïve Copil know that his uncle had received warning of his approach from his innumerable spies. Huitzilopochtli flew into a rage and angrily ordered three of his priests to paddle across the lake under the darkness of night and, while Copil and his men slept, cut out his nephew’s heart and bring it to him as an offering. At midnight, the three priests paddled across the dark lake, and found Copil and his men asleep after their long journey. The high priest easily cut Copil’s chest open with an obsidian sacrificial knife and ripped out his heart. They brought back Copil’s heart to Huitzilopochtli and asked him what he wanted done with the bloody offering. They were ordered to bury it on the island in the middle of the lake. The next morning they found a green plant with red flowers growing where the heart was buried. The high priest told Huitzilopochtli that the plant was called a nopal cactus. According to the priest, it grew from Copil’s heart to remind them throughout the ages of his courage and nobility. A few days later, the Aztecs saw an eagle with a serpent in its beak standing on top of a branch of the nopal cactus. The Aztecs built a beautiful city on this spot. They called the city Tenochtitlán, the place of the tenochtli, the hard-fruited prickly pear.

Creation Myth

Creation of the Earth and the Sky

The dualistic gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, lightness and darkness, looked down from their dwelling in the sky at the water below. Floating on top of the water was an enormous Earth Monster goddess who devoured all things with her many mouths, for the goddess had gaping mouths at the knees, elbows and other joints.

Everything the twins created, the enormous, floating, terrible, insatiable goddess ate. The twin gods, normally implacable enemies, agreed she had to be stopped. They transformed themselves into two enormous, slithering snakes, and slid silently into the dark, cool water, their cold eyes and flicking tongues seeking her body.

One of the snakes wrapped itself around the goddess’s arms and the other snake coiled itself around her legs and together they tore the immense Earth Monster goddess in two. Her head and shoulders became the earth and her belly and legs became the sky. Some say Tezcatlipoca fought the Earth Monster goddess in his human form and the goddess ate one of his feet, therefore his one-legged appearance. Angered by what the dual gods had done, and to compensate for her dismemberment, the other gods decided to allow her to provide the people with the provisions they needed to survive.

From her hair were created the trees, the grass and flowers; from her eyes, caves, springs and wells; rivers flowed from her mouth; and hills and mountains grew from her nose and shoulders.

The goddess, however, was unhappy, and after the sun sank into the earth the people would often hear her crying. Her thirst for human blood made her weep, and the people knew the earth would not bear fruit until she drank. This is the reason she is given the gift of human hearts. In exchange for providing food for human lives, the goddess demanded human lives.

Virgin Birth of Huitzilopochtli

Our mother, the earth goddess Coatlique, was impregnated by an obsidian knife and gave birth to Coyolxanuhqui, goddess of the moon, and male children, the stars. She was doing holy work at Serpent Mountain, near Tula, when she picked up a ball of feathers and tucked it in her bosom. She looked for it later, but it was gone. Coatlique soon realized she was pregnant. She told her children, the moon and the stars, the story, but they did not believe her. The gods grew angry because a goddess could only give birth once to an original brood of gods and they vowed to kill her. They gathered an army led by the moon goddess Coyolxanuhqui. High above in the mountain shrine, Coatlique heard their raised voices planning her death. She shivered in fear, but then she heard a voice from her womb telling her to not be afraid and that her new child will protect her.

At that moment, Coatlique gave birth to Hutzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war, who sprang forth fully grown and fully armed from her womb, much like Athena from the head (or some say thigh) of Zeus. With the help of a xiuhcoatl, or fire-snake, he killed and decapitated his sister, Coyolxanuhqui, tore her body into pieces, and threw the pieces into a mountain gorge where her body lies dismembered forever. He threw her head into the sky, which became the Moon. Then he scattered and killed his four hundred brothers who became the stars. This victory established Huitzilopochtli as the principal god in the Aztec pantheon.

Hero Myth

The Myth of Tepoztecatl

According to Tepoztlan oral tradition, Tepoztecatl’s mother was a young virgin who would go to the river every day to wash clothes. As she dashed her clothes against the rock a small bird landed on her shoulder and danced on it. A short time later, the virgin became aware the she was pregnant. Ashamed, she told her parents and added that the only contact she had was with a bird. Determined to hide her and her family’s dishonor, they decided they would get rid of the baby. They made several attempts; on one occasion, the baby’s grandfather threw him from a cliff hoping to dash him against the rocks below, but the winds carried and deposited the baby safely onto a plain; on another occasion, they left the baby near some maguey plants to starve, but the maguey plants bent over and gave the baby honeyed-water to drink; and then he was thrown among giant, black ants, but instead of biting and devouring him, they fed him. Finally, they placed the baby in a box and tossed it in the river, but on that day two old villagers named El Coli and La Nana heard the baby’s cry and rescued him from drowning. And they raised him as their own.

 

The boy grew tall and strong. He asked La Nana to knit him a matlat or net bag, and he asked El Coli to make him a bow. With his matlat and his bow, he ventured out into the hills to hunt game and collect obsidian stones.

Near Tepoztecatl’s home lived a monster-serpent called Mazacoatl. Every year the village had to sacrifice one of its oldest citizens to the monster-serpent. One year the villagers chose El Coli to be sacrificed to the beast. Tepoztecatl decided he would face Mazacoatl in his father’s place. During their encounter, the giant serpent swallowed him whole; however, it also swallowed Tepoztecatl’s obsidian knife. Tepoztecatl knifed his way through the belly of the beast, killing it instantly.

Then, Tepoztecatl smoke signaled his victory to the people in the valley who immediately began celebrating the god’s victory at the house of the family with the largest patio in the village of Tepoztlan. All of the villagers came to the celebration dressed in their finest clothes.

Soon, a stranger arrived dressed in dirty, ragged, linen clothes. Mud covered his feet and body. The host of the party was angered by the uninvited guest’s appearance and asked him to leave. No one had recognized the god underneath the mud and the dirty clothes. Tepoztecatl returned to his temple angry and sad. He washed in a stream and put on his finest white, cotton clothes embroidered in bright colors and flashing feathers, and his sandals, symbols of his lordship. Then, he descended to Tepoztlan where he was received with the great admiration, reverence and honor a god deserves. The feasters offered him the most exquisite food and drink and were surprised the god did not open his mouth to eat but instead offered the food and drink to his clothes.

“You feed the clothes, not the man,” the god told everyone present. “I am the same shabbily-dressed, mud caked man you turned away. I had just knifed my way out of the belly of the beast.” The god lowered his majestic head, his precious feathers quivering in the air, and he cast his shining eyes upon the host and his family. “Now that I am dressed in my divine clothes you wish to honor me. But you failed to do so when I first appeared as an honest, poor, unknown stranger. Pointing his finger at the man who had offended him earlier that day, Tepoztecatl thundered an awful punishment. “I order you and your family to leave this valley!” (Miguel Ibarra’s The Myth of Tepoztecatl translated and edited by the author)

Since then, when a Tepoztlan family organizes a feast, they do not deny anyone entrance and they do not ask for the name of any unknown guests. They treat all who enter with respect.

Aztec Gods and Goddesses

Creators

Ometeotl

The creator of all things, an androgynous god whose masculine and feminine sides are Ometecuhtli, Lord of Duality, and Omecihuatl, Lady of Duality, also known as Tonacatecuhtli, Lord of Sustenance, and Tonacacihuatl, Lady of Sustenance. This cosmic pair gave birth to four gods: Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, and Chalchiuhtlicue, who would later create the Four Suns and all of the other gods. Responsible for the creation of the world and the gods, he had nothing to do with the creation of mankind. He is said to have created the earth on the back of a giant crocodile. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

Sun, Moon, and Venus

Huitzilopochtli (left-handed hummingbird) Lord of War and Thunderstorms, Lord of the Sun

The most important god in the Aztec pantheon is Hutzilopochtli. He is the Aztec’s own special tribal god and a patron saint of the nobility. He led the Aztecs on their lengthy and perilous journey from the North and gave them the sign – the eagle and the serpent on top of a nopal cactus – for the spot where they would found their capital Tenochtitlan.

Huitzilopochtli is the son of the virgin goddess Coatlique and is said to have sprung from her womb fully grown and in battle-gear to save his mother from being killed by her daughter and sons. He is the Aztec ’s answer to the Greek war god Ares. Huitzilopochtli is very robust, has extraordinary strength and is a very belligerent destroyer of cities and slayer of peoples. His adversaries fear him as living fire. As protector of the sun, he puts the night gods to flight. Also, he is a necromancer able to change himself into the shape of birds and beasts.

Huitzilopochtli is pictured wearing a helmet in the form of a hummingbird ’s head and holding a terrible snake-dragon that breathes fire from its mouth. He carries a shield (chimalli) with five balls of down, and also darts and bow and arrows. He is a relative latecomer, but his primacy before and after the founding of Tenochtitlan is not to be doubted. During the migration and the settlement in a new place, Huitzilopochtli was the driving force. But like Dionysus, he is a new comer and is seen as the usurper of the supreme role of Tezcatlipoca in Mesoamerica.

(Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borbonicus)

Quetzalcoatl (Plumed or Precious Serpent) Lord of the Morning Star, Lord of the Wind

 

Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, also known by the names of his avatars or nahaulsTlahuizcalpantecuhtli, Lord of the House of Dawn, or Morning Star, or Venus, Ehecatl, Lord of the Wind, Ce Atl (One Reed) and Xolotl (Monster), and White Tezcatlipoca to contrast him with the black Tezcatlipoca. An ancient Mesoamerican deity, he is one of the main gods worshipped by many Mexican and Central American civilizations, including the Olmec, the Mixtec, the Toltec, the Maya and the Aztecs. The Mayans call him Kukulkan and the Quiche Gukumatz. He is the god of life and fertility. He is the creator of man, for whom he invented agriculture and to whom he gave the calendar. He gave man maize corn, having stolen kernels of corn by changing into an ant and stealing them from the ants that had hidden it. He is the patron of many arts and industries. He is also the patron of twins, being himself a twin god.

 

Quetzalcoatl was the creator of the Second Sun that was knocked from the sky and destroyed by his dualistic opposite Tezcatlipoca. Quetzalcoatl was deceived by his avatar Tezcatlipoca into committing a sin with his sister and went into exile on a raft of serpents. He promised to return in the year Ca Atl; unfortunately about the time Cortes appeared in Mexico, with devastating results for the Aztec Empire.

Quetzalcoatl’s appearance is as follows: he wears a pointed ceremonial hat on his head with quetzalli plumes. The hat is painted like a jaguar’s skin. His face and body were stained black and he wears a worked, loose fitting shirt reaching down to his waist. He wears turquoise earrings, a gold collar with small, precious, marine shells hanging from it, and on his back an emblem resembling flames. His shoes are made of jaguar skin, in his left hand he carries a painted shield with five angles and in his right hand he carries a scepter. He is the temple’s high priest.(Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borbonicus)

Tezcatlipoca

(Smoking Black Mirror) Creator of Fire, Lord of Death, Lord of the Night Sky, Warriors, Jaguars and Sorcery

 

In the Toltec’s dualistic belief system, Tezcatlipoca is Quetzalcoatl’s opposite but equal god. Smoking Black Mirror is the black god who can assume any shape, is omnipotent and omnipresent, and is connected with the night sky, stellar deities, the moon, and with night monsters of evil and destruction. He is the god of night, patron of highwaymen, of sorcerers, and of mysterious goings-on. In the place of a leg bitten off by the Earth Monster, he wears a smoking mirror. When he is on earth he causes wars, enmity, and discord. Called the “fomenter of discord on both sides” he provokes one group to war upon another; and only he understands the world order, and he alone gives man prosperity and fame when it pleases him.

He is the most important god of the priests. He is an enemy of Huitzilopochtli and of Quetzalcoatl, and is symbolized as a jaguar, whose spotted skin represents the night sky. He is connected with all phases of native religion because of his many functions, attributes, and disguises.

Tezcatlipoca is usually depicted holding a dart in an atl (spear thrower) in his right hand and his shield or mirror with four spare darts in his left hand. In his mirror he can see the actions and deeds of mankind reflected. He wears a round leather ring with a yellow ribbon on his chest that symbolizes eternity (anahuatl), which his three brothers occasionally borrow. His face is striped black and yellow.

He is the avenger of secret sin, the punisher of crime, and a god who can bring luck and good things, but who is often quick to take offense, becoming destructive and evil. He will take on a grotesque human form to give battle to warriors who are alone at night, testing their courage. A warrior who seizes Tezcatlipoca can ask as a ransom a number of maguey spines, signifying the number of prisoners he will capture in his next battle. A gruesome disguise the .god sometimes assumed is a headless body with two doors in his chest that open and close and make a noise like a tree being chopped down with an axe. (Redrawn from the Codex Borgia)

Tlahuizcalpentecuhtli, Lord of the Star of Dawn, Venus as Morning Star

Another avatar of the god Quetzalcoatl, as the morning star he is known as Tlahuizcalpentecuhtli, which means literally “the Lord of the Star of Dawn.” He is the inventor of books and the calendar, the giver of maize corn to mankind, and sometimes a symbol of death and resurrection because the morning star also dies and is reborn each day. Quetzalcoatl is also the patron of priests and the title of the Aztec high priest. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

 

Xolotl, Lord of the Evening Star

Another avatar of the god Quetzacoatl, Xolotl is also the god of fire and of bad luck. He is a celestial twin of Quetzalcoatl, the pair being sons of the virgin Coatlique, and he is the evil personification of Venus, the Evening Star. He guards the sun when it travels through the underworld at night. He also brought forth humankind and fire from the underworld. His abilty to change shapes makes him a patron of magicians and sorcerers. He is the god of monsters and of twins, and is also associated with dogs. He is also a patron of the Mesoamercian ballgame. He is identified with Xocotl as being the Aztec Lord of Fire. Xolotl is depicted as a skeleton, a dog-headed man or a monster animal with reversed feet. (Restored by the author form the Codex Borgia)

Tonatiuh, Lord of the Sun

The Aztecs believe the sun takes different forms at different times of the day. He is reborn every day as the ancient god Tonatiuh. He is a young, vibrant man with an ochre and red painted face and a red painted body. At its zenith, the sun turns into Huitzilopochtli. As the sun descends it is devoured by the Earth Monster Tlaltecuhtli; by night, the sun travels through the dread realms of the underworld Mictlan in the shape of Tepeyolohti, a jaguar named “Heart of the Hard Mountain.” Dawn is a time for concern. The moment of transition between dark and light might be the world’s last. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

Coyolxanuhqui (Golden Bells) Lady of the Moon

Coyolxanuhqui (which means “golden bells”) is the goddess of the Moon. She is the daughter of Coatlique and sister of Huitzilopochtli. She was slain and her body was dismembered by Huitzilopochtli. He threw her head into the sky — it became the Moon. A frieze shaped like a shield was found at the base of the Great Temple in Tenochtitlan that depicts Coyol-xanuhqui lying on her side. Her arms, legs and head have been cut from her body. She is drawn with balls of eagle down in her hair, a bell symbol on her cheek, and a skull at her belt. (Drawn by the author from the above-mentioned frieze).

Itzpapalotl

(Obsidian or Clawed Butterfly)

 

Star goddess is associated with fire and lightning. She is depicted disguised as a butterfly or wearing a suit studded with obsidian knives on its wings. She has a skeletal face and rules over Tomoanchan. She wears a cape that makes her invisible. Her fingers are like a jaguar’s claws and her feet are like an eagle’s talons. She is considered the collective archetype of wisdom and is a powerful sorceress. (Restored by author from the Codex Borgia)

 

Earth and Fertility

Xipe-Totec (Our Lord the Flayed One) Lord of Fertility and Springtime

 

 

Xipe-Totec is the god of spring and fertility. His cult is especially repugnant to us because of his ritual that consists of skinning a slave alive and having his priest wear the flayed skin symbolic of the rebirth of earth renewing its mantle of vegetation. Xipe –Totec is pictured wearing the skin of a flayed human being laced up the back, and his body is painted red and white. During tlaxipeoalitzi, a 20-day celebration to this god, a band of his followers wear the skin of flayed prisoners and fight with another band of brave soldiers. After the game, the worshippers go from door to door and demand alms for their god. They are rewarded with strings of corn place around their necks and pulque. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

Xochipilli (Principal Lord of the Flowers) Lord of Games, Dance and Love

 

Xochipilli is the god of love, games, beauty, dance, flowers, maize, and song. He is also known as Macuuilxóchitl (five flowers) and is the god who most often dwells in the homes of gentlemen and the palaces of princes. Feasts are held in this god’s honor and all who celebrate must fast for four days before the feast. If any man has contact with a woman or a woman with a man during this fast, the fast is pronounced tainted. This annoys Xochipilli, and he will spread such diseases as hemorrhoids and rot to the private parts of those who break it. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

Cioacoatl or Coatlique, The Earth-Mother Goddess

The Earth-Mother Goddess is called the “Snake Woman” or the “One with the Serpent Skirt.” She is also known as Tonantzin, which means “Our Mother.” Coatlique is the mother of Huitzilopochtli. This goddess brings adverse things like poverty and ruin. The dress and ornaments of this goddess are white. Her hair is arranged to look like two horns crossed on her forehead, she carries a baby’s cradle on her back, and she will go to the market, mingle among other women and leave the cradle there. When the other women notice that the cradle has been left behind, they look to see what is in it and will find a flint rock as hard as an iron lance with which the sacrificed are killed. And people know the goddess Coatlique has left it there.

Centeotl, The Lord of Maize

Centeotl, or Cinteotle, is the god of maize or corn. He is pictured as a young man with his body painted yellow. He has ears of corn on his headdress, back or in his hands. He has a distinctive black line drawn that runs from his forehead down his cheek to his jaw. (Redrawn from by the author from the Codex Borgia.)

 

 

 

Chicomecoatl

(Seven Serpents) or Xilonen(The Hairy One) Lady of Vegetation, Ripening Corn and Sustenance

 

Chicomecoatl is Tlaloc’s sister; she is also known as Chicomolotzin. She carries the nickname “The Hairy One” because of the tassels that grow on corn. She is the goddess of vegetation, maintenance, ripening corn and of sustenance, what is eaten as well and what is drunk. She is pictured with a red-painted face, a four-sided paper crown on her head, and flowers on her dress and blouse. In her right hand she holds a glass, in her left hand a shield with a large flower. The adornments on her feet, known as cueitl, and her skirt, or uipilli, and sandals, are all red. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Maglabecchiano)

Xochiquetzal

(Precious Flower or Flower Feather) Lady of Flowers and Weaving

 

Xochiquetzal is the Goddess of Love, fertility, flowers, pregnancy and manual and domestic skills. She is the Mother of the twin gods Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl. She was married to Tlaloc but kidnapped by Tezcatlipoca. Other versions have her married to Macuuilxochitl or to Xochipilli. She is also associated with the ball game. In appearance she has her hair fixed in double trellises or has two quetzal feathers on her head. She wears a checkered shirt. She is the patron of wives, prostitutes, lovers, weavers, painters and sculptors. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Mayahuel, Lady of the Maguey Plant

Mayahuel is the sister of the Tlaloques and of Centzontotchin. She is depicted as a beautiful young woman and a maguey plant.

She represents the maguey plant and all of its products which include not only the fermented drink pulque, but leaves for burning of roofing, roots for making food or sugar, needles and nails, fiber for twine and clothing, and candy. The maguey plant forms part of her body, and she has pulque foam in her hair or dress. She is often conceived of as full of milk and having one hundred breasts.

 

Mayahuel is also the goddess that brought love to mankind; Quetzalcoatl fell madly in love with Mayahuel, the granddaughter of one of the terrible night-demons called tzitzimine. Quetzalcoatl stole her away to Mesoamerica where the two expressed their love by turning into an entwined two-fork tree. Mayahuel’s enraged grandmother tracked her down. Mayahuel was torn to pieces by her grandmother and a host of tzitzimine who fed on her flesh. Weeping, Quetzalcoatl buried the goddess’s remains. His tears saturated the earth. In time the remains of Mayahuel grew into the maguey cactus from which men and women learned to make pulque from the cactus’s milky sap. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Tlazolteotl, Lady of Fertility, Love and Eater of Filth or Sin

Lady of Fertility, the Purification of Filth, Sickness and Excesses, she embodies the dual aspects of goddess of fertility and childbirth and goddess of purification of filth, lust, and sexual excesses. In her role as sin eater, she comes to a man at life’s end and “confesses” him and cleanses his soul by eating its filth, or sins, if he is willing to make amends and perform the penitential acts prescribed by her priestesses. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Nuttal)

 

Death and Destiny

Tezcatlipoca (See Sun, Moon, and Venus)

Rains, Winds, and Waters

Tlaloc, Lord of the Rain

Tlaloc Tlamacazqui, also know as Nuhualpilli, is the god of rain and fertility. He brings the rains to irrigate the earth, and the rains make grass, trees, fruits and other goods grow. He also sends hail, and lightning, and thunder, and storms, and the dangers of the rivers and the seas.

 

Called Tlaloc Tlamacazqui means that he is the god that inhabits the earthly paradise and gives men the sustenance they need to live. Responsible for floods, Tlaloc is the force that brings the rain and droughts. He is commonly depicted as a goggle-eyed blue being with fangs. (Redrawn from the Codex Borbonicus)

Ehecatl, Lord of the Winds and Birds

Using the attributes of Ehecatl, Lord of the Winds, Quetzalcoatl represents the winds that bring the rain. He sweeps the path for the gods of rain as evidenced by when rains are preceded by great gusts of wind and dust. His breath moves the sun and pushes away rain. He fell in love with a human girl named Mayahuel and gave mankind the ability to love so that she could return his passion. He is depicted wearing his “wind mask,” a bright red mask in the form of a protruding beak or nose and mouth that covers his lower face. (Redrawn from the Codex Borgia)

 

 

Chalchiuhtlique, Lady of the Water

Chalchiuhtlique is said to be the sister of the rain gods called tlaloques. She is worshipped because she has power over rivers and the seas to drown those who traveled these waters, to create storms and whirlwinds in the water, and sink ships, boats, and other barks that move through the waters. Those who worship this goddess and celebrate her rites are all those who have their farms in the water, those who sell water from their canoes and those who sell water from earthen jars in the plaza. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borbonicus)

Itztlacoliuhqui, Lord of Winter, Cold, Stone and Punishment, and Blind-folded Justice

Itztlacoliuhqui is the god of coldness and of punishment. He is usually drawn blindfolded and colorless except for his neatly sculpted black obsidian face. He carries a tlachpanoni(decorated straw broom) in his hand as a symbol of cleansing.

 

(Restored by the author from the Codex Borbonicus)

 

Hunting

Mixcoatl (Cloud Serpent) Lord of Hunting

He is one of Tonacatecuhtli and Cihuacoatl’s four children. Mixcoatl is identified with the Milky Way, the stars, and the heavens. In the Aztec pantheon his role is lesser that Huitzilopochtli’s. He is often worshipped as the red aspect of Tezcatlipoca. He is represented with a black mask over his eyes and distinct red and white candy stripes on his body. He carries a bow and arrows and a net or basket to carry dead game. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Opochtli (The Left-handed One) Lord of Hunting, Fishing and Bird-Snaring

This god is included among the gods called Tlaloques, which means “Inhabitants of an Earthly Paradise.” Opochtli is said to have invented fishing nets and a harpoon-like instrument called minacachalli which has three points in a triangle, like a trident, and is used kill fish and birds. He also invented snares to kill birds and oars to row. When worshippers hold a festival for this god, the fishermen offer him things to eat and the wine they drink which is called uctli, or by another name pulque. They also offer him stalks of green corn and white incense called copalli. (Restored by the author from the Codex Rios)

 

Fire

Huehueteotl or Hiuhtecuctli (Lord of the Year) Lord of Fire

This god is know by many other names, among them Ixcozauhqui, which means “yellow-faced,” another is Cuezaltzin, or “Flame of Fire,” also Huehueteotl, which means the “Ancient or the Oldest of the Gods,” and finally Tata which means “Our Father.” He is represented as a wrinkled old man with one tooth, bent over or squatting, with brazier on back or head. Everyone considers him as his father when one considers all that he does. He burns, and his flames rise and consume things causing fear. At other times he causes love and reverence. He provides warmth to persons who are cold. He cooks meat to eat, and roasts, boils, toasts and fries food to eat. He makes salt and thickens honey; he makes carbon and coal; he heats the bath waters to bathe in; and he makes the oil called úxitl. He heats up the lye and the water to wash dirty clothes. And at festivals, he is always the last one to arrive because he walks very slowly, indicating his antiquity. (Drawing from the Codex Borgia)

 

War

Hutzilopochtli (See Sun, Moon and Venus)

Traders

Yacatecuhtli, Lord of Merchants or Pochtecas, Traders and Travelers, and Birds

Yacatecuhtli, like the Greek Hermes, is the god of merchants, traders and travelers. He is pictured with white and black facial decorations, his hair is bound in a high sheaf, and he carries a staff and a flywhisk. He is honored by having his statues wrapped in paper wherever they are found. Merchants hold their walking stick, a massive cane called an utlatl in high esteem. They carry these walking sticks when traveling and when they arrive at a place they are to sleep, they gather all of their sticks in one bundle and tie them together, lay them at the head where they are to sleep and spill drops of blood in front of them from their tongue, ears or arms and legs; they offer copal and light a fire that burns before the walking sticks which they hold as the image of the god himself. This is their way of asking for the god’s protection from all dangers. (Restored by the author from the Codex Fejervany Mayer)

 

Ancestral Gods/Cultural Heroes, and Others

Chantico (She Who Dwells in the House) Lady of the Hearth and Volcanoes

Chantico is the goddess of fires in the family hearth and volcanoes. She wears a crown of poisonous cactus thorns, and takes the form of a red serpent. Tonacatecuhtli changed her into a dog for eating pepper on a roasted fish violating a day pepper was banned. (Restored by the author from the Codex Rios)

 

Queztalcoatl-Topiltzin, Another attribute of Quetzalcoatl

Huitzilopochtli (See Sun, Moon and Venus)

Mixcoatl (See Hunting)

Medicine and Foods

Patecatl, Lord of Healing and Fertility. Lord of the Pulque Root

Patecatl is the god of healing, fertility and the discoverer of peyote. He is the consort of Mayahuel and the father of the Centzon Totochin (The Four Hundred Rabbits), the divine rabbits, and the gods of drunkenness. Like Mayahuel and the Centzon Totochin, Patecatl himself is a god of pulque, the alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant. (Redrawn by the author from the Codice Borgia)

 

Underworld (Mitlan)

The Mesoamerican underworld was a frightening place. It was the resting place of all persons who died but escaped a violent death. Mictlantecuhtli and his wife Mictecacihatl ruled over the underworld where they live in a house without windows.

 

Mictlantecuhtli, God of the Underworld

Lord of the Land of the Dead. With a skull for a head, is often accompanied by skulls and bones. He wears a diadem called Xihuitzolli and paper rosettes. He is painted as a bleached-white skeleton with red blood spots, and long, curly, black hair sprinkled with stars. His clothes are strips of bark paper. He has huge claw like hands that can rip a body into pieces. He wears a necklace made of eyeballs and his liver hangs from a hole in his stomach. He wears sandals to show his lordly standing. He is the patron god of dogs. (Redrawn by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Mictecacihuatl, Goddess of the Underworld

Queen of the Land of the Dead she is the wife of Mictlantecuhtli. She is said to keep watch over the bones of the dead and also to preside over the festivals of the dead. She and her husband live in Mictlan in a house without windows.

Paynal, Swift Runner

Painal is Huitzilopochtli’s second in command. When Huitzilopochtli decides to make war against a province, Painal moves swiftly to meet the enemy, because painal, which means “speed,” or “celerity,” is always necessary in war. This god wears a black mask with white dots on the edge. His body is stained with blue and yellow paint.

 

During a feast held in his honor, one of the satraps takes his image made of rich ornaments and leads a lengthy procession during which the god’s image is carried at a run by him and other of the god’s worshippers. This ritual represents the speed needed to face the enemy who often unsuspectingly run into ambushes. (Restored by the author from the Codex Rios)

Ciuapipilti or Ciaopipilli

The goddesses called Ciuapipilti are said to be women who have died giving birth to their first child and have been elevated to the position of warriors and goddesses. They fly through the air and appear before the living at will. They give children diseases such as palsy by entering the body. They lie in wait at the crossroads to cause harm. For this reason parents forbid their children from leaving the house on certain days of the year so they will not be harmed when these goddesses descend from the sky. And when someone gets palsy or falls suddenly ill, these goddesses are to blame. This is the reason feasts are held in their honor and during these feasts they are offered bread shaped into different figures in their temple or at the crossroads.

Napatecutli

One of the Tlaloques, he is the god who invented the art of making mats know as petates, seats called icpales, and cane screens called tolcuextli, and that is why artisans engaged in this craft worship him. By his virtue, sedge, reeds, and canes sprout and grow. He is also a rainmaker. His worshippers hold celebrations in his honor to demand he give them the things he normally provides such as water, sedges, reeds, and canes.

Napatecutli is represented as a man dyed in black except for a few white specks on his face. He wears a paper crown painted black and white. In his left hand he carries a shield shaped like a water lily and in his right hand he holds a stalk of flowering paper flowers.

Tepoztecatl or Tezctzoncatl, Lord of Pulque

Tepoztecatl is the Lord of pulque, drunkenness, fertility, and rabbits. One of the four hundred children of the god Pantecatl and Mayahuel he is associated with fertility cults and with Tlaloc.

The Aztec religion is open, their pantheon is hospitable, and this is why Tepoztecatl, a rustic god of the harvest, a local deity worshipped by agricultural people of Tepoztlan, easily found his way in. Tepoztecatl’s temple is found on a hillside near the town of Tepoztlan.

Tepeyollohti or Tepeyollotl (Heart of the Mountains) The Jaguar God

 

Tepeyollohti, the most important of the jaguar gods, is the god of earthquakes, echoes and is associated with the night, caves and the Underworld. He is related to Tezcatlipoca. He is depicted as a jaguar leaping towards the sun. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Huehuecoyotl (Old Coyote). The Trickster God, the God of Deception

Huehuecoyotl, Old Coyote, the Trickster, god of deception, this god is a prankster who loves to pull pranks on people and on the gods. Sometimes, he unwittingly pulls pranks on himself. The god is a shape-changer. He is able to turn himself into any shape, animal or human. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

 

 

Chalchihuitotolin (The Jeweled Fowl)

Chalchihuihtotolin is a powerful sorcerer. An avatar of Tezcatlipoca he tempts human into self-destruction. When he takes on the shape of a guajolote or turkey, he can cleanse men of contamination, guilt and overcome fate. (Restored by the author from the Codex Borgia)

Tzitzimitl (Star Demon of Darkness

The most feared of all demons are the tzitzimene. To initiate a new 52-year cycle, the people put out all fires and wait in darkness for the conclusion of the New Fire ceremony. Priests stand on the Hill of the Stars at midnight the day before the New Year to see if Venus, or the Pleiades pass overhead. Then, they sacrifice a victim and start a New Fire in the chest cavity of the victim. It is believed that if the New Fire is not created on the Hill of Stars, the tzitzimene will attack the sun and also dive headfirst from the heavens and destroy earth. The tzitzimeneare usually considered women and are compared to spiders hanging upside down from their thread.

 

The tzitzimenes are most to be feared during an eclipse of the sun or the moon when they dive down from their dwelling in the sky and devour humans. (Restored by the author from the Codex Magliabechiano).

LESSONS PLANS

This unit will meet the following Project Clear for Languages Other Than English (Foreign Language) objectives:

Goal 1: Communication (Reading) 9.1.h Students will read to discover meaning through context and visual clues.

Goal 1: Communication (Writing) 9.1.i Students will write in the target language to covey a message or to exchange information about everyday activities or oneself.

Goal 2: Cultures: 9.2.a Students will describe some of the daily activities of the people of the target language and how this is reflected in their culture and language.

9.2.b Students will locate the major countries and areas of the world where the target language is spoken and identify some well-known personalities as well as some of the characteristics of the people.

Goal 3: Connections: 9.3.a Students will use the language to make connections with other subject areas and to acquire information.

Goal 4: 9.4.a Students will compare and contrast one language and culture to another language and culture.

Lesson Plan 1

Objective

Spanish AP students will read and discover early Mesoamerican cultures through the history and mythology of the Aztec Nation and their lengthy journey and founding of their capital. Students will compare the Aztec foundation myth with the Biblical account of Moses leading the people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. The students will compare similarities and differences between the two foundation myths.

Activities

Students will:

Read the section titled the Origin of the Aztecs.

Students will discuss and fully answer or complete the following:

  1. After reading the foundation myth, and “The Origin of the Nopal Cactus,” are there any facts to be discerned from the mythical foundation of Tenochtitlan?
  2. Rewrite the “Origin of the Nopal Cactus” as if you were reporting a factual occurrence in a newspaper leaving out any part of the story that might seem dubious.
  3. What famous Biblical exodus does the journey of the Aztecs remind you of?
  4. What did the god Huitzilopochtli do to show his tribe that they were his “chosen people”?
  5. How does the concept of “the chosen people” fit in with the Biblical story?
  6. What sign were the Aztec people given by their god Huitzilopochtli regarding where they would build their capital? What was the name of the capital? What does it mean?
  7. The sign given to the Aztecs is still present in the lives of the descendants of the Aztec nation. Where are these symbols still being used today? Bring a sample. (A Mexican flag, Mexican currency, etc.)
  8. Why were the Aztecs so willing and eager to marry into the Colhua nobility?
  9. Later, these marriages were used to justify what Aztec policies?

Lesson Plan 2

Objectives

The students will improve their understanding of other cultures, read the mythical story of the founding of the great city of Tenochtitlan and its companion piece on the origin of the nopal cactus, compare the two versions of the myth, tour the city of Tenochtitlan through computer generated graphics, compare this magnificent Mesoamerican city as witnessed by Cortes and his followers with European cities of the time, and understand that Mesoamerican culture was as advanced, and in some cases, more advanced than the European cultures prevailing at that time.

Activities

Students will discuss and fully answer or complete the following:

  1. Is the emphasis of the two myths placed on the same issue? If not, what are the differences?
  2. Examine the way each of the main characters of the two myths is portrayed. Is there a difference in their characterization? Why do you think the authors chose to portray them differently?
  3. Using the Internet, do research on the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. As part of this investigation, make a map of the capital city of Tenochtitlan once located in the middle of the Lake of Tezcoco that coincides with contemporary descriptions of the city. Include quotations of the description of the city of Tenochtitlan from the works of contemporary authors on which you based your drawing.
  4. Locate the site of the Sacred Precinct, or the religious center of Tenochtitlan, in a modern map of Mexico City. Where would the Sacred Precinct be located today? What happened to the Sacred Precinct following Cortes’ conquest of the Aztec empire? What happened to the great temples dedicated to the gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc in the Sacred Precinct?
  5. There is a discrepancy in the meaning of the word Tenochtitlan in Nahuatl in the two accounts you have read. What reasons can you give for this discrepancy? Are there any other discrepancies between the two stories?

Students will watch a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that includes impressive computer-generated graphics of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (Los Aztecas).

Lesson Plan Three

Objective

To improve students’ understanding of other cultures. Students will read the two Aztec creation myths. Students are to compare the Aztec creation myth with any other creation myth they may know.

Activity

Students will discuss and fully answer or complete the following:

  1. The first creation myth is an account of the dismemberment of a Monster goddess to form the earth and the sky. Read the Babylonian myth of Marduk and Tiamat. Compare the creation of the earth and the sky in the Aztec myth and the Babylonian myth.
  2. Using the details given in the story, in your own words, describe the Earth Monster goddess in as frightening a description as you can muster.
  3. In the myth that narrates the birth of Huitzilopochtli, what is the reason given by the gods for their anger against their mother, the earth goddess Coatlique? Do you believe the reason for plotting against their mother is really what they say it is, or do you think there is an underlying reason for their anger?
  4. Write a one-page, single-spaced essay confirming or denying the following statement: Gods fear being usurped by the next generation of gods. Do they have a legitimate reason to fear? Give examples from other myths to support your argument.
  5. In the story of Huitzilopochtli’s birth, the god is described as born a fully grown god, in full-battle gear, and ready to fight against his half-brothers and half-sister. What other famous warrior goddess reportedly sprung from her father’s head, or thigh, in other accounts, fully armed? What Babylonian god is also said to have been born fully grown?
  6. Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec’s tribal god, gained power over all of the other gods in Mesoamerica. In a historical context, what does this myth convey regarding the position of Aztecs in relation to the surrounding tribes?
  7. The myth also serves to explain the birth of the Moon and stars. According to this myth, what is the origin of these celestial bodies?
  8. The myth describes how Hutzilopochtli comes from the womb of the Earth Mother with a ray of light and kills the Moon and the stars. On what daily occurrence is this myth based?.

Lesson Plan Four

Objective

To improve the students’ understanding of other cultures. Students will read the Myth of Tepoztecatl. This myth deals with a local hero and was possibly not known to the Aztecs. But I have included it for reading because of its moral teaching. Students are to compare the Tepoztlan hero’s myth with other known Christian stories and Greek myths.

Activities

Students will discuss and fully answer or complete the following:

  1. The virgin birth at the beginning of the Tepoztecatl myth is similar to many other stories and myths. Compare this myth with other well-know stories and myths you know.
  2. In many myths, a child is abandoned or exposed to the elements to avoid the fulfillment of a prophesy. Compare this myth with the biblical story of Moses and the myth of Oedipus. How are they similar? How do they differ? What is the motive for killing the newborn infant in each case? Why did King Herod order the killing of all children less than two years of age in and around Bethlehem?
  3. Compare Mazacoatl’s swallowing of the god Tepoztecatl whole with other tales of monsters or Leviathans swallowing of a person or hero whole. Compare and discuss the differences.
  4. When the god enters the patio where the celebration of his successful fight against Mazacoatl has begun, he goes unrecognized by the revelers and is ill treated because he is dressed in dirty, torn rags. What other mythical heroes suffer the same fate? Discuss fully.
  5. There is an old saying that states, “Clothes make the man.” How does this myth support or destroy the saying. Explain fully.
  6. What social custom does the myth of Tepoztecatl establish and enforce by exiling the host’s family from the Valley and village of Tepoztlan? How does the god feel about hospitality?

Define the following new words: insatiable, implacable, dismemberment, impregnated, obsidian knife, decapitated, pantheon, necromancer, cacique and avatar.

APPENDICES

A Brief Key to Pronunciation of Names of Aztec Gods

Most of the names in this unit come from Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs, and still spoken today by about 1.45 million people living in Mexico (Censo general de población y vivienda 2001).

The Aztecs had a fine tradition of picture writing. Their history was written in pre-Hispanic painted books called codices. Most of these were destroyed during the conquest and scarcely a dozen pre-Hispanic codices survive. (Peterson 231)

As soon as the Aztecs and the Mayas learned to use the alphabet they transcribed some of the codices into Spanish letters, among the most important of these the Mayan Popol Vuh (Book of the Council), the Aztecs Leyenda de los soles, and Anales de Cuauhtitlan.

Nahuatl and Spanish vowels are pronounced alike with a few exceptions. Vowels are pronounced as follows: a as in dart, e as in bet, i as in elite, o as in bore, and u a in loot. Most consonants are pronounced like in English, except j is like the English h, and g before e or i is like the English h, otherwise it is pronounced like a regular g, as in goat.

Unlike Spanish, the h is pronounced.

Many Aztecs words have the consonant cluster tl pronounced like the tl in beetle, the x which is pronounced like s or sh, qu is pronounced like in Kay, and z is pronounced like s.

Nahuatl words are stressed in the next-to-the-last syllable, except when they end in n or s, and then they are stressed on the last syllable.

Examples:

Huitzilopochtli (Hweet-see-lo-POCH-tlee)

Coatlique (Koa-TLI-Kway)

Tezcatlipoca (Tes-kay-tli-PO-kay)

Mixcoatl (Mish-KO-atl)

Xolotl (SHO-lotl)

Tlaloc (TLAY-lok)

Tenochtitlan (Tey-noch-ti-TLAN)

Xipe (SHEE-pay)

Ometeotl
Ometecohtli (Tonacatecuhtli) = Omecihuatl (Tonacacihuatl)

 

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Works Cited

Barlow, Genevieve. “The Origin of the Nopal Cactus.” Stories from Latin America. Chicago: Passport Books, 1995.
Side-by-side book (Spanish-English) that includes sixteen legends from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

Censo general de población y vivienda. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática /National Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Information Science, 2001.

Davies, Nigel. The Aztec Empire: The Toltec Resurgence. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
Nigel argues that the Mexica’s version of history allows them to pose as the true heirs of the Toltec tradition “through marriage of their elite with the Culhua nobility, par excellence the guardians of the Toltec tradition.” Thus, in their future conquests “they are merely regaining what was theirs by right.”

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. La historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España. Linkgua S. L., 2007: 317.
An interesting account of the conquest of Mexico as retold by one of Cortez’ men. The description of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan is especially captivating.

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1942.
This is still my favorite introduction for young students to Greek mythology.

Ibarra, Miguel. “El mito de Tepoztecatl.” 5 April 2007. <http://es.catholic.net/jovenes/216/550/articulo.php?id=7743&gt;.
This is the source for the Tepoztecatl myth which I have translated and edited from Spanish to English.

Los Aztecas. 25 Feb 2007. <http:www.louisville.edu.a s/cml spanish/classes/laculture/aztecas.pdf>
A Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on Aztec civilization with impressive computer generated graphics of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán.

Peterson, Frederick. Ancient Mexico: An Introduction to Pre-Hispanic Cultures. New York: Capricorn Books, 1962.
Professor Peterson’s is a good one-volume introduction to the history of ancient Mexico that includes a concise history of the rise and sudden fall of its great empires, its daily life, religion, art and social relations.

Supplemental Resources

Aztecs at Mexicolore. 22 March 2007. <http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=aaa&gt;.
From the U.K. comes one of the most exciting sites for Aztec enthusiasts. Packed with information and illustrations. Among my favorites topics “Aztec Music” (hear and see actual Aztec instruments), “Ask the Experts”, and “Aztec Pronunciation” that includes the correct pronunciation of the names of Aztec gods.

Aztec Mythology: The Gods of Ancient Mexico. 2 Feb 2007. <http://godchecker.com/pantheon/aztec-mythology.php&gt;.
A very complete list of Aztec gods including many minor deities.

Diana Doyle. “Aztec and Mayan Mythology” Yale-New Haven Teacher’s Institute. 2 Feb. 2007. <http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1993/3/94.03.04.x.html.&gt;.
Yale-New have Teacher’s Institute report on Aztec and Mayan Mythology which includes some excellent reading materials for young students.

Díaz, Gisele. Codex Borgia: A Full-Color Restoration of the Ancient Mexican Manuscript. New York: Dover Publications. 1993.
A beautiful facsimile of the Codex Borgia with restoration of the original pictographic language.

Green, Jen, Fiona MacDonald, Philip Steele, and Michael Stotter. The Encyclopedia of the Ancient Americas. London: Anness Publishing Limited, 2001.
Profusely illustrated. Contains numerous projects for middle and high school students.

Helland, Janice. “Aztec Imagery in Frida Kahlo’s Paintings: Indigenity and Political Commitment.” Woman’s Art Journal 11.2 (Autumn 1990 – Winter 1991): 8-13.
The article provides information on Kalo’s expression of her Mexican identity through a depiction of indigenous Mexican mythology in her paintings, especially Aztec mythology.

Kirkpatrick, Berni. “The Creation and the Legend of the Four Suns.” 2 Feb. 2007. <http://www.create.org/myth/997myth.htm.&gt;.
Gives an account of the legend of the Fours Suns, and the creation of the Fifth Sun, our current sun.

Lapesa, Rafael. Historia de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Editorial Gredos, S. A. 1991.
A classic work on the history of the Spanish language. Ever wonder the origins of the English words hurricane, Caribbean, hammock, maize, chocolate, iguana, jaguar, toucan and many others came from?

“Los Dioses.” <http://www.angelfire,com.bernaldiaz/boton.htm&gt;.
This article includes illustrations of the gods taken from various codices and descriptions of the Aztecs gods. It is written in Spanish.

Miller, Mary and Taub, Karl. An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. 2004.
Profusely illustrated with copies form the codices and photographs of the archeological sites.

Phillips, Charles. The Mythology of the Aztec and Maya: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Gods, Myths and Legends of the Aztecs, Maya and Other Peoples of Ancient Mexico. London: Southwater, 2006.

Pohl, John. “Mesoamerica.” 18 April 2007. <http://www.famsi.org/spanish/research/pohl/index.html&gt;.
The Fundación para el avance de los estudios mesoamericanos (Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies) FAMSI is by far the most complete site on the Internet to cover Mesoamerican cultures. It includes history of Mesoamerican cultures, chronological timeline, writing systems, archeological sites, archives of the Spanish conquest, ancient texts (complete facsimiles of the Indian codices), and so forth

Soustelle, Jacques. The Daily Life of the Aztecs. London: Phoenix Press, 2003.
Soustelle paints a vivid, sympathetic picture of the Aztecs at the moment in history of their greatest achievement.

“Two Aztecs Creation Myths.” 2 Feb. 2007. <http://www.crystallinks.com/azteccreation.html&gt;.
Article gives two different Aztec creation myths.

Valiant, George C. The Aztecs of Mexico. New York: Penguin, 1950.
Although somewhat dated it is still a very readable, factual account of the Aztec Civilization

THE KOREA NUMISMATIC HISTORY COLLECTIONS

THE KOREA NUMISMATIC HISTORY COLLECTIONS

CREATED BY

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

FORWARD

 during my visit Korea in 2007, I saw many ancient korea coins there but I didnot bough one because I donn’t understand about that coin.

When back home in five year I made the study of Korean numismatic collections especially the cast coin and this is the report of the study

I hope all Korean collectors will happy to look this amizing informations

Jakarta Mai 2012

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

BEFORE READ THE REPORT PLEASE

 look  profile  Dr Iwan adventure in Korea

nami island

I laso look in this island King Seogjong tomb

 , and in seoul his palace

 

Dr Iwan Travel adventure  in Korea will be illustrated with some photos during I joined My wife Lily W.MM as official Indonesia Health and medical record federation(Formiki) t joined the inetrnational federation Record orgnational meeting at COEX building Seoul Korea June 2006 with another delegation. (look at Our famiy photo at Namu island where many Korean love stroy film were shooting). I am not joined the meeting, during the delegation joined the meeting I have made the uniquecollection hunting around Seoul about six days from flea market Insaodng to the Uniquecollection shop -Nam Dai Moon market n order to find the Korea unique collections, because ery difficult to find in Indonesia, my first Korea Stamps and reveneu were found in 1974 from an old chineseman collections, after camehome to Jakarta I found another Korea unique collection including Book,stamps,revenue and another type of collection and put in this blog. I am sorry that many false written because I write by my laptop straight to the internet via wordpress facility, but I think the collectors will understand and be patient if the ther information not to fast , many info everyday I put alone according with collector’s choice, minimal two new information will put in the blog,please send your comment and your collector choice via comment .
In the Front of International children Book exhibition at Namu Island, I have seen many children book fromall over the world, very lucky I have found some old vintage Koren book at the Book flae market beside the exhibition room, the unique book about Koren ceramic, and the history of Koren Christian with many illustration . This unique book illustration will put in my Blog”uniquecollection.wordpress.com” with another vintage book i have found at Insadong seoul flea market ,please choose the best collection to put in IMUC cybermuseum.

 

me and the traditional korean children statue in the front of International Children book exhabition at nami Island, I joined the Indonesian embassy delegation by bus to showed the Indonesian traditional art dancing and song at the exhibition.

 

Dr Iwan S inthe front of ancient Nam Dai Moon(South Great Gate) Seoul , beside this monument I found Nam Dai Moon market, two days I am seeking the unique collection shop because at the Insadong flea market I didn’t found the collection, at the end I found under the ground between this market and seoul Post Office.

 

During this Indonesian Helath and medical record Federation(FORMIKI) Dr Iwan S. joined aparrt beside his wife -the President of that organization in the meeting of IFRO -International Federation Of Record Organization meetin at COEX building, also DR Gemala Hatta and Siswati M>Kes -the past president and two another delegation, we stayed at Indonesian Embassy Guest House “Wisma Indonesia” about one weeks, one night after came to Seoul Dr Iwan S and his Wife walked around and came to very beautiful Bridge shining with thousand lamp across the Han River-look the photo.
 I want to send my thank verymuch to all the Indonesian embessy man who gave us very well and free friendly Indonesian tour to nami island by bus. During the official FORMIKI leader joint the conference, I have made the Unique collections hunting around Seoul from Insadong flea market to Nam Dai Mon Market , I found many Stamps , revenue,coins and phonecard ‘s shops at underground between Nam Dai moon market and Seoul Post office.
postal history found in seoulcity
at underground shop at nam daemon gate market,please native korean help me to translate the korean character script below

.:

 

The Dai Nippon War In Korea

dai nippon korean military card

 

AND NOW PLEASE LOOK AT THE KOREA  COIN HISTRY COLLECTIONS

Korean Coins

han guo qian bi

History of Korean Coinage

 

Korea did not begin to use money until the Koryo Period (Goryeo 高麗) (936-1392 AD) when coins from China’s Song Dynasty (宋朝)(960-1279 AD) were imported and began to circulate.  Prior to this time, barter based on rice and cloth was the principal means of exchange.
 
kon won chung boReverse side of kon won chung bo with tong guk ("Eastern Country")The first coins actually minted in Korea occurred during the 15th year (996 AD) of the reign of King Songjong (成宗). 
 
 This coin was cast in both bronze and iron and was based on the standard Chinese cash coin which was round with a square hole in the center.A bronze example of the coinis shown at the left.  It was unearthed in the city of Kaiyuan (开原) in China’s northeast province of Liaoning (辽宁省).  The bronze coins are much rarer than the iron ones and most of these coins have been found in China’s northeast (Dongbei 东北) and in the northern part of the Korean peninsula.The coin has the same Chinese character inscription, 乾元重寶 (kon won chung bo), as the coins cast during the reign (758-762) of Emperor Su Zong (肅宗)of the Tang Dynasty.
look tang emperor profile below
 

While the inscription on the Korean version

Tang Gao Zu
Tang Gao Zu
tang tai zong
Emperor Tang Tai Zong, one of the
greatest emperor of China
qian ling wu zhe tian tomb
Qian Lin Mausoleum, Tang Gao Zong and Wu Zhe Tian’s
final resting place
tang wu zong
tang ming huang escape to shu
A Chinese painting depicting
Tang Ming Huang’s retreat to Sichuan
tang de zong
Tang De Zong
qian lin
Sculptures of foreign ambassadors at
the Mausoleum of Li Zhi
tang xuan zong
Tang Xuan Zong

of the coin is identical to that of the Chinese,

two additional Chinese characters

東國 (tong guk), meaning “the country of the East”,

Reverse side of kon won chung bo with tong guk ("Eastern Country")

were added to the reverse side of the coin to indicate that the coin was from Korea which is a country east of China.

There is some controversy,

 however, concerning who actually produced the coin since no ancient Korean historical references mention it and the coin did not appear in any coin catalogues until 1938 when a Japanese coin catalogue attributed it as being Korean.

Some experts believe that these coins were actually cast by a Chinese state known as Bohai (渤海国) which existed in the area during the period 698-926. 

read more about bohai

Bohai Kingdom Cultural Relics

bohai dancer sent to japan ancient painting

 

The Koreans consider the state to have been

 a Korean kingdom known as Balhae (발해渤海).

general Koguryo the founder of Balhae kingdom

look the map of this kingdom

 

 

Unfortunately, no historical records exist from Bohai (Balhae) in regard to its coinage.

During the period 998-1009 AD, another coin was produced which was also based on a Chinese coin.  This coin had the inscription 開元通寶 (kae won tong bo) which was the same as the coins cast during the reign of Emperor Gao Zu (高祖) of the Tang Dynasty.

However, use of these coins gradually declined and barter again became the predominant means of exchange.

Korean "tong guk tong bo" coin issued in 1097King Sukjong (

肅宗) of Koryo tried again to establish a monetary system by casting a variety of coins during the years 1097-1107 AD.  These coins included the 東國 (tong guk “Eastern Country”), 海東 (hae dong “Eastern Sea”) and 三韓 (sam han “Three States”) series of coins.

In 1101 AD, King Sukjong had a very distinctive form of money produced.  The money was in the form of a silver vase (unbyŏng 銀瓶) in the shape of the Korean peninsula.  The vase had a wide mouth and contained one kun (斤), or about 600 grams, of silver.

The unbyŏng silver vases were very popular with the aristocracy for use in large-scale transactions and to pay bribes. 

 Unfortunately, no specimens are now known to exist.

maybe like the coin below

In the end, however, none of King Sukjong’s attempts to establish a monetary system proved to be successful and the country again returned to using barter with rice and cloth as the medium of exchange.

Other attempts were made to create a monetary system during the next two centuries. 

 In 1331, during the reign of Ch’unghyewang (忠惠王), bottle-shaped pieces of silver alloyed with copper and weighing about 454 grams were introduced as a form of money.  Each of these bottle-shaped “coins” was worth the equivalent of one hundred pieces of linen.

I am soory illustration still unavailable until now but I stiil seeking be patient

During the reign (1352-1374) of Kongminwang (恭愍王), a standardized silver coin was issued but, regrettably, no specimens have survived and their actual appearance remains unknown.

Korea issued its first paper money in the year 1401 during

the reign of T’aejong (太宗). 

 This paper currency imitated an old Chinese note that was first issued in 1287.

Bronze coins were not cast again until the year 1423 AD during the reign of King Sejong

(世宗) of the Yi Dynasty (1392-1910 AD).  These coins had the inscription 朝鮮通寶 (chosun tong bo “Chosun Currency”). 

Chosun means “morning fresh” or “new morning” and is an ancient name for the country of Korea.

 

The chosun tong bo coins were s

 

tong gaek tong bao coin

tandardized at 150 coins to one kun (600 grams) of silver.

However, this coinage ceased after a few years

because of the lack of raw materials and due to the exchange rate having fallen to less than the intrinsic value of the coin.Artist's concept of ancient Korean "arrow coin"

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1464, King Sejo (Sei Jo 世祖)

introduced

a most unusual and versatile form of money. 

The “arrow coin” (chŏn p’ye, jun pei 箭幣) was in the shape of an arrowhead which allowed it to be used as money during times of peace and as an arrowhead during times of war. 

The arrowhead was 55 mm long with the stem adding an additional 52 mm to the length.

According to the Moon Heun Pi Ko (文猷備考), the royal instructions regarding the “arrow coin” can be translated as follows: “Different moneys were used in different reigns but each one suits its time.  The arrow coin, though never used by the ancients, will surely prove useful to a warlike country and we see no reason why it should not be used.”

The blade of the “arrow coin” resembled a willow leaf and on the stem was inscribed “eight directions universal money” (“currency in eight directions” p’albang t’onghwa 八方通寶) indicating that the coin was good everywhere.

One “arrow coin” was worth the equivalent of four pieces of paper money.

Unfortunately, this novel form of money was not well received by the people and, again, a money-based economy failed to be established.  No specimen of this “arrow coin” is known to exist.

Coins were again cast during the 3rd year (1625 AD) of the reign of King Ingo (仁祖) of the Yi Dynasty (李紀)

These coins had the same inscription 朝鮮通寶 (chosun tong bo “Chosun Currency”) as those of King Sejong (世宗).  This time, however, laws were promulgated to enforce the usage of the coins.  Stores were established to sell wine and food for money, and people gradually began to realize the advantages of a money system.

Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coinHowever, it was not until the year 1633 during the reign of King Ingo (仁祖) that the coin that has became most representative of the coinage of Korea was first cast.  This is a round coin with a square hole in the center, made of copper or bronze, that has the inscription sang pyong tong bo (sang p’yŏng t’ong bo 常平通寶, 상평통보; Chinese pinyin: chang ping tong bao).  The reverse sides of these coins can display a number, an astronomical symbol like a star, moon or sun, a character from the ancient Chinese text “The Thousand Character Classic”, a character of “The Five Elements”, etc.

An example of a sang pyong tong bo (sangpyungtongbo 常平通寶) coin is shown at the left.

There are estimated to be more than 5,000 varieties of this coin and the sang pyong tong bo coins were used for more than 250 years (1633-1891 AD) which was longer than any other coin in Korean history.

When Korean ports finally opened to foreign businessmen, it became apparent that these small denomination bronze coins were not convenient for doing business.  Therefore, beginning in 1882, Korea started to mint silver coins with the inscription 大東 (daedong).

However, many of these coins ended up being taken out of the country to be melted and recast as “horse hoof silver” (馬蹄銀) ingots.  As a result, the minting of these coins ceased in 1893.

During the time Korea endured being colonized by Japan starting in 1910, Japanese coinage was used instead of Korean coinage.

"Turtle Ship" on Korean 50 won coin dated 1959 (Korean calendar year 4292)
Modern Korean coinage began in 1959 (Korean calendar year 4292) with coins denominated in won (원).

The mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon 무궁화) flower, which is the national flower of Korea, was displayed on the 10 won coin.

The famous “Turtle Ship” (kobukson 거북선 龜船) of Admiral Yi Sunsin (李舜臣), as seen at the left, was on the 50 won coin and a portrait of Korea’s first president, Syngman Rhee (이승만 李承晩), was on the 100 won coin.

Coins of King Sukjong of the Koryo Dynasty

The first bronze coins were cast during the reign of King Sukjong (肅宗) of the Koryo Dynasty (Goryeo 高麗) during the period 998-1097 AD.  The inscriptions are written in Chinese characters and the coins are modeled after those of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) of China.Korean "tong guk tong bo" (dongkuktongbo) coin cast during the years 998-1097This coin was cast during the years 998-1097 AD of the reign of King Sukjong.

The inscription is tong guk tong bo (dongkuktongbo 東國通寶) and the characters are read in the following order: top, bottom, right, left.
The inscription translates as “Eastern country currency”.The inscription is written in seal script (篆書) but other specimens exist in clerical script (隸書), regular script (楷書), and running script (行書).

Most specimens of this coin have the characters written in this order.  However, there also exists a rare variety of this coin written in regular script
(楷書) in which the inscription is read clockwise beginning with the top character.

Similar to the Northern Song Dynasty coins which they imitate, these coins also have blank reverse sides with no characters or other symbols.

There are a number of varieties of this coin.  Diameters range from 23 ~ 25 mm with weights from 2.4 ~ 3 grams.

The example shown above is known as the “long cap” variety because the top horizontal stroke of the bo
(寶) character, located to the left of the square hole, extends downwards toward the bottom of the character on both sides.In addition to this small cash coin, there were also larger “Value Two” coins cast with a diameter of about 30 mm and a weight of about 5.8 grams.  These Value 2 coins are well-made and are extremely rare.  Most have been excavated in the area of Kaesong (開城), the present capital of North Korea, which was the ancient capital city of Korea.This particular coin has a diameter of 23 mm and a weight of 2.6 grams.

 


Korean "tong guk chung bo" coin cast during years 998-1097 of reign of King SukjongThis coin was also cast during the years 998-1097 of the reign of King Sukjong (肅宗) of the Koryo Dynasty (高麗
).

The inscription is
東國重寶 (tong guk chung bo, tong guk jung bo, dongkukjungbo) and the characters are read in the following order: top, bottom, right, left.

Specimens of this coin also exist with the inscription read in a clockwise manner but they are considered scarce.

The inscription translates as “Eastern country heavy currency”.

All
tong guk chung bo coins are written in a simple regular script (楷書).

These coins tend to be thicker and heavier than the tong guk tong bo (東國通寶) coin shown above.

There are several varieties of this coin with the differences being in the way the characters are written and how broad or narrow is the outside rim.

Most of these coins are about 25 mm in diameter and weigh 2.8 ~ 3.6 grams.

This particular coin has a diameter of 24 mm but weighs a hefty 4.2 grams.
Korean "sam han tong bo" coin cast during the years 1097-1105The 三韓通寶 (sam han tong bo) coins were cast during the years 1097-1105 AD of the reign of King Sukjong of the Koryo Dynasty (高麗).  These coins are similar to the hae dong and tong guk coins in that they imitate the coins cast during the Song Dynasty of China.

Coins with this inscription exist written in seal script (篆書), clerical script (隸書) and running script (行書).

There is a very rare version of the coin with the “three” (三) written in “official script” as .  Only one or two specimens of this coin are known to exist.

All of these coins have blank reverses.

The sam han tong bo coins tend not to be well-made.  The rims are not uniform and the characters are not distinct.

The coins are fairly scarce.

Most of the coins have diameters of 23-25 mm and a weight of 2.6-3.4 grams.

This particular coin has a diameter of 25 mm and a weight of 2.1 grams.

Korean "sam han chung bo" coin cast during the years 1097-1105The 三韓重寶 (sam han chung bo, sam han jung bo) coin was cast during the years 1097-1105 AD.

The inscription translates as “Three Han heavy currency”.

“Three Han” was another name for ancient Korea which consisted of three states with names ending in “Han”.  These were Ma Han (馬韓), Jin Han (辰韓) and Biun Han (辨韓).

This coin was made during the same time period as the 三韓通寶 (sam han tong bo) discussed above but, in general, appears to be slightly more refined.

Some sam han chung bo coins, such as the example at the left, have inscriptions written in the following order: top, bottom, right, left.

Other specimens have inscriptions written to be read in a clockwise manner starting with the character at the top.

All sam han chung bo coins have blank reverses.

Based on differences in the size of the characters and how broad or narrow the rim is, there are a number of varieties of this coin.

Most of these coins are approximately 25 mm in diameter.

This particular specimen has a diameter of 25 mm and a weight of 4 grams.

Korean "hae dong tong bo" coin cast during years 1097-1105 of reign of King SukjongThe inscription on this coin is read clockwise, beginning with the character at the top, as 海東通寶 (hae dong tong bo).

The inscription translates as “Eastern Sea currency”.

The “Eastern Sea” refers to Korea which is located east of the Yellow Sea.

These coins began to be cast in the 7th year (1097 AD) of the reign of King Sukjong (肅宗) and continued to 1105 AD.

Coins with this inscription were also cast with the characters read in the following order: top, bottom, right, left.

This coin is written in seal script (篆書) but other specimens exist in clerical script (隸書), regular script (楷書), and running script (行書).

This coin has a diameter of 25 mm and a weight of 2.9 grams.

Korean "hae dong chung bo" coin cast during years 1097-1105 of reign of King SukjongThe inscription on this coin is read clockwise as 海東重寶 (hae dong chung bo, hae dong jung bo) which translates as “Eastern Sea heavy currency”.

These coins began to be cast in the 7th year (1097) of the reign of King Sukjong (肅宗) and continued to 1105 AD.

Only coins written in regular script (楷書) are known to exist.

Certain characteristics of these coins may indicate that they were cast before the 海東通寶 (hae dong t’ong bo) coins For example, these coins tend to be thicker and the Chinese characters tend to be plainer.  They more closely resemble the Korean version of the 乾元重寶 (qian yuan zhong bao) coins.

Most of these coins are about 25 mm in diameter and weigh about 4 grams.

This example has a diameter of 25 mm and a weight of 3.1 grams.

There also exist versions of this coin with the inscription 海東寶 (hae dong won bo) written in regular script (楷書) which closely resemble the Chinese Song Dynasty coins.  The Chinese characters are very large.  The coins are about 24 mm in diameter but relatively heavy at about 5.1 grams.  On the reverse sides, below the square hole, there appears to be what looks like a Chinese character.  If it is a character, however, it has not yet been identified.

The 海東 coins are very rare and most old Korean reference books do not even include them.

The only recent specimens have been excavated in the area near Kaesong (開城), the present capital of North Korea.

Coins of King Sejong (世宗) of the Yi Dynasty

In 1392 AD, General Yi Songgye (李成桂) of the Yi Dynasty (Choson or Chosun or Joseon Dynasty 1392-1910 AD) proclaimed himself to be King Taejo (太祖) and changed the name of the country to Choson (朝鮮).

Korean "choson tong bo" coin cast during the reign of King Sejong of the Yi DynastyChoson tong bo
(朝鮮通寶) coins were actually cast during two time periods.  The first period was during the 5th – 7th years (1423-1425 AD) of the reign of King Sejong (世宗) when the coins were cast written in “orthodox” script (楷書).

The coin at the left is an example of a choson tong bo (朝鮮通寶)The characters are read in the following order: top, bottom, right, left.

The inscription translates as “Choson currency”.

The characters on these coins tend to be clear and distinct.  The reverse sides are blank.

The coins are about 24 mm in diameter and weigh 3.2 – 4 grams.

There are many varieties of this coin.

This specimen has a diameter of 24.5 mm and a weight of 2.4 grams.

Coins of King Ingo (仁祖) of the Yi Dynasty

The second time coins with the inscription Choson tong bo (朝鮮通寶) were cast was 200 years later in the 3rd year (1625 AD) of the reign of King Injo (仁祖) of the Yi Dynasty (Choson or Chosun or Joseon Dynasty 李紀).

Korean "choson tong bo" coin cast during the reign of King Injo of the Yi DynastyUnlike the earlier Choson tong bo (朝鮮通寶) coins, these coins had the inscription written in “official style” (palbun 八分) as in the example at the left.

The coins tend to have a yellow-brown color and the characters are not very standardized.  The strokes can be thin or thick and small or large.  Some varieties have broad rims while others have narrow rims.

Both government and private versions were cast and, therefore, coins can vary from well-made to crude.

Unlike the earlier version of the coin, coins with inscriptions written in clerical script (隸書) are much scarcer.

Finally, there exists a “Value Ten” version of the coin.  These coins have a diameter of 45 mm and a weight of about 30 grams.

These “Value Ten” coins are very rare.

Chosŏn T’ong Bo “Value Ten” and “One Chŏn” Test Coins

Test coins with the inscription chosŏn t’ong bo (朝鮮通寶) in denominations of “Value Ten” (sip 十) and “One Chŏn” (il chŏn 一錢) were cast in or about the year 1881.

These coins are very rare and were not released for circulation.

Unfortunately, there exists very little reliable information regarding the coins.

According to this Chinese article, the Value Ten test coins can have either a plain reverse (光背) or have the character 十 (sip), meaning “ten”, above the square hole on the reverse side.

Also, the plain reverse coins can be found in two varieties depending on whether the characters on the obverse side are “small” (小字) or “large” (大字).
Rare Korean Choson T'ong Bo "One Chon" (Il Chon) Test CoinReverse side of Korean Choson T'ong Bo "One Chon" (Il Chon) Test CoinThere is also a chosŏn t’ong bo denomination “One Chŏn” (il chon 一錢) test coin, displayed at the left, which on the reverse side has the character 户 (ho) above and the characters 一錢 (il chŏn) to the right of the square hole.

Ho () is the mint mark of the Treasury Department (Hojo 户曹) and il chŏn (一錢) represents the denomination “one chŏn“.

At the time, 400 small cash coins were the equivalent in value to one tael (一两) of silver.  One of these il chŏn (一錢) test coins would have been worth the equivalent of 40 of the Value 10 test coins.

Some varieties of this coin have a line (一) above the 户, as in this specimen.  Other coins lack this top bar.

There can also be slight differences in the way the “head” or upper part of the t’ong (通) is written.

Regarding the sŏn () character, there are slight differences in the way the four “dots” at the bottom of the 魚 are written as well as the way the “head” of the is written.

No diameter or weight is given in the article for the chosŏn t’ong bo “One Chŏn” coin displayed above.

The other Chinese article, however, does provide information on the specimens it discusses.  The plain reverse “Value Ten” test coin has a diameter of 48.2 mm and a weight of 29 grams.  The “One Chŏn” test coin has a diameter of 47.6 mm and a weight of 31 grams.

As already mentioned, these test coins are very rare and not well documented.  As a result, there is some dispute among Korean coin experts as to which specimens are authentic and which are later reproductions. 

“Sang Pyong Tong Bo” (常平通寶) Coins

Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast during years 1633-1891 which circulated for over 300 years
Beginning in the year 1633 AD during the reign of King Injo (仁祖) of the Yi Dynasty (Choson, Chosun, Joseon Dynasty 李紀), the “Stabilization Office” (
Sangpyongchong 常平廳), which was a famine relief office, began to cast coins utilizing the first two characters of the office name 常平 (sang pyong, sang p’yŏng) in the coin inscription 常平通寶 (sang pyong tong bo, sang p’yŏng t’ong bo, sangpyungtongbo 상 평통보; Chinese pinyin: chang ping tong bao).

The inscription can be translated as “always even currency”.

The reverse side of these first coins was blank.

The coin at the left is an example of a sang pyong tong bo (常平通寶) coin.

In 1651, King Hyojong (孝宗) issued a decree ordering the people to use the coin and prohibiting them from using cloth as money.

sip jun tong bo (sip chon tong bo "ten cash currency")
Also, private mintage was permitted at this time.

The inscription on the coin at the left is sip jun tong bo (sip chŏn t’ong bo 十钱通宝; Chinese shi qian tong bao) which translates as “ten cash currency”.

There is some controversy as to when these “Value Ten” cash coins were actually cast.  Some experts believe that they were privately cast around 1651 during the reign of King Hyojong.

Others believe that these coins were cast beginning in the year 1793 during the reign of King Chŏngjo (Jeongjo 正祖).

These “ten cash currency” coins exist in sizes ranging from 28 mm to 40 mm and in different calligraphic styles which seems to support the belief that they were privately cast.

The use of coins and the implementation of an economy based on money, instead of cloth or rice, was further strengthened when King Sukjong (肅宗) in 1678 ordered that additional mints be established to produce the sang pyong tong bo coins.

Sang pyong tong bo coins were cast from 1633 to 1891 and continued to circulate for over 300 years.  In addition to the large number of government and military mints that made these coins, many sang pyong tong bo coins were also privately cast.

Denominations of Sang Pyong Tong Bo Coins

Sang pyong tong bo coins were cast in four denominations: One Mun (Value One), Two Mun (Value Two), Five Mun (Value Five) and One Hundred Mun (Value One Hundred).

The mun was the Korean equivalent of the wen (文) or “cash” coin (“leaf money”, “leaf coin” yŏpchŏn, yupjun 葉錢) of China and the mon () of Japan.

Korean "sang pyong tong bo" one mun coinReverse side of "one mun" "sang pyong tong bo" Korean coin

This is an example of a One Mun (“Value One” dangiljun 當一錢) sang pyong tong bo coin.

The image at the far left is the obverse side with the inscription read (top, bottom, right, left) as sang pyong tong bo (常平通寶).

The one mun coins have a diameter of 24-25 mm.

Korean "two mun" "sang pyong tong bo" coinReverse side of "two mun" "sang pyong tong bo" Korean coin

This is a Two Mun (“Value Two” dangijun 當二錢) sang pyong tong bo coin.

Two mun coins began being cast in 1679.

The two mun coins have a diameter of 27-29 mm.

Korean "five mun" "sang pyong tong bo" coinReverse side of "five mun" "sang pyong tong bo" Korean coin

This is a Five Mun (“Value Five” tangojon or dangohjun 當五錢) sang pyong tong bo coin.

Casting of five mun coins began in 1883.

The five mun coins have a diameter of 31-33 mm.


Korean "one hundred mun" "sang pyong tong bo" coinReverse side of "one hundred mun" "sang pyong tong bo" Korean coin
This is a One Hundred Mun (“Value Hundred”
tangbaekchon or dangbaekjun 當百錢) sang pyong tong bo coin.

The One Hundred Mun is the only denomination of sang pyong tong bo coinage for which accurate mint records exist.  These coins were first cast by the Treasury Department on December 12, 1866 and put into circulation beginning January 15, 1867.  The last coin was produced on June 16, 1867 which means these coins were cast for only 172 days.  A total of 1,784,038 “One Hundred Mun” coins were cast by the government.
 
The One Hundred Mun coins minted by the government have a diameter of 40.6 mm, a thickness of 2.8 mm and a weight of 25.1 grams.
With so many mints producing the smaller denomination coins over such a long period of time, it is inevitable that the diameter and weight of the coins would vary.

In general, coins that are well-cast with clear inscriptions and a yellowish color were produced during an early period at a government mint.

Coins that are less refined were cast at a later period.

Most privately cast coins tend to have a crude appearance with indistinct characters and a blackish tint.

Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin made of ironAt the left is a sang pyong tong bo coin made of iron (铁).

I am not aware of any historical records indicating Korean coins of this period having been made of iron.  However, this iron coin was, according to reports, recently found in a hoard of coins in Dongbei (东北 “Manchuria”) which is the area of northeast China that borders on Korea.

The cache included coins from the Tang (618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.  The earliest coins were kai yuan tong bao (开元通宝 621-907) and the latest were qian long tong bao (乾隆通宝 1736-1795).  Coins from Korea, Annam (Vietnam) and Japan were also found in the hoard which is believed to have originally come from “traders”.

The reverse side is blank with no indication of the mint or any other symbol.  It is, therefore, unknown when or where the coin was made.

The owner states that the coin is modeled after the Northern Song Dynasty tai ping tong bao (太平通宝) coin with the tai () being changed to a sang (“chang”).  He also thinks the coin may have been cast in the early years of the sang pyong tong bo series.

This coin was the only iron sang pyong tong bo coin in the hoard and may be unique.

The coin has a diameter of 24.13 mm and a weight of 4.2 grams.

I am grateful to lindascoin, the present owner, for providing the information on this rare coin.

Many sang pyong tong bo coins eventually made their way to China where they circulated together with Chinese cash coins.

Sang pyong tong bo coins were also popularly used to embellish old Korean charms.

Characteristics of the Sang Pyong Tong Bo Inscription

On all the coins, the Chinese characters sang pyong tong bo (常平通寶) are written in “Regular” (“Orthodox”) Script” (楷書).  The calligraphy on the earlier minted coins, however, deviates slightly from a pure “Regular Script” in that the 通 (tong) character has only one “dot” instead of two which is actually a characteristic of the “Official” or “Clerkly” Script (隸書).  This is good way to distinguish an earlier cast coin from one that was cast at a later period.

All the characters on the reverse side are also written in “Regular Script” with the sole exception of the character
(kyong), indicating the “Government Office of Pukhan Mountain Fortress, which is written in “Running Script” (行書).

Another characteristic of the inscription on sang pyong tong bo coins is that there is only the tong bo (通寶) or “universal currency” version.  “Original currency” (元寶) and “heavy currency” (重寶) are not used in the inscriptions to indicate larger denominations of the coins as is common with Chinese cash coins.  Therefore, even the “One Hundred Mun” coin is a “通寶.  If it had been cast in China at an earlier time, it could very well have been a 重寶or “heavy currency”.The reason why onlytong bo (通寶) was used in the inscription, despite differences in denominations, has to do with the very close ties that existed between the Yi (Choson) Dynasty (1392-1897) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) of China.All the cash coins of the Ming Dynasty are also designated as通寶(tong bao).The元寶 (yuan bao) designation was not used on the coinage of the Ming Dynasty because it was prohibited to use the Emperor’s name.  The founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty was the Hongwu Emperor (洪武帝), also known as Emperor Tai Zu.  Emperor Tai Zu’s real name was Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋).  You will note that there is a “ character in his name.  For this reason, it was prohibited to use the designation “元寶” on Ming Dynasty coins and the Koreans respected this prohibition on their own coinage.
 

Mints Casting Sang Pyong Tong Bo Coins

In 1633, the “Stabilization Office” (Sangpyongchong 常平廳) became the first mint to cast sang pyong tong bo coins.  Over the next 250 years, other government offices and military units also established mints to cast these coins.

The following chart identifies these major government and military mints as well as the year they first began to cast sang pyong tong bo coins.

Sang Pyong Tong Bo Mint Marks
Mint mark Agency English
First Year Cast
户曹  Hojo Treasury Department 1678
工曹  Kongjo Ministry of Industry 1685
均役廳  Kyunyokchong Government Tithe Office 1807
司仆寺  Kyong Saboksi Bureau of Royal Transportation 1678
賑恤廳  Chinhyulchong Charity Office in Seoul 1742
粮餉廳  Yanghyangchong Food Supply Office 1742
宣惠廳  Sonhyechong Rice and Cloth Department 1742
宣惠廳  Sonhyechong Rice and Cloth Department 1806
典圜局  Chonhwanguk Central Government Mint 1833
兵曹  Pyongjo Ministry of Defense 1742
備邊司  Pibyonsa National Defense Bureau 1742
捻戎廳  Chongyungchong General Military Office 1692
营 or 營 御营廳  Oyongchong Special Army Unit 1678

武備司  Mubisa
武衛營  Muwiyong
Armaments Bureau
Guard Office at the Palace
1742
禁衛營  Kumwiyong Court Guard Military Unit 1742
訓練都監  Hullyondogam Military Training Command 1678
精抄廳  Chongchochong Commando Military Unit 1678

統營  Tongyong
統衛營  Tongwiyong
Tongyong Naval Office
Military Office in Seoul
1727
經理廳  Kyongnichong Government Office of Pukhan Mountain Fortress 1830
守御廳  Suochong Seoul Defense Fort 1742
沁華管理營  Sim Kanghwa Kwalliyong Kanghwa Township Military Office 1883
開城管理營  Kaesong Kwalliyong Kaesong Township Military Office 1678
開城管理營  Kaesong Kwalliyong (Song) Kaesong Township Military Office 1882
利原管理營  Iwon Kwalliyong Iwon Township Military Office 1882
水原管理營  Suwon Kalliyong Suwon Township Military Office 1727
原州管理營  Wonju Kwalliyong Wonju Township Military Office 1678
海州管理營  Haeju Kwalliyong Haeju Township Military Office 1742
春川管理營  Ch’unch’on Kwalliyong Ch’unch’on Township Military Office 1888
端川管理營  Tanch’on Kwalliyong Tanch’on Township Military Office 1883
昌德宮  Ch’angdok Kung
昌原管理營  Ch’angwon Kwalliyong
Ch’angdok Palace Mint
Ch’angwon Township Military Office
1864
廣州管理營  Kwangju Kwalliyong Kwangju Township Military Office in Kyonggi Province 1742
京畿監營  Kyonggi Kamyong Kyonggi Provincial Office 1742
京水 京畿水營  Kyonggi Suyong Kyonggi Naval Station 1742
黃海監營  Hwanghae Kamyong Hwanghae Provincial Office 1742
平安監營  P’yongan Kamyong P’yongan Provincial Office 1678
平兵 平安兵營  P’yongan Pyongyong P’yongan Military Fort 1678
咸鏡監營  Hamgyong Kamyong Hamgyong Provincial Office 1742
咸北 咸鏡北營  Hamgyong Pugyong North Hamgyong Provincial Office 1742
咸南 咸鏡南營  Hamgyong Namyong South Hamgyong Provincial Office 1742
江原監營  Kangwon Kamyong Kangwon Provincial Office 1742
慶尚監營  Kyongsang Kamyong Kyongsang Provincial Office 1695
尚水 慶尚水營  Kyongsang Suyong Kyongsang Naval Station 1695
尚右 慶尚右營  Kyongsang Uyong Kyongsang Right Naval Base 1695
尚左 慶尚左營  Kyongsang Chwayong Kyongsang Left Naval Base 1695
全羅監營  Cholla Kamyong Cholla Provincial Office 1682
全兵 全羅兵營  Cholla Pyongyong Cholla Military Fort 1678
全右 全羅右營  Cholla Uyong Cholla Right Naval Base 1678
全左 全羅左營  Cholla Chwayong Cholla Left Naval Base 1678
忠清監營  Ch’ungch’ong Kamyong Ch’ungch’ong Provincial Office 1742
The “mint mark” (first column in above table) on the sang pyong tong bo coins can be found at the top (above the square hole) on the reverse side of the coin.The table below shows examples of sang pyong tong bo coins from some of these mints.
 

Examples of Sang Pyong Tong Bo Coins with Different Mint Marks
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Treasury Department" mint


Treasury Department
1731
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Charity Office in Seoul" mint


Charity Office in Seoul
1695-1742
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Central Government Mint"


Central Government Mint
1883
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "General Military Office" mint


General Military Office
1757
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Special Army Unit" mint


Special Army Unit
1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Court Guard Military Unit" mint


Court Guard Military Unit
1823
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Military Training Command" mint


Military Training Command
1857
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Government Office of Pukhan Mountain Fortress" mint with flower (rosette) hole


Government Office of Pukhan Mountain Fortress
1830
* (flower hole)
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Kaesong Township Military Office" mint


Kaesong Township Military Office
1816
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Ch'unch'on Township Military Office" mint


Ch’unch’on Township Military Office
1888
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Kyonggi Provincial Office" mint


Kyonggi Provincial Office
1888
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the P'yongan Provincial Office" mint


P’yongan Provincial Office
1891
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Hamgyong Provincial Office" mint


Hamgyong Provincial Office
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Kyongsang Provincial Office" mint


Kyongsang Provincial Office
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Government Tithe Office" mint


Government Tithe Office
1807
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Military Office in Seoul" mint


Military Office in Seoul
1883
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Kwangju Township Military Office in Kyonggi Province" mint


Kwangju Township Military Office in Kyonggi Province
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Rice & Cloth Department" mint


Rice & Cloth Department
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Rice & Cloth Department" mint


Rice & Cloth Department
1806
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Cholla Provincial Office" mint


Cholla Provincial Office
1679-1695
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Kangwon Provincial Office" mint


Kangwon Provincial Office
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin cast at the "Ministry of Industry" mint


Ministry of Industry
1685-1752

* If you look carefully, you will notice that this coin cast at the “Government Office of Pukhan Mountain Fortress” has an eight-sided “flower hole” (“rosette hole”).  In China, coins with flower holes were very scarce until the Song Dynasty (960-1279).  Coins exhibiting flower holes gradually decreased during the following dynasties.  The last Chinese coins with flower holes were probably cast at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).  This particular Korean coin is most unusual because very few non-Chinese coins with flower holes have been found. For additional information on “flower hole” coins please see “Chinese Coins with Flower (Rosette) Holes“.

Symbols, Numbers and Special Characters

In addition to the mint mark which was placed at the top (above the square hole) of the coin’s reverse side, many sang pyong tong bo coins display other symbols as well.These markings began to appear in the year 1742 and are believed to indicate “furnace” or “series” numbers.Many of the coins simply show a Chinese number.But the sang pyong tong bo coins are unique in that they also use several other methods to express “numbers”.For example, some coins have dots, circles, crescents, horizontal lines, and vertical lines.  “Dots” represent “stars”.  “Circles” represent the “sun”.  “Crescents” represent the “moon”.  The “horizontal lines” represent the “earth” and the “vertical lines” represent “man”.These are very old symbols that first appeared on ancient Chinese coins.Examples of sang pyong tong bo coins with Chinese numbers as well as dots, circles, crescents and lines may be seen below.

Numbers, Stars, Suns, and Man
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "dot" ("star") and number 2

“Star” (dot)
Number “2” (二)
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "circle" ("sun") and number 3

“Sun” (circle)
Number “3” (三)
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "crescent" ("moon") and number 8

“Moon” (crescent)
Number “8” (八)
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "vertical line" ("man") and number 2
“Man” (vertical line)
Number “2” (二)

Other “special” symbols were also used to indicate furnace or series numbers on sang pyong tong bo coins.  These include characters from “The Thousand Character Classic“, “The Five Elements“, “The Ten Celestial Stems“, “The Twelve Terrestrial Branches“, “The Eight Trigrams“, and “Miscellaneous Characters“.

These special symbols are discussed in the sections below.

The Thousand Character Classic

Korea invented its own writing system, called Hangul (한 글), in 1443 during the reign of King Sejong (世宗).  However, Hangul did not come into common use until centuries later.Up until the early 20th Century, Korea instead relied on the use of Chinese characters for its written language which is why all the inscriptions on old Korean coins are written with Chinese characters.For many centuries one of the principal books for learning Chinese in both China and Korea was the 千字文 or “Thousand Character Classic” (Chinese: qian zi wen  Korean: cheonjamun, ch’ŏn ja mun).  The “Thousand Character Classic” was written in China by Zhou Xingxi (周兴嗣) at the request of Emperor Wu (武梁帝) who reigned during the years 502-549 AD of the Liang Dynasty.The primer is actually a poem structured as 250 phrases with each phrase composed of only 4 Chinese characters.  The entire poem is thus 1000 characters and no character is used more than once.Since it was written as a poem, it could be fairly easily memorized and therefore served as an excellent tool to teach Chinese.As an example, the following are the first 44 characters of the Thousand Character Classic:

天地玄黄 宇宙洪荒
日月盈昃 辰宿列張
寒来暑往 秋收冬藏
閏餘成歲 律吕調陽
雲騰致雨 露結為霜
金生麗水
“Heaven is dark, the earth is yellow; the universe is vast and barren
The setting sun, the full moon, and the stars, arranged in order
  Cold comes and heat departs; autumn harvests provide winter hoards
The intercalary surplus completes the year; music harmonizes the two principles of nature
Clouds ascend and bring rain; dew congeals and forms frost
Gold is found in the Li River; …”

Since no character is repeated, the “Thousand Character Classic” was frequently used as a numbering system for the numbers 1 to 1,000.

Starting in the year 1742, some sang pyong tong bo coins began to display furnace or series numbers on their reverse sides.  Chinese numbers were commonly used but other symbols were sometimes used as well.

For example, the first 44 characters of the Thousand Character Classic displayed above were used on some sang pyong tong bo coins for this purpose.

These characters are usually placed at the bottom (below the square hole) on the reverse side of the coins.

Examples of sang pyong tong bo coins with characters from the “Thousand Character Classic” are shown below.

 
Sang pyong tong bo coins with characters from “The Thousand Character Classic”
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "chon" meaning "heaven"


“chon”
“Heaven”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "chu" meaning "time"


“chu”
“Time”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "hong" meaning "flood"


“hong”
“Flood”
1852
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "il" meaning "sun"


“il”
“Sun

1891
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "wol" meaning "moon"


“wol”
“Moon”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "han" meaning "cold"


“han”
“Cold”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "song" meaning "completes"


“song”
“Completes”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "chi" meaning "earth"


“chi”
“Earth”
1852
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "chang" meaning "extend"


“chang”
“Extend”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "nae" meaning "comes"


“nae”
“Comes”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "hwang" meaning "barren"


“hwang”
“Barren”
1753
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "yong" meaning "full"


“yŏng”
“Full”
1753
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "ch'uk" meaning "the declining afternoon sun"


“ch’ŭk”
“The Declining Afternoon Sun”
1753
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "u" meaning "space"

“u”
“Space”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "hyon" meaning "dark"


“hyŏn”
“Dark”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "hwang" meaning "yellow"


“hwang”
“Yellow”
1742-1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "Thousand Character Classic" character "wang" meaning "depart"


“wang”
“Depart”
1742-1752
 

 

The Five Elements

In addition to the Chinese characters from the “Thousand Character Classic”, the characters of the “Five Elements” (Chinese: wu xing 五行) were also used to indicate furnace or series numbers on certain sang pyong tong bo coins.The “Five Elements” refer to the ancient Chinese belief that the entire universe is composed of these five basic essences or “elements”: metal (kum 金), wood (mok 木), water (su 水), fire (hwa 火) and earth (to 土).An example of a sang pyong tong bo coin with one of the “Five Elements” located below the square hole may be seen below.

“Five Element” character on sang pyong tong bo coins
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "five elements" character "metal"


“kum”
“Metal”
1752
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with "five elements" character "water"


“su”
“Water”
1752


The Ten Celestial Stems

Another “numbering” system used on the sang pyong tong bo coins is the “Ten Celestial Stems” also known as the “Ten Heavenly Stems”.The traditional Chinese calendar is based on pairing one of the “Ten Celestial Stems” with one of the “Twelve Terrestial Branches”.  These pairings result in 60 combinations which form the sixty-year cycle of the calendar.  When one cycle is completed, another begins.

Ten Celestial Stems
Celestial Stem Korean Chinese
gap jia
eul yi
byeong bing
jeong ding
mu wu
gi ji
gyeong geng
sin sin
im ren
gye gui
As an example, a (jeong), the fourth of the “Celestial Stems”, can be seen to the left of the square hole on the reverse side of the sang pyong tong bo coin below.

Sang pyong tong bo coin with one of the Ten Celestial Stems
Korean "san pyong tong bo" coin with "jeong" of the "ten celestial stems"


“jeong”
1832

The Twelve Terrestrial Branches

As mentioned above, the traditional Chinese calendar is based on the pairing of a “Celestial Stem” with a “Terrestrial Branch”.Some sang pyong tong bo coins have one of the “Twelve Terrestrial Branches” on the reverse side to indicate a series or furnace number.The “Twelve Terrestrial Branches”, also known as the “Twelve Earthly Branches”, are identified in the following table.
Twelve Terrestrial Branches
Terrestrial Branch Korean Chinese
cha zi
ch’uk chou
in yin
myo mao
ch’en chen
sa si
o wu
mi wei
sin shen
yu you
sul xu
hae hai

The Eight Trigrams

A trigram is a three-line symbol.  Each of the three lines in a trigram can be either continuous or broken.A solid line represents the yang (阳), or “male”, while a broken line represents the um (阴),or “female”. Yin Yang (阴阳 Korean: um yang) is the Chinese term for the basic polarities of the universe, e.g. male/female, light/dark, strong/weak, etc.There are eight possible combinations of trigram components and these combinations are known as the “eight trigrams” (八卦).The “eight trigrams” have been used in divination since very ancient times.A very few of thetwo mun (“Value Two” dangijun 當二錢) sang pyong tong bo coins cast at the “T’ongyong Naval Office” (統營) mintdisplay symbols of the “eight trigrams” on the reverse side.For a better understanding of the “Eight Trigrams”, please see “Trigrams and Bagua“.

Miscellaneous Characters

One final set of Chinese characters can sometimes be found below the square hole on the reverse side of sang pyong tong bo coins.

These characters appear to be yet another system to refer to a specific furnace or series, but their exact meaning and purpose remains unknown.

Miscellaneous Characters
Character Translation Korean Chinese
enter ip ru
big tae da
work kong gong
thousand chon qian
cash mun wen
the first won yuan
heaven chon tian
middle chung chong
upright chong zheng
produce saeng sheng
light kwang guang
complete chon quan
auspicious kil ji
finish wan wan

Examples of sang pyong tong bo coins with “miscellaneous characters” located on the reverse side below the square hole may be seen below.

Sang pyong tong bo coins with “Miscellaneous Characters
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "tae" meaning "big" below the hole on the reverse side


“tae”
“Big”
1857
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "kong" meaning "work"


“kong”
“Work”
1857

Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "won" meaning "the first"


“won”
“The First”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "chung" meaning "middle"


“chung”
“Middle”
1857
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "saeng" meaning "produce"


“saeng”
“Produce”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "kwang" meaning "light"


“kwang”
“Light”
1852
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "chŏn" meaning "perfect"


“chŏn”
“Perfect”
1832
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "mun" meaning "cash"


“mun”
“Cash”
1857
Korean "sang pyong tong bo" coin with Chinese character "chong" meaning "upright"


“chŏng”
“Upright”
1857
 

Korea’s First Modern Milled Coinage


In 1892, after more than 250 years, casting of the sang pyong tong bo coins in copper and bronze finally ended.

Korean Dae Dong silver coin (Chon) minted in 1882But prior to that time, in the year 1882 which was the 19th year of the reign of King Gojong (Kojong 高宗 고종), Korea began to cast a new type of coin.

Unlike the copper sang pyong tong bo coins, these coins were made of silver and no longer had a square hole in the center.

The inscription on these new coins begins with dae dong (大東) and includes a number from one through three.

Dae dong (大東) means “Great East” (Great Eastern Kingdom) and is another name for Korea.

The denomination was chon () which was “1/10 of an ounce”.  A Korean “ounce” was 37.5 grams.  The numbers “one” (), “two” () and “three” () represented 0.1 ounce, 0.2 ounce and 0.3 ounce, respectively.

For example, the coin shown here is a number “one” (1 Chon 一錢, 20 mm, 3.4-3.7 grams) and the inscription is 大東一錢.  The inscription for the 2 Chon coin (28 mm, 7.1-7.7 grams) is 大東二錢 and that for the 3 Chon coin (33 mm, 10.6 grams) is 大東三錢.

There are several varieties of the 3 Chon coin including large character, medium character and small character.

These new silver coins also have a distinctive reverse side.  All the coins were made by the same Treasury Department Mint (戶曹 Hojo) that had been casting the sang pyong tong bo coins.  However, the mint mark (戶 Ho) on the new coins was placed in a circle in the middle of the reverse side and was surrounded by colored enamel (blue, green or black).

Unfortunately, these new coins, which imitated Western coins, failed to achieve their goal of stabilizing the monetary system.  The price of silver was rising as was the cost of production.  The coins were hoarded by the yangban (양반 兩班), who were the nobles and ruling class, and taken out of the country for their intrinsic metal content.  As a result, minting of these coins ceased in June 1883.

In 1883, Korea purchased from Germany the equipment to produce milled (machine-struck) coins.

Korean 1 warn coin minted in 1888In 1888 (開國497), a very small number of milled (machine-struck) coins denominated in mun (文) and hwan (“warn”, “whan” 圜) were minted.  The “warn” was equivalent to 1,000 mun.

The design of the coins was very similar to that of Japanese yen coins.

These coins were produced by the government mint in Seoul (gyeongseong 京成典圜局) in three denominations: 5 mun (5 文), 10 mun (10) and 1 warn (1圜).

The 5 mun and 10 mun coins are composed of 98% copper, 1% tin and 1% zinc.  The 5 mun coin has a diameter of 21.7 mm and a weight of 2.8 grams.  The 10 mun coin has a diameter is 27.5 mm and a weight of 6.5 grams.

The 1 warn coin, which is displayed here, is particularly rare since only 1,300 coins were struck.  It is composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  The diameter is 38 mm and the weight is 26.95 grams.

Korean Fun, Yang and Whan Coins (1892-1902)


Korean 5 yang coin minted in 1892The currency of Korea began to be based on the yang (兩) beginning in the year 1892 with the implementation of the silver standard currency reform.  The yang was further divided into fun (分) which was equal to 1/100th of a yang.  The coin denominations and their compositions were 1 fun (brass), 5 fun (copper),
¼ yang (initially cupronickel and later copper around silver), 1 yang (80% silver) and 5 yang (90% silver).

An example of a 5 yang (五兩) coin minted in 1892 (開國501) is displayed at the left.  Only 19,923 of these coins were produced.

There was also a 1 whan (1) coin minted in 1893 (開國502) composed of 90% silver but this coin is extremely rare since only 77 coins were produced.

Some denominations in this series continued to be minted until 1902.  All the coins were produced at the mint in Incheon (仁川典局).
 
The dates on the coins discussed above reflected the number of years since the founding (gaeguk 開國) of the Choson (Joseon) or Yi Dynasty in 1392 (“year 1″) by General Yi Seong-gye.  The Choson Dynasty (including the short-lived Korean Empire (1897-1910)) ended in 1910 when Korea became a colony of Japan.

Portrait of King Gojong who became Korea's first emperor (Emperor Gwangmu)As a result of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Korea found itself free of Chinese hegemony.  In 1897, the Yi (Choson, Josean) Dynasty ended with King Gojong proclaiming the establishment of the “Empire of Korea”.  In so doing, King Gojong became Emperor Gwangmu.

A portrait of King Gojong, who became Korea’s first emperor, is shown at the left.

Beginning in 1897, the regnal year of the monarch began to be used on coins to denote the year instead of calculating the year since the founding of the Choson Dynasty.

Coins minted 1897-1907 are dated from the year Emperor Gwangmu (Kuang Mu, Kwangmu 光武 광무제), formerly King Gojong (Kojong 高宗 고종) of the Choson (Yi) Dynasty, ascended the throne of the “Great Korean Empire” (大韓帝國 대한제국 1897-1910) with the year 1897 being “year 1″ (元年).

Coins minted 1907-1910 are dated from the year Emperor Yunghui (Yung Hi 隆熙 융희제), formerly known as Sunjong (純宗 순종), ascended the throne with 1907 being year 1″ (元年).

The name of the country was variously displayed on the coins as “Great Korea” (大朝鮮), “Korea” (朝鮮) or “Daehan” (大韓).

Coins denominated in fun and yang continued to be minted from 1892-1902.

Examples of 1 fun, 5 fun and ¼ yang coins are shown below.

1 Fun (一分) Coins

Korea minted 1 fun (一分) coins during the years 1892-1896 except for the year 1894 when no 1 fun coins were struck.The coins are composed of brass (95% copper and 5% aluminum).In 1895, some coins were produced with the country name “Great Korea” (大朝鮮) while others were minted using the name “Korea” (朝鮮).These coins have a diameter of 23.4 mm and a weight of 3.3 grams.All 1 fun coins were made at the mint in Incheon (仁川典局).Examples of 1 fun coins may be seen below.
1 Fun Coins
Reverse side of Korean 1 fun coin produced during the years 1892-1896

Reverse side
一分
Korean 1 fun coin minted in the year 1892 (gaeguk 501)

開國501年
1892
Korean 1 fun coin minted in the year 1893 (gaeguk 502)

開國502年
1893
1 fun coin minted in Korea in 1895 (gaeguk 504)

開國504年
(大朝鮮)
1895
1 fun coin minted in Korea and dated 1896 (gaeguk 505)

開國505年
1896

5 Fun (五分) Coins 

The 5 fun (五分) coins were produced from 1892 to 1902 except during the years 1897, 1900 and 1901.These copper coins are composed of 98% copper, 1% tin and 1% zinc.The coin has a diameter of 27 mm, a thickness of 1.5 mm and a weight of 6.9 grams.All 5 fun coins were made in Incheon (仁川典局) except for those produced in 1902 which were minted at Yongsan (龍山典局).There are varieties with small (小子), medium (中子) and large (大字) characters or letters as well as ones displaying the country name as “Great Korea” (大朝鮮),“Korea” (朝鮮) and “Daehan” (大韓).Examples of 5 fun coins may be seen below.
5 Fun Coins
Reverse side of Korean 5 fun coin

Reverse side
五分
Korean 5 fun coin minted in 1892 (gaeguk 501)

開國501年
1892
Korean 5 fun coin with date 1893 (gaeguk 502)

開國502年
1893
Korean 5 fun coin dated 1894 (gaeguk 503)

開國503年
1894
Korean 5 fun coin minted in 1895 (gaeguk 504)

開國504年
(朝鮮)
1895
Korean 5 fun coin dated 1895 (gaeguk 504) with country name "Great Korea"

開國504年
(大朝鮮)
1895
Korean 5 fun coin dated 1896 (gaeguk 505)
開國505年
(朝鮮)
1896
5 fun coin minted in 1896 (gaeguk 505) with small characters and country name "Great Korea"

開國505年
(大朝鮮)小字
1896
Korean 5 fun coin with date 1896 (gaeguk 505) with large characters

開國505年
(大朝鮮)大字
1896
Korean 5 fun coin struck in 1898 (gwangmu 2)

光武2年
1898
Korean 5 fun coin minted in 1902 (gwangmu 6)

光武6年
1902

¼ Yang (二錢五分) Coins

The ¼ yang (二錢五分) coins were minted during the years 1892-1901.Their composition is 75% copper and 25% nickel.These coins have a diameter of 20.7 mm and a weight of 4.8 grams.Varieties of this coin were produced in certain years and can include differences in the country name (“Great Korea” 大朝鮮, “Korea” 朝鮮, “Daehan” 大韓) and the size of the letters or characters (large characters 大字, small characters 小字).From 1892-1897, the ¼ yang coins were struck at the mint in Incheon (仁川典局).  The Yongsan mint (龍山典局) produced these coins from 1998-1901.Examples of ¼ yang coins are shown below.
 
¼ Yang Coins
Reverse side of Korean ¼ yang coin minted during the years 1892-1901

Reverse side
二錢五分
Korean ¼ yang coin dated 1893 (gaeguk 502)

開國502年
1893
Korean ¼ yang coin made in 1898 (gwangmu 2)

光武2年
1898

Korean Gold Standard Coins (1906-1909)

In response to the adoption by other countries of the gold standard for their currencies, Korea decided to follow suit and implemented a similar monetary reform on May 22, 1901.

Korean 20 won gold coin minted in 1906Gold coins were minted in the three denominations of 5 won (五園), 10 won (十園) and 20 won (二十).  The won () was equivalent to 20 chon ().

An example of a 20 won gold coin dated 1906 (光武10年) is shown at the left.

All of the coins are composed of 90% gold and 10% copper.

The 5 won (五園) coin has a diameter of 17 mm and a weight of 4.2 grams.  The 10 won (十園) coin has a diameter of 21.2 mm and a weight of 8.3 grams.  The 20 won (二十园) coin has a diameter of 28.8 mm and a weight of 16.7 grams.

A distinctive feature of these coins is that there is no English inscription.  The coins only have Chinese and Hangul (한글) inscriptions.

The 5 won gold coins are dated 1908 (隆熙2年) and 1909 (隆熙3年).  Only two pieces of the 1909 coin are known to exist with one piece selling at auction for $460,000 in September 2011.

The 10 won gold coins are dated 1906 (光武10年) and 1909 (隆熙3年).  Only two examples of the 1909 coin are known to exist with one specimen selling at auction for $299,000 in September 2011.

The 20 won gold coins are dated 1906 (
光武10年), 1908 (隆熙2年) and 1909 (隆熙3年).  Only two specimens of the 1909 coin are known to exist with one piece selling at auction for $632,500 in September 2011.

Because the Korean Mint Bureau, which had been striking coins for 20 years, was pressured to close by the Japanese in 1904, all of these gold coins were produced at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局).

Korean Chon and Won Coins (1902-1910)

During the years 1902-1910, the coins of Korea were denominated in won () and chon (錢).  The chon was equal to  1/100th of a won.

Korean "half won" silver coin minted in 1906The coin denominations consisted of ½ chon (半錢), 1 chon (一錢), 5 chon (五錢), 10 chon (十錢), 20 chon (二十錢), and half won (半園).The half won (半園) coins were only minted during the years 1905-1908.At the left is an example of a half won (半園) coin struck during the 10th year (1906) of the reign of Emperor Gwangmu.The half won coins made in 1905 and 1906 are composed of 80% silver and 20% copper.  The diameter is 31 mm and the weight is 13.5 grams.The half won coins struck in 1907 and 1908 are also 80% silver and 20% copper but are slightly smaller with a diameter of 27.5 mm and a weight of 10.0 grams.The dragon symbol was replaced by the phoenix on the ½ chon, 1 chon and 5 chon coins.All of the coins from this period were made at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局).Examples of these coins are shown below.

½ Chon (半錢) Coins

The ½ chon (半錢) coin was only produced during the period 1906-1910.

For the first year (1906 “gwangmu 10″), the ½ chon coin had a diameter of 21.9 mm, thickness of 1.5 mm, and weight of 3.4 grams.

The coin was slightly smaller in all of the following years with a diameter of 19.1 mm, thickness of 1 mm, and weight of 2.1 grams.

The composition of all the ½ chon coins are the same:  95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc

There is some question as to whether or not a ½ chon coin was minted in the 11th year of the reign of Gwangmu (Kuang Mu).

Also, the ½ chon coins minted in 1907 (yunghui, yung hi first year) and 1910 (yunghui, yung hi year 4) are very scarce.

Examples of Korean ½ chon coins are shown below.

 
½ Chon Coins
Reverse side of Korean ½ chon coin

Reverse side
半錢
Korean ½ chon coin made in 1906 (gwangmu 10) at the mint in Osaka, Japan

光武10年
1906
Korean ½ chon coin dated 1908 (yunghui 2) produced at the mint in Osaka, Japan

隆熙2年
1908
½ chon Korean coin dated 1909 (yunghui 3)

隆熙3年
1909


1 Chon (一錢) Coins

The Korean 1 chon (一錢) coins were produced during the period 1905-1910.  All the coins were made at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局).For the first two years (1905-1906), the coins had a diameter of 28 mm, a thickness of 1.5 mm, and a weight of 7.1 grams.The coins produced during the following years (1907-1910) were smaller with a diameter of 22.5 mm, a thickness of 1 mm, and a weight of 4.1 grams.All the 1 chon coins, however, had the same composition:  98% copper, 1% tin, and 1% zincShown below is a complete set of Korean 1 chon coins.


1 Chon Coins
Reverse side of Korean 1 chon coins produced during the years 1905-1910 at the mint in Osaka, Japan

Reverse side
一錢
Korean 1 chon coin minted in 1905 (gwangmu 9)

光武9年
1905
Korean 1 chon coin minted in 1906 (gwangmu 10)

光武10年
1906
1 chon Korean coin dated 1907 (gwangmu 11)

光武11年
1907
Korean 1 chon coin dated 1907 (yunghui yuan or first year)

隆熙元年
1907
Korean 1 chon coin made in 1908 (yunghui 2)

隆熙2年
1908
Korean 1 chon coin dated 1909 (yunghui 3)

隆熙3年
1909
Korean 1 chon coin dated 1910 (yunghui 4)

隆熙4年
1910


5 Chon (五錢) Coins

The 5 chon (五錢) coins were only produced in the years 1905, 1907 and 1909 with the 1909 (yunghui, yung hi 3) coin being very rare.One 19095 chon coin sold at auction for $138,000 in September 2011.All the coins were made at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局) and have a diameter of 20.8 mm, a thickness of 2 mm, and a weight of 4 grams.The composition of the coins are 75% copper and 25% nickel.Examples of the 5 chon coins may be seen below.


5 Chon Coins
Reverse side of Korean 5 chon coin minted in the years 1905, 1907 and 1909

Reverse side
五錢
Korean 5 chon coin minted in 1905 (gwangmu 9)

光武9年
1905
Korean 5 chon coin dated 1907 (gwangmu 11) and made at the mint in Osaka, Japan

光武11年
1907


10 Chon (十錢) Coins

The 10 chon (十錢) coins were minted during the years 1906-1910 although there is some question as to whether or not any 10 chon coins were actually made in 1909.

All the 10 chon coins are silver with a composition of 80% silver and 20% copper.

The coins have a diameter of 17.6 mm and a thickness of 1.5 mm.  All the coins weigh 2.5 grams with the exception of those dated 1907 (gwangmu 11) which weigh 2.25 grams.

Also, all the coins were produced at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局).

Examples of the 10 chon coins are shown below.

10 Chon Coins
Reverse side of Korean 10 chon coin

Reverse side
十錢
Korean 10 chon silver coin dated 1906 (gwangmu 10) produced at mint in Osaka, Japan

光武10年
1906
Korean 10 chon silver coin minted in 1907 (gwangmu 11)

光武11年
1907
Korean 10 chon silver coin minted in 1908 (yunghui 2)

隆熙2年
1908
Korean 10 chon silver coin minted in 1910 (yunghui 4)

隆熙4年
1910


20 Chon (二十錢) Coins 

The 20 chon (二十錢) silver coins were produced during the years 1905-1910 at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局).

During the years 1905 (gwangmu 9) and 1906 (gwangmu 10), the 20 chon coins had a diameter of 22.8 mm, a thickness of 1.5 mm and a weight of 5.4 grams.

The coin was slightly smaller in the following years with a diameter of 20.3 mm, a thickness of 1.5 mm and a weight of 4 grams.

The composition of all the coins, however, was the same:  80% silver and 20% copper

Examples of 20 chon coins are shown below.

20 Chon Coins
Reverse side of Korean 20 chon silver coin

Reverse side
二十錢
Korean 20 chon silver coin minted in 1906 (gwangmu 10)

光武10年
1906
Korean 20 chon silver coin minted in 1909 (yunghui 3)

隆熙3年
1909
Korean 20 chon silver coin dated 1910 (yunghui 4) made at mint in Osaka, Japan

隆熙4年
1910

Korean “Eagle” Coins Issued by the Russo-Korean Bank

As a result of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), China’s influence in Korea was replaced by that of the victorious Japanese.  China’s weakened position also allowed for Russian interests in the Far East to expand greatly.

Under the leadership of Mr. Alexiev, who was the financial advisor to Korea sent by Russia, the first Asian branch of the Russo-Korean Bank was established on March 1, 1898.

Korean silver half won coin with image of Russian imperial eagle minted in 1901In 1901, Alexiev authorized the minting of a new set of three coins.  The denominations were 1 chon (一錢 28 mm, 8 grams), 5 chon (五錢 20.5 mm, 5.4 grams) and half won (半園 30.9 mm, 13.5 grams).

An example of the half won coin is shown at the left.

Thehalf won coins are dated 1901 (Gwangmu year 5 光武5年) while the 1 chon and 5 chon coins are dated 1902 (Gwangmu year 6 光武6年).

The composition of the half won coin is 90% silver and 10% copper.

The composition of the 1 chon coin is 98% copper, 1% tin and 1% zinc while that of the 5 chon coin is 75% copper and 25% nickel.

A major characteristic of these coins is that the image of the Crowned Russian Imperial Eagle replaced the traditional dragon or phoenix.  For this reason, these coins are referred to as “eagle” coins or the Eagle Series.

There was also a set of experimental or trial coins produced but never circulated.  This coin series included a copper 10 won, copper 20 won and silver “half dollar” (half won).  All these trial coins were reportedly minted in 1901 although the coins display dates of 1899, 1901, 1902 or 1903.

All of the “eagle” coins were produced at the mint at Yongsan, Korea (龍山典局).

Japan was the victor in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and, as a consequence, confiscated and destroyed almost all of the “eagle” coins.  For this reason, these coins are very rare.

One example of a 1 chon coin dated 1902 sold at auction for $149,500 in September 2011.  A 20 won coin dated 1902 sold at the same auction for $115,000.

Korea became a Japanese protectorate under the Eulsa Treaty of 1905 and was annexed by Japan in 1910.

The “Japanese Imperial Period” in Korea ended in 1945 with Japan’s defeat in World War II.

Modern Korean Coins

With the end of Japan’s occupation of Korea at the close of World War II and the cessation of active fighting following the Korean War, Korea was finally able to return to using its own currency.The new coins were denominated as won().  The first of Korea’s modern coinage was a series of coins with denominations of 10 won, 50 won and 100 won.These first coins were issued in 1959 and minted at the Philadelphia Mint in the United States.The 10 won coin has an image of the mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon 무궁화) flower which is the national flower of Korea.  The coin’s composition is 95% copper and 5% zinc.  The coin has a diameter of 19.1 mm and a weight of 2.46 grams.The 50 won coin shows an image of the famous “Turtle Ship”(kobukson 거북선 龜船) designed by Admiral Yi Sunsin (李舜臣). This warship had a curved ironclad deck which was covered with iron spikes.  These ships proved successful in battles against the Japanese who tried to conquer Korea during the years 1592-1598.The 50 won coin has a composition of 70% copper, 18% zinc and 12% nickel.  The coin has a diameter of 22.86 mm and a weight of 3.69 grams.The final coin in this series is the 100 won coin.  The coin displays the portrait of Syngman Rhee (이승만 李承晩) who was the first president of the Republic of Korea.  The coin has a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel.  The diameter is 26 mm and the weight is 6.74 grams.All three coins in the series were minted in 1959 but the date on the coins is “4292”.Up until the year 1961, Korea used the traditional Korean calendar which calculates the year from the time when the first Korean kingdom was established.  According to ancient Chinese and Korean texts, Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검 檀君王檢) established the kingdom of Gojoseon (고조선 古朝鮮) in the year 2333 BC.  The year “4292” in the Korean calendar is therefore equivalent to the year “1959” in the Gregorian or Western calendar.The 10 won and 50 won coins, but not the 100 won coin, were again minted in the year “4294” (1961).  Korean coins after 1961 show the year according to the Western calendar.The 100 won coin was withdrawn from circulation in 1962 but the 10 won and 50 won coins circulated until 1975.This complete series of coins is shown below.

Korea’s first modern series of 10 won, 50 won and 100 won coins
Korean "10 won" coin dated 1959 (4292) with mugunghwa flower (Rose of Sharon)

Obverse side
10 won
Mugunghwa Flower
(Rose of Sharon)
Reverse side of Korean 10 won coin with date 4292 (1959)

10 won
(Korean calendar year 4292)
1959
Reverse side of Korean 10 won coin with date 4294 (1961)

10 won
(Korean calendar year 4294)
1961
Korean "50 won" coin with "Turtle Ship" dated 1959 (4292)

Obverse side
50 won
Turtle Ship
Reverse side of Korean 50 won coin dated 4292 (1959)

50 won
(Korean calendar year 4292)
1959
Reverse side of Korean 50 won coin dated 4294 (1961)

50 won
(Korean calendar year 4294)
1961
Korean "100 won" coin with Syngman Rhee dated 1959 (4292)

Obverse side
100 won
Syngman Rhee
Reverse side of Korean 100 won coin dated 4292 (1959)

100 won
(Korean calendar year 4292)
1959

The Northern Sung History Collections

THIS THE SAMPLE OF E-BOOK IN CD-ROM ,THE COMPLETE CD EXIST BUT ONLY FOR PREMIUM MEMBER PLEASE SUBSCRIBED VIA COMMENT

The Ancient Chinese  Numismatic History collections

Part One(4)

Northern SongDynasty

 

Bronze 30mm North Song Orthodox script Ta Kuan tong bao

Created By

 

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Copyright@2012

Private Limited Edition In CD-ROM

FORWARD

I have collecting china numismatic including coins and papermoney from ancient to modern era almost 50 years, and starting to study the collections in 25 years.

At first very difficult because during President Suharto era 1966-1998 forbidden to read and collected Chinese literatures but the china numismatic could found easily with cheapest price until 1988 after the open diplomatic relationship between Indonesia and China I can found a little informations.

Since the President Gus Dur (abdulrahman Wahid) Era

my son anton for him this e-book dedicated

the Chinese overseas origin or Tionghoa ethnic became the Indonesian Ethnic nationality in the years 2000 I can found some informations and I could study in legal.but the collection very difficult to find because many chese nationality visit Indonesia and they swept all the Chinese numismatic collections.

I have visit china three times, first in 2007 to south china from Hanoi to

 

 Nanning of Jiangsi autonom province by

 

Bus and Train ,  in 2008 visit

Xianmen city

 

at Sin Hua Book store near my Hotel where I found Chinese coin catalogue

 

Native market like in Indonesia

 

 

 

 Xianmen with beautiful Gulangyu island, by bus to

 

 my grandpa homeland

 

 Chiangzhou city to find more info and look

 

 

 the amazing tallest pagoda Kai yuan with

 

 oldest turtle stone and

 

 

 

 

old village where my grandpa was born , from Xiamen by flight to

 

 Beijing by China Airlines to look

 

olympic games station,

 

 

With my wife Lily

 

 

forbidden city,

 

 great wall ,and at least in 2009 by flight and bus to

south china Guangzou(canton),Hangzou to Guillin to look the amazing dancer on the river,

3.THE SHI BA SUI WATERFALL AT HEZOU
The common waterfall was decorated with Handmade lake, beautiful and clean road to the waterfall which made the exciting landscape . the clever decrated area must be copy by many countries like Indonesia where more exciting waterfall still in the riginalsituations the same with another place , if the landscape were ddecrated like the picture below , I think will be more beautiful an interesting area.

 

4.THE TEMPLE OF DRAGON’S MOTHER AT WUZHOU
The temple of the mother of China Emperors Prince Crown was from Wu Zhou, in this temple there were the Statue of the China Empires Prince Crown during the ancient Emprire Before Christ, at the top of the hill beside the Yuanyang River was the Dragons Mother statue. Dragon was the symbols of the China Emperor, I think She was a concubine and his son became the crwn prince because the Empress didnot have the sons (the same as the Empress Dwager Xi Cie). Look at the paintings and the monument below (the Mother and crown prince will illustrated at the unique collections from WuZhou.

 

 

5.YUE XIU PARK GUANZHOU
This beautiful and exciting park sitatuated at YueXiu Hill in the Guan Zhou (before Canton), consist seven hill, three builded Lake and The Goat Statue of Guan Zhou city emblem ,look at that city emblem photo illustrations below.

.at guangzhou night market I found many achina numismatic collection with colour illustration which help me much to open the mystery of chinese cast coin script and code of reign

I have write in e-book CD-ROM about this and upload the sample in my web blog with caption  the dr iwan Adventure in China.

I bought the first catalogue Krause in 1989, in 2008 the Chinese coin catalogue with Chinese character,in 2008 my son Anton bought the best coin catalogue that made more understand how to read the chine native script  and in the same years I found several numismatic catalogue at Guangzhou.

I am starting writing about Chinese numismatic in my old web blog hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com which visit by 80.000 collectors.

This day I just found very best information about Chinese numismatic collections,and with this informations my study finish and I have writing the amazing e-book in CD-ROM about the report of my study with notification which coin ever found in Indonesia with mark @,this the first study ever report,and this informations will be the fact related to Chinese traded in Indonesia, the sample I upload in my other web blog hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum.worpres.com which visit by 210.000 collectors from all over the world. The complete e.book in CD-ROM exist with full info and illustrations which made everyone can understand about the Chinese numismatic including the value ,but this only for premium member of the blog,that is why please subscribed via comment.

Why I am interesting to reasech about Chinese cast coin, the first reason that the coin came from My Grandpa homeland which relatated with my father and my self also hole family. The second reaond  this unique cast coin with hole in the center which known in Indonesia as Gobok coin and many find in Bali because they used as the magic lucky charm alhouth they didn’t now that the charm with rosette hole, from every character ,type of script  and position from the hole top,bottom,left andf right of the hole have their own name and used for special charm of magic power.They cannot read the Chinese character,the Hindu Bali native people gave tir own name,

like the grass script (scribbling or fast script) of  Yuan Feng tong bao,the yuan like flower and thy named the flower coin

 

.the eror printing cast coin with double print ar reverse which look like crescent moon they called  the Moon coin.

 

The grass script(Scribling) of Zhi Dao Yuan Bao,the character  at left  of circling they named as the symbol of happiness(bahagia) ,the owner will always happy all the time and they name this the happiness coin.

 

The Jian(Chien) Yen  tong Bao of southern song the yen character like grass,and they used as the lucky charm coin for the ranch of Horse because the horse eating the grass

 

Read at the souther Song dynasty history collections.

The metal of cast coin many from bronze, rare from iron and also from tin the heaven money coin.

All the Chinese cast coin collector will have the informations how to read the character Top-Bottom-left-Right or Top-Right-Bottom-ring contra clock wise the bali native called

 

the coin ‘s the position like cheng ho

tong bao,the ho char at  bottom 

, also info the difference between four type script from orthodox,Seal,grass(scribbling) and Li script.

Also info the character many used like Yuan,Tong ,Bao, Thien,Thay,Ho etc. 

I understand that this study not complete,more info and correction still need,please send your comment,for that thanks very much.

Jakarta April 2012

 

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

 


China was unified again by

the Song Dynasty

 (960 – 1279).

The Song dynasty produced a complex series of coins. Song emperors used many reign titles

and different calligraphy styles were used in the coins.

 

A particular type of coin is the “matched coin” (dui qian).

These are coins with inscriptions of different calligraphic style but identical make

(rim, thickness, hole and size). This is a unique feature of Northern Song coins.


The seal script  Tian Sheng Yuan Bao

 

 

seal script Zheng ho tong bao

is an example of a dui qian. It existed in

 seal script

 

Tian Sheng Yuan Bao cash, Emperor Ren Zong (1022-1063), China

 

li script and regular orthodox  scripts

also

@

n

seal script Xi Ning yuan  bao (熙宁元宝) inscription.

Xi at top,Ning at lef and yuan at bottom,this charm coin look the rosette hole

 compare witn above coin hole square

This inscription, however, is written in seal script.

Coins with this style of calligraphy were cast during the years 1068-1077 of the reign of Emperor Shen Zong.

; attributed to Emperor Ren Zong who used

 orthodox script tian sheng tong bao , tian at top,sheng at left clockwise read

as the period title of the years 1023 to 1031.

 

THE SUNG or SONG DYNASTY (960-1279)  

Over 300 years of Sung history is divided into the two periods of Northern and Southern Sung.

Because of the barbarian occupation of northern China the second half of the Sung rule

was confined to the area south of the Huai River. (Photo – painting of a scholar 11th century).

    Northern Sung (960-1126).

 General Chao K’uang-yin, later known as

 

Sung T’ai Tsu,

 was said to have been coerced to become emperor in order to unify China.

Wary of power-hungry commanders, Sung T’ai Tsu made the military into a national army under his direct control. Under his less capable successors, however, the military increasingly lost prestige.

Unfortunately for China, the weakening of the military coincided with the rise of successive strong nomad nations on the borders.

    In contrast to the military’s loss of prestige, the civil service rose in dignity.

The examination system that had been restored in the Sui and T’ang was further elaborated and regularized.

 Selection examinations were held every three years at the district, provincial, and metropolitan levels.

    Only 200 out of thousands of applicants were granted the jinshi degree, the highest degree,

and appointed to government posts. From this time on, civil servants

became China’s most envied elite, replacing the hereditary nobles and landlords.

   

Sung dominion extended over only part of the territories of earlier Chinese empires.

The Khitans controlled the northeastern territories, and

 the Xi Xia (Western Xia) controlled the northwestern territories. Unable to recover these lands,

the Sung emperors were compelled to make peace with the Khitans in 1004

 and with the Hsi Hsia in 1044. Massive payments to the barbarians under the peace terms depleted

the state treasury, caused hardship to taxpaying peasants, and gave rise to a conflict in the court among

advocates of war, those who favored peace, and reformers.

(Photo – Star Chart from Su Song’s Xin Yi Fa Yao published in 1092).

    In 1069

Emperor Shen Tsung (left)appointed Wang An-shih (right)as chief minister. Wang proposed a number of sweeping reforms based on the classical text of the `Rites of Chou’. Many of his “new laws” were actually revivals of earlier policies, but officials and landlords opposed his reforms.

When the emperor and Wang died within a year of each other, the new laws were withdrawn. For the next several decades, until

the fall of the Northern Sung in 1126,

 the reformers and antireformers alternated in power, creating havoc and turmoil in government.

   

In an effort to regain territory lost to the Khitans,

the Sung sought an alliance with the newly powerful Juchens from Manchuria.

Once the alliance had expelled the Khitans, however, the Juchens turned on the Sung and occupied the capital of Kaifeng.

The Juchens established the dynasty of Chin,

 a name meaning “gold,” which lasted from 1115 to 1234, in the north. They took the emperor and his son prisoner, along with 3,000 others, and ordered them to be held in Manchuria. (Photo – Astronomical Clock Tower from Su Song’s book, 1092).

    Southern Sung (1126-1279).

Another imperial son fled south and settled in 1127 at Hangzhou,

where he resumed the Sung rule as the emperor Kao Tsung. The Sung retained control south of

 

the Huai River,branch of Yangtse river at Hangzhou

where they ruled for another one and a half centuries.Although militarily weak and limited in area,

Hangzhou
杭州

In 2009

Dr Iwan ever Visit Hangzou by bus from Guangzhou to Guillin and sailed around

the Hangzhou lake

 

with many beautiful villa around the lake

 

at the hill espacially during sunset

—  Sub-provincial city  —

杭州市

At HANGZHOU IN THE MORNING AT THE FROM HOTEL

 dr iwan found local phone card with the picture of native china dancer, and the old man and women TAI Chi dancer sport, and many plays table tennis Pingpong.

Read more info in another CD-ROM

Dr Iwan Adventur In South China

The sample also exist at

Hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com and

Hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseun.wordpress.com

Look the amazing landscape of

 Hangzhou

below

 

 

Location of Hangzhou City in Zhejiang

 

 

Hangzhou

Location in China

Coordinates: 30°15′N 120°10′E

 

   

 

 

  

THE NORTHERN SUNG DYNASTY

This is a guide to the coins of

the Northern Sung Dynasty

(AD 960 to 1126),

the coin uncommon and rare.

Dr Iwan Notes

The Nothern Song found many than the Southern Song Coins in Indonesia before 1980,but after that became scarce.

The rare of another song cast coin are

the rosette hole ,lucky cham coin,

 Dr Iwan only found one coin ching te tong bao

soory no illustration

 

The Sung Dynasty, established in AD 960,

 saw relative stability in China, although conflict with the Tartars and Mongols continued. In AD 1127 the northern provinces were lost to them

and

 the capital had to be moved from

 

 K’ai-feng Fu (Pien-liang) in the north

 

To

 

 

 Lin-an Fu (Hangchou) in the south.

We now refer to the period before the move as the Northern Sung and after the move as Southern Sung.

This is a complex series, with nine Emperors using dozens of reign titles and many inscription and calligraphy variations which defined dates and mints. If the variations were catalogued, they would number in the thousands. Unfortunately the key to understanding them no longer exists..

Song Dynasty,

Is Many Armor Leaves (Iron Sheet) One Kind Of Iron Armor Which Connects With The Rawhide Or The Armor Nail Becomes. It Protects The Whole Body Nearly, For China Ancient Armor’s Apex.

AD960-AD1279


Northern Song Dynasty

 

 

       

Emperor Song Taizu

Emperor Song Taizong

Emperor Song Huizong

Emperor Song Gaozong

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emperor Taizu – Song Dynasty

sorry no illustration 

[ ] Emperor Taizu [Tai-tsu] , the first emperor

 

 sorry no illustration

[ ]Emperor Taizong

 

 illustration only for premium member

 

[ ]Emperor Zhengzong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ] Emperor Renzong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ]Yinzong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ]Shenzong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ]Zhezong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ]Huizong

 illustration only for premium member

[ ]Qinzong

 

OUTLINE OF THE BRONZE COINS

At the standard in use since the T’ang, the Northern Sung monetary system was based on full weight bronze 1 cash averaging 3.5 grams, 2 cash averaging 7 grams cast sporadically after AD 1093, and on a few occasions, usually during times of war, bronze 3 and 10 cash fiduciary coins cast to the 2 and 3 cash standard. In addition to bronze coins, fiduciary iron coins were also cast through much of this period.

AD 960 to 1041.

 

 The only bronze northern song coins were full-weight 1 cash.

 

 

AD 1041.

 

 Fiduciary 3 cash (S-505) of about 7 grams and 29 mm. This was the earliest North Sung issue higher than a 1 cash. As a fiduciary issue it proved unpopular and subject to counterfeiting and in AD 1059 was devalued to 2 cash, consistent with the weight.

AD 1070.

 

Fiduciary bronze 10 cash (S-538) of 7.2 grams and 30 mm were issued to raise funds for the Western Wars. As with the earlier fiduciary issues, these were unpopular and subject to counterfeiting and were devalued to 2 cash at the war’s end. Iron 10 cash were also issued at this time.

 

 

 

 

AD 1093.

 

 Full-weight 2 cash of about 7.0 grams and 29 mm. (S-575) were introduced as a regular part of the currency, but only issued sporadically.

AD 1102.

 Fiduciary 10 cash (S-621) were cast in an attempt to introduce them as a regular part of the coinage. At about 11 grams and 31 mm these contained 3 cash worth of metal and were devalued to value 3 cash in AD 1111.

AD 1107.

 A full weight 10 cash was issued (S-630) at about 27 grams and 50 mm, but was withdrawn within a year. These appear to have been hoarded, and used as a cheap source of metal for counterfeiting the fiduciary 10 cash issues still circulating from the issue of AD 1102.


 

 

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE OF THE IRON COINS

 

The earliest northern Song iron coins

 consisted of non-fiduciary 1/10 cash. Schjoth (page 28) records: “In the 2nd year of Ching-te (AD 1005) large iron coins were cast in the two localities of Chia-ting Fu and Chiung-chou in Szechuan, value one copper cash or ten small iron cash. These all circulated jointly and gave much satisfaction.”

The large iron coins, of bronze 1 cash value, seem to be S-472 (10.83 grams, 35 mm). We believe

 

the “small iron cash”

valued at 1/10th of a copper cash are the well known iron issues of bronze cash size and weight which start with the T’ai-p’ing (S-462) issues of AD 976-984. This would explain a passage where Schjoth records Mr. Hu, in AD 978, paid for copying some sacred classics with

 

120 strings of iron money. Recording payment specifically in iron money would not be necessary unless iron and copper cash were valued differently. This establishes iron at about 1/10th the value of copper, a figure very important to understanding other iron issues. The larger iron coin (S-472), at about 11 grams, was fiduciary with only about 0.3 cash worth of iron.

A careful analysis of the coins, as well as the literary evidence, suggests the following sequence:

AD 978. Non-fiduciary 1/10 cash iron coins are first cast. It is possible that earlier specimens may one day come to light.

AD 990. Non-fiduciary 1/10 cash iron coins cease to be cast, but continue to circulate until at least AD 1005.

AD 1004 (possibly a little earlier). Fiduciary iron 1 cash ware introduced (S-472) at 11 grams, 35 mm and issued sporadically throughout the Northern Sung period but at ever-reducing weights and sizes.

AD 1017. The standard for iron 1 cash is reduced to about 7 grams, 28 mm (S-483).

AD 1023. The size of iron 1 cash is reduced to about 25 mm, but the weight remains at about 7.0 grams (S-487).

AD 1070. Fiduciary iron 10 cash (S-542a) of 35 mm and variable weight between 7.5 and 11 grams are issued to finance the Western Wars. At the end of the war these are devalued to 2 cash.

AD 1093. Iron 2 cash (S-580) introduced at the same standard as the 10 cash of AD 1070, but prove an unsuccessful experiment and by the end of AD 1094 are trading at scrap iron prices (about 0.4 cash).

AD 1101. The weights of iron 1 cash become variable (S-615) averaging about 5.75 grams but specimens between 3.5 and 7 grams are encountered. The size remains consistent at about 25 mm.

AD 1111. Iron 2 cash (29 mm, 7-10 grams) (S-643) and

3 cash (32 mm, 9-11 grams) are cast but again faile to be accepted.


 

THE NATURE OF THE FIDUCIARY ISSUES

When we were first writing this site, the issuing and later devaluations of fiduciary coins appeared somewhat random, but it quickly became obvious this was not the case.

All of the iron coins, with the exception of the early 1/10 cash issues were fiduciary. Fiduciary 1 cash iron coins were accepted throughout this period, but all attempts at higher denominations were rejected.

It appears that almost all fiduciary bronze coins, and most fiduciary iron over 1 cash, were only cast during times of war or other emergencies and afterwards the bronze coins were devalued to denominations consistent with their size and weight, while iron coins were demonetized and withdrawn from circulation.

Fiduciary bronze was always cast to standards consistent with lower denominations, allowing them to be devalued later and still fit into the pre-existing coinage system. This shows planning, suggesting they were cast with the full intent of a future devaluation. (The same is not true of fiduciary iron coins).


 

INSCRIPTION VARIETIES

Northern Sung coins present a complex series of inscription variations which, while easily catalogued, are poorly understood. Date and mint codes are probably hidden in these variations, but it is possible we will never understand them.

 

CALLIGRAPHY STYLES

Schjoth’s introduction to Northern Sung coinage (page 27) says: “As regards the style of writing, the coins in the ‘seal’ writing come first, followed by those in the clerkly or orthodox writing, and ultimately finishing up with the ‘running’ hand, or ‘grass-character’ style of writing.”

By using “or” he is saying “clerkly” and “orthodox” are one script style, “running hand” and “grass-character” are a second. Seal script is the third style. A quick examination of the coins shows his statement of only three styles of calligraphy are correct.

1)    “SEAL” –

 

Seal script Zhong he (Cheng ho)tong bao@

a very formal style of writing. Rounded characters with a fixed form and all details of each character included. The differences between coins are minor. There is no real Western equivalent, but type set block capital letters come closest.

 

 

 

2)    “ORTHODOX” –

 

Orthodox script Chong he (cheng Ho) tong bao

 

Orthodox script Ta chung tung pao

also referred to as “clerkly”. Angular characters with a generally square or rectangular appearance in which most details are made up of distinct either straight or slightly curved stokes. The general layout of a character is fixed, but small details can be left out. From coin to coin there can be significant differences. The closest Western equivalent is handwritten small-case printing.

 

 

 

3)    “GRASS” –

 

Grass script sheng song  yuan bao@

 

grass script Yuan feng tong bao@

The feng char at left of hole  like flower,the Balinese native people called the flower coin

Compare the same coin in seal script

In Bali the native people called this circling Yuan char as  the emblem of Hapiness,the happiness coin which made the owner always happy(Bahagia)

Li script

li script yuan feng tong bao

li script Jing Kang Tong Bao

Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127,

Jing Kang Tong Bao, 1126, iron 1 cash, H16.518, S-669, Li script, aVF $180.00 sold 7/4/2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

also referred to as “running hand”. Flowing characters on which several details of a character can be represented by a single wavy or jagged line. A form of shorthand in which a character can show major differences from coin to coin. This is distinctly like Western handwriting (as opposed to hand printing).

Confusion throughout the general listings, such as for S-633-637 (page 33) where he states the type exists in both “clerkly” and “orthodox” script leads us to believe Schjoth did not write this part of the catalogue. It must have been written by someone working from his rough notes in which must the terms have been used interchangeably.

We relied on Schjoth’s drawings and descriptions to determine the calligraphy style of most issues, but the drawings are not always accurate. Some of the drawings show coins with a mix of orthodox and grass characters, in which cases we list the coin by the style of the 12 o’clock character. If actual specimens confirm this mixing of types, we will comment on them later.

 

S-630
Orthodox slender gold Script@

“TA-KUAN YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script, with very fine calligraphy said to be in the Emperor’s own hand, which Hartill refers to as

 “slender gold” script.

 

CALLIGRAPHY VARIETIES

From the work of Mr. Berger, we know the Ch’ing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911) used subtle calligraphy variations indicating dates, with two changes per year at each mint. With many mints operating, this produced hundreds of variations for any type issued for more than one or two years. Northern Sung coins also have many variations per issue, suggesting a similar system was already in use, but unlike the Ch’ing coins, for which many official records have survived, and the code has been broken, the Northern Sung code is unlikely to be completely understood (we are told Mr. Berger is trying).

 

INSCRIPTION ENDINGS

In his introduction to the Northern Sung coinage, Schjoth (page 27) writes “It will be noted that the Yuan-paos, implying the ‘opening’ or ‘beginning’ currency are placed before the T’ung-paos, implying the principle of the ‘flowing’ currency.”

A simple examination of the coins shows no such relationship exists. There is also a third ending,”Chung-pao”, which Schjoth has ignored in this passage. We have noted the following pattern in the use of these endings:

 

 

AD 960 to 989 –

 

all coins use “T’UNG PAO”.

AD 990 to 1007 –

 

 all coins use “YUAN-PAO”.

AD 1008-1016 –

 both “T’UNG PAO” and “YUAN-PAO” during the same reign title.

AD 1041 –

 

Chung ning chung pao

a third ending of “CHUNG-PAO” was introduced.

AD 1017-1041 –

 only one ending was used during any reign title, but it could be either “T’UNG PAO”, “YUAN-PAO” or (after AD 1041) “CHUNG-PAO.

AD 1053-1126 –

 no evident pattern. Anywhere from one to three endings used in any reign title. In the cases where only one was used, it could be any of the three.

At this time we cannot comment of the significance of these endings, but there must be one. Coins of some reign titles are very rare and it is possible new types may turn up which will help establish a more significant pattern.

 

INSCRIPTION ORIENTATIONS

Northern Sung coins occur with inscriptions reading either

@

TOP, BOTTOM, LEFT, RIGHT

Tai ping tung bao

or

@

TOP, LEFT, BOTTOM, RIGHT.

Grass script Northern Song Dynasty, Sheng Song Yuan Bao 1101-1106A.D.

1cash “Knotted Sheng” – Price 55 USD

Other example

 

Seal script Yua Ping yuan bao@

 

Orthodox script Tong Seng Yuan bao

Both orientations occur throughout and some issues can be found either way. We have not yet been able to determine any significance of these two orientations.


 

MINTING TECHNIQUES AND WEIGHT VARIATIONS

Starting in the late 5th century AD, the majority of Chinese coins were cast in two-piece moist sand molds into which a master coin (called a seed) was used to make many impressions. Channels were cut to connect the impressions and, after joining the two pieces, molten metal was poured in. When taken apart, the mold yielded what looked like a tree studded in coins, which was then cut apart.

The impression of the mold’s sand grains leaves a granular surface. The coins were run over a rasp to smooth the surfaces, leaving a series of parallel file marks which wear off very quickly and are only visible on very high grade specimens (a few Ming Rebel issues have courser file marks that do not wear off). The lower points on the coin are not affected by the rasp and usually retain some evidence of the pebbled surface on all but the most worn coins (difficult to see on a heavily patinated coin).

Cutting the coins from the tree left a rough spot on the edges which was then filed smooth. The coins were cast with wide rims to allow for this filing.

This method was easy, very fast and, because all of the coins were impressed with the same seed coin, thousands and even millions of identical coins were possible, allowing calligraphy variations to be used as mint and date control marks. Each coin would be exactly the same diameter except for small size variations caused by filing the edges. The only major drawback was in controlling the weights. It was impossible to control the exact depth of each seed impression, and a slightly deeper impression gave a heavier coin and a shallow one a light coin. Weights could vary as much as 25% from coin to coin, so officials concerned themselves with the average weight of one thousand coins, not the weight of each individual coin, as discussed earlier.

 

Java tin imitation song coin

 

 

Compare with original song coin

Earlier Song  coins were often cast in handcarved stone (steatite) moulds.

 No two molds could have identical calligraphy, and controlling the exact depth of the carving was difficult, so coins cast by this method (many of the knife, spade and ban-liang) could vary considerably in weight. The molds had a limited useful life and one could not cast tens of thousands of identical coins. Other early coins were cast in non-reusable clay molds which were produced with a type of seed coin, but the mould-making process was too slow to serve the needs of China’s expanding population. The Chinese were aware of lost-wax casting, and used it for many purposes, but the process was far too slow for casting hundreds of millions of coins.

It is difficult to determine the intended denomination of a coin simply by weight. The problem is not too bad with Northern Sung bronze 1 cash which were cast to a standard of 3.5 grams, but could weigh between 2.75 and 4.5 grams. It is worse for 2 cash which at a 7 gram standard vary from 5.5 to 9 grams and overlap with 3 cash at a 10.5 gram standard but vary between 8.25 to 13.5 grams. As can be seen, the heavier 2 cash can weigh more than a light 3 cash. The problem gets worse for higher denominations.


 

SIZE AND DENOMINATION

These small copper coins did not have a lot of purchasing power and except for the smallest transactions, they were tied together in strings of 100 coins. In this form it was impossible to weight each coin, so how could one be sure a string was not of mixed denominations? The answer is fairly simple. Make each denomination a consistent size and without any special equipment and even a blind man would be able to tell if there were a few small coins in the middle of a string of large coins (or vice versa).

 

 

 

 

 

The following chart shows the sizes and average weights known to exist for bronze coins of each reign title (omitting reign titles for which no coins are known). It leaves little doubt that there were distinct size ranges.

 

Kai yuan tong bao coin@

 

Tai ping tong Bao Coin@

DURING THIS ERA THE ROSETTE HOLE LUCKY CHARM COIN DIFFICULT TO FOUND, I HAVE ONLY ONE,LOOK THE DIFFERENT BETWEEN ROSETTE HOLE(LEFT) AND SQUARE HOLE(RIGHT)

 

 

sorry after this the illustration only in complete CD-ROM special for premium member ,subscribe via comment to look the illustrations of the amizing collection of 50 years research

DATE

TITLE

under
23
mm

23-26
mm

27-30
mm

31-35
mm

over 35
mm

968-975

KAI-PAO

 

 

Sung yuan tong bao

3.2 grams

976-984

T’AI-P’ING

@

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.1 grams@

990-994

SHUN-HUA

@

 

 

@

3.2 grams

995-998

CHIH-TAO yuan pao

@

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 grams

998-1004

HSIEN-P’ING Yuan Pao

 

@

 

3.6 grams

1004-1007

CHING-TE yuan pao

@

3.5 grams

1008-1016

HSIANG-FU

 

 

3.7 grams

1017-1021

T’IEN-SHI

 

@

3.2 grams

1023-1031

T’IEN-SHENG

@

3.7 grams

1032-1033

MING-TAO@

 

3.9 grams

1034-1037

CHING-YU@

3.7 grams

1038-1039

PAO-YUAN

huang yu tong pao @

 

 

 

3.6 grams

1040

K’ANG-TING

3.3 grams

1041-1048

CH’ING-LI

 

3.3 grams

7.2 grams

1049-1053

HUANG-YU

2.7 grams

1054-1055

CHIH-HO

@

3.7 grams

1056-1063

CHIA-YU yun pao

 

3.5 grams

1064-1067

CHIH-P’ING yuan pao@

 

3.6 grams

1068-1077

HSI-NING@

 

3.5 grams@

7.2 grams@

1078-1085

YUAN-FENG@

 

3.3 grams@

7.0 grams

1086-1093

YUAN-YU@

 

3.2 grams

7.8 grams

1094-1097

SHAO-SHENG@

 

3.7 grams

7.0 grams
@

1098-1100

YUAN-FU@

 

1.7 grams

3.2 grams

7.4 grams

1101

CHIEN-CHUNG

Shen shung yuan pau

 

2.0 grams

3.6 grams@

6.5 grams

1102-1106

CH’UNG-NING@

 

2.7 grams

10.3 grams

1107-1110

TA KUAN@

3.85 grams

?? grams

23.5 grams

1111-1117

CHENG-HO@

 

 

3.3 grams2

7.2 grams

1118

CHUNG-HO

4.9 grams

1119-1125

HSUAN-HO

3.4 grams

6.1 grams

6.7 grams@

1126

CHING-K’ANG

7.3 grams

 

 

 

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CHINA, coins of the Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127,
    Generally speaking, a few centuries of peace.  Culture encouraged.  Excesses of rich people constrained for a time.  Scientific advancement.  Dynasty faced pressure from the north – horse barbarians.  Had to abandon the capital and move south.

276-117. CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Tai Ping Tong Bao, 976-94, 1 cash, H16.20v, S-461v, horizontal line R rev., VG $36.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xian Ping Yuan Bao, 998-1004, S-470?, FD-878, 9mm outer rim obv., rev. blank, center hole not created, 33mm bronze, 26.5g, VG $135.00 sold 6/17/2010
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xian Ping Yuan Bao, 998-1004, S-470?, FD-878, 9mm outer rim obv., rev. blank, 33mm, 19.3g, F $140.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song Dynasty, 960-1127, Xian Ping Yuan Bao, 998-1004, S-470?, FD-878v, 9mm outer rim obv., rev. blank, 33mm, 19.3g, 30mm, 10.3g, line & dot R rev., F $140.00 sold 6/17/2010
.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

273-119. CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Jing De Yuan Bao, 1004-07, iron 10 cash, H16.51, S-472, FD-882, VG $55.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xiang Fu Tong Bao, 1008-16, iron 3 cash, H16.58, S-478, aG $36.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Tian Sheng Yuan Bao, 1023-31, iron 2 cash, H16.80, S-487, orthodox script, VG $76.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

273-128. CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Huang Song Tong Bao, 1038, iron 2 cash?, H16.118, S502v, 27mm, 7.4g, ex-Dan Ching, choice F $45.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

273-133. CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zhi He Tong Bao, 1054-55,1 cash, H16.141, S-513, 2 mould breaks nicely placed on obv rim, rev. 25% offset, nice looking error coin, F $45.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zhi He Zhong Bao, 1054-55, iron 3 cash, S-nl, FD-927v, orthodox script, choice VG-F $71.00 sold 4/7/2009
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zhi He Zhong Bao, 1054-55, iron 3 cash, S-nl, FD-932, orthodox script, VG $25.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zhi He Zhong Bao, 1054-55, iron 3 cash, H16.144, S-nl, Fang top rev., Fangzhou, Shaanxi, VG $89.00 sold 4/7/2009
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zhi He Zhong Bao, 1054-55, iron 3 cash, H16.145A, S-nl, Tong top rev., Tongzhou, Shaanxi, VG $61.00 sold
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xi Ning Yuan Bao, 1068-77, 1 cash, H16.181, S-nl, FD-954, orthodox, Heng top rev., F/G 45.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xi Ning Yuan Bao, 1068-77, 1 cash, H16.181, S-nl, FD-954, orthodox, Heng top rev., F/G $45.00 sold 11/20/2007
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

277-149. Xi Ning Yuan Bao, 1068-77, 1 cash, H16.181, S-nl, FD-954, Heng top rev., F/G $45.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

277-152. Xi Ning Yuan Bao, 1068-77, 1 cash, H16.184, S-531, spectacularly off center rev., aF $45.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Xi Ning Yuan Bao, 1068-77, 1 cash, H16.184, S-531,  orthodox script, double outer rim rev., aVF $25.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Yuan Feng Tong Bao, 1078-85, iron 3 cash, S-561, FD-978v, seal, down pointing moon top rev., F $53.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Yuan Yu Tong Bao, 1086-93, iron 3 cash, S-581, FD-989, grass, excellent F+ $41.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Shao Sheng Yuan Bao, 1094-97, 1 cash, H16.308v, S-591v, running script, bar across top of Sheng, 4mm rev. rim, VG $10.00 sold 6/18/2009
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Yuan Fu Tong Bao, 1098-1100, iron 3 cash, H16.336, S-nl, FD-1015, seal script, aVF $36.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Yuan Fu Tong Bao, 1098-1100, iron 1 cash, H16.348, S-nl, seal script, Shang top rev., aF $100.00 sold 11/20/2007
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Yuan Fu Tong Bao, 1098-1100, iron 1 cash, H16.348, S-nl, seal script, Shang top rev., VG $81.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Sheng Song Yuan Bao, 1101, iron 3 cash, H16.371, S-nl, FD-1032, seal script, aVF $36.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Chong Ning Tong Bao, 1102-06, H16.398, S-619, aF $56.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Chong Ning Zhong Bao, 1102-06, 10 cash, H16.400v, S-621v, FD-1040v, big & deliberate nailmark bottom R rev., F $33.00 sold
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, N. SONG Dynasty, 960-1127, Chong Ning Zhong Bao, 1102-06, iron 3 cash, S-nl, FD-1052,  horns projecting from top left & bottom left corners of inner rim rev., 33mm, 9.5g, aVF $48.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Da Guan Tong Bao, 1107-10, 10 cash,  S-630, FD-1062, a beautifully made large coin, VF $17.50 sold
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zheng He Tong Bao, 1111-17, 2 cash, S-640, FD-1078, Fugo-49 var (R2 – second highest rarity), orthodox, “Wen” Zheng, strangely drawn characters, aF $175.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

273-139. CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Zheng He Tong Bao, 1111-17,iron 3 cash, H16.440, S-643, FD-1087, VF+ $30.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Chong He Tong Bao, 1118, 1 cash, H16.465, S-nl, seal script, aG $160.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Chong He Tong Bao, 1118, 1 cash, H16.466, S-647,  Li script, VF $182.00
(Might not be genuine – I’m not sure.  Usual guarantee.)
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Chong He Tong Bao, 1118,1 cash, H16.466, S-647, Li script, aG $90.00
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 

tttb
CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Jing Kang Tong Bao, 1126, iron 1 cash, S-670, FD-1138, orthodox, 2 specimens on hand, @ aVF $155.00 each both sold 3/21/2009
Click pictures for enlargement.
    It has been noted that many of the coins of this batch have been treated by a rub with a file or sandpaper followed by a dusting of white powder to improve their appearance.  As, um, the face of a conventionally beautiful woman is said to be enhanced with cosmetics yet few will think the worse of her, quite the contrary in fact, so with these coins, rare and beautiful even if covered with dirt.
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Jing Kang Tong Bao, 1126, iron 1 cash, H16.513, S-669, orthodox script, aVF $170.00 sold 3/21/2009
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 

 
 

CHINA, Northern Song dynasty, 960-1127, Jing Kang Tong Bao, 1126, iron 1 cash, H16.518, S-669, Li script, aVF $180.00 sold 7/4/2011
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 

 

Included in the average weights are numbers of worn coins which reduce the average weight slightly. In most cases, the original weights were probably about 0.2 grams higher than the average of the surviving coins.

Many of these issues are extremely rare and, for many types, we have been unable to locate actual specimens from which to take weights and measurements. The only readily available source of this information is the Schjoth catalogue, so we have based this table, and our descriptions of the types, on information provided by Schjoth. It is possible, especially for sizes, that some errors are included, but we will modify our listing if actual specimens indicate discrepancies.


 

 

COUNTERFEITS

It is important to read our discussion of weights before proceeding in this section.

 

TYPE 1

By counterfeit, we refer to illicit castings made at about the same time as the official castings, with the intent of spending them. These can be difficult and in some cases impossible to tell from official castings. Coins made recently, with the intent of fooling collectors, are called forgeries and are generally much easier to spot. No discussion of the forgeries will occur on this site as it would inform the forgers as to what they are doing wrong and allow them to make forgeries that are much more difficult to spot.

Chinese cash were all cast, making the counterfeiter’s job very easy, as casting is also the easiest of all counterfeiting methods.

By gathering heavier coins and recasting them as lighter coins, a counterfeiter could turn one hundred coins averaging 4 grams into 145 coins averaging 2.75 grams, a profit of 45%. Assuming an official coin was used as the master, each counterfeit would be at the low end of the acceptable weight range with the correct alloy, size, and calligraphy.

These coins must have been very difficult to spot back then, and almost impossible today. We can safely assume many coins at the lower end of the weight standards are counterfeits, but cannot be sure which ones. Official and counterfeit coins freely circulated side by side at the time, so both are part of China’s numismatic history and we therefore see little reason to worry about them.

 

TYPE 2

Many coins, including some listed by Schjoth, are much smaller and generally lighter than the normal standard. It is likely that most of these are illicit castings. There are some documented cases of very crude, small, light coins with Northern Sung (and other) types being cast for local use in parts of Southeast Asia. They were never meant to fool anyone in China and in some cases were cast hundreds of years after the official castings. They are an interesting collecting area unto themselves.

 

 

Emperor CHAO K’UANG YIN
AD 960-976

Chao K’uang Yin, chief General of the Posterior Zhou Dynasty disposed of Emperor Shih Tsung in AD 959, declaring himself Emperor and casting

 

Posterior Zhou coins with the “ZHOU-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” inscription. Within one year he established the Northern Sung Dynasty, adopting

 

the T’ai Tsu reign title.

 

 

Emperor Song Taizu

 

 

 

Emperor CHAO K’UANG YIN
AD 960-976

Chao K’uang Yin, chief General of the Posterior Zhou Dynasty disposed of Emperor Shih Tsung in AD 959, declaring himself Emperor and casting Posterior Zhou coins with the

“ZHOU-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” inscription.

Within one year he established the Northern Sung Dynasty, adopting the T’ai Tsu reign title.

 

Reign title: T’AI TSU, AD 960-968

 

Schjoth (page 27) lists “T’ai Tsu” as the Emperor’s name and not a reign title. We cannot identify any coins of this period, but the

 

“SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” @

issues attributed to the following reign title may have first been cast at this time, as one would expect these to have been Chao K’uang Yin’s first issue.

Compare with  Dr Iwan Collections

 

 

Seal  script Sung Yuan Tong Bao

 

 

 ROSETTE HOLE LEFT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: KAI-PAO, AD 968-975

 

S-451
Orthodox Script@

 

Kai-pao is Chao K’uang Yin’s second reign title, but does not appear on his coins as it was considered incorrect for the character for “Pao” to occur twice on the same coin. Rather, “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” (referring to the coinage of Sung) was used.

 

S-451. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (10 specimens) 25.2 mm, 3.40 grams.

VG   $2.50     F   $4.00@

 

We recently notice some specimens of this type that were only about 23.0 mm and around 2.40 grams (not included in the average above) while this type is nearly always over 25 mm and greater than 3 grams (we have seen one that was 25.7 mm, 4.20 grams). At this point we are not certain what the status of these smaller coins is, but suspect they are either contemporary counterfeits, or possibly Japanese or Annamese imitative coins.

 

S-452-8. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: any of various nail marks, dots and vertical strokes, but there are more types than Schjoth lists. Average (4 specimens) 25.0 mm. Average 4.71 grams.

VG   $5.00     F   $7.50     VF   $11.50@

 

We have noted the following variations:

 

TOP

 

crescent

 

UPPER RIGHT

crescent

   

RIGHT

vertical stroke

   

LOWER RIGHT

     

BOTTOM

crescent

   

LEFT

 

crescent

vertical stroke

UPPER LEFT

crescent

   

 

S-459. Iron 1/10 cash (see above). Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 4.09 grams. We have not seen one of these and cannot assign a value at this time.

 

These are reported to have been cast in Szechuan, Shansi or Fukien. Ding Fubao (Fisher’ s Ding) suggest these might be mother cash (models used to cast the seed cash), but average rim width makes that impossible.

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: T’AI TSU, AD 960-968

Schjoth (page 27) lists “T’ai Tsu” as the Emperor’s name and not a reign title. We cannot identify any coins of this period, but the “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” issues attributed to the following reign title may have first been cast at this time, as one would expect these to have been Chao K’uang Yin’s first issue.

Emperor T’AI TSUNG
AD 976-997

 

 

Emperor Song Taizong

 

Reign title: T’AI-P’ING, AD 976-984

 

S-460
Orthodox Script@

 

S-460. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’AI-P’ING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script (meaning “Money of the Heavenly Kingdom”). Reverse: blank. Average (4 specimens) 24.8 mm, 3.21 grams.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

Dr Iwan collections

Orthodox script Tai Ping Tung Pao(two coins)

 

 

 

 

                

 

S-461. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’AI-P’ING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: crescent at top. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 3.1 grams We have not had one, and cannot provide a value at this time (this does not necessarily mean it is rare).

 

S-462. Iron 1/10 cash. Obverse: “T’AI-P’ING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 4.16 grams. These are rare and we have no record of a value for the issue.

 

(The 1/10 cash denomination is based on information discussed above.)

It is recorded that a proposal was put forward to cast larger iron coins for this reign title. We assume the larger 1 cash similar to those of the “CHING-TE” reign title were intended, but we find no evidence they were cast.

 

Reign title: ??, AD 985-989

Schjoth, Fisher’s Ding and Mitchiner record no information about this period, but clearly show a gap between the preceding and following reign title. We will have to look further into this in the future.

 

 

Reign title: SHUN-HUA, AD 990-994

   

S-463
Orthodox Script

S-464
Running hand Script@

 

S-463-464. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse:

 

Rosette hole “SHUN-HUA YUAN-PAO” in orthodox

and

 

 

running hand script.@

Schjoth says there is a grass script type by we have not seen one, and neither Schjoth nor Hartill lists one. Reverse: blank. We have noted specimens with star holes. Average (4 specimens) 24.4 mm, 3.3 grams.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

 

Compare dr Iwan Collections

Running hand or  grass script Shun Hua Yuan Pao

 25 mm

 

27 mm

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title : CHIH-TAO, AD 995-998

     

S-465
Orthodox Script@

S-467
Mixed Scripts

S-468
Grass Script@

 

 

 

 

 

 Dr iwan collections

Orthodox script Chi yuan bao

24 mm(not clear)

 

26 mm(best illustration)

 

 

 

 

 

Grass script Chi Tao yuan bao

      

  

 

 

 

S-465-468. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIH-TAO YUAN-PAO” in orthodox, grass script and one type of

 

 mixed scrip (top and bottom in grass script, left and right in orthodox script). Reverse: blank. 24.6 mm. Average (12 specimens) 3.58 grams (excluding a 2.2 gram specimen must have been a contemporary counterfeit).

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

Reign title: KAI-PAO, AD 968-975

 

S-451SUN YUAN TUNG PAO
Orthodox Script

 

Kai-pao is Chao K’uang Yin’s second reign title, but does not appear on his coins as it was considered incorrect for the character for “Pao” to occur twice on the same coin. Rather, “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” (referring to the coinage of Sung) was used.

 

S-451. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (10 specimens) 25.2 mm, 3.40 grams.

VG   $2.50     F   $4.00

 

We recently notice some specimens of this type that were only about 23.0 mm and around 2.40 grams (not included in the average above) while this type is nearly always over 25 mm and greater than 3 grams (we have seen one that was 25.7 mm, 4.20 grams). At this point we are not certain what the status of these smaller coins is, but suspect they are either contemporary counterfeits, or possibly Japanese or Annamese imitative coins.

 

S-452-8. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: any of various nail marks, dots and vertical strokes, but there are more types than Schjoth lists. Average (4 specimens) 25.0 mm. Average 4.71 grams.

VG   $5.00     F   $7.50     VF   $11.50

 

We have noted the following variations:

 

TOP

 

crescent

 

UPPER RIGHT

crescent

   

RIGHT

vertical stroke

   

LOWER RIGHT

     

BOTTOM

crescent

   

LEFT

 

crescent

vertical stroke

UPPER LEFT

crescent

   

 

S-459. Iron 1/10 cash (see above). Obverse: “SUNG-YUAN T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 4.09 grams. We have not seen one of these and cannot assign a value at this time.

 

These are reported to have been cast in Szechuan, Shansi or Fukien. Ding Fubao (Fisher’ s Ding) suggest these might be mother cash (models used to cast the seed cash), but average rim width makes that impossible.

 

 

 

 

Emperor CHEN TSUNG or Zheng zong
AD 998-1022

 

 

[ ]Emperor Zhengzong  

 

Reign title : HSIEN-P’ING, AD 998-1004

 

S-470
Orthodox Script@
Broad rims

 

S-469-470. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSIEN-P’ING YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. There is only one caligraphy style for this issue, but it comes with both narrow (S-469) and wide (s-470) rims. Average (6 specimens) 24.5 mm, 3.54 grams.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

Dr Iwan collections

 

Orthodox script Hsien Ping Yuan Pao

 

 

 

Type one

 

 

Type two(imitation from bali?)

 

Reign title: CHING-TE, AD 1004-1007


S-471. Bronze cash. Obverse: “CHING-TE YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (9 specimens) 24.6 mm. 3.78 grams

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

 

Schjoth (page 28) records 1,830,000 strings of this issue were cast in each of the four years of this reign title. Each string was 100 coins, indicating about 732 million coins cast.

 

S-472. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “CHING-TE YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 35 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 10.83 grams. Rare, no value can yet be assigned.

 

In spite of the weight, it is fairly certain these were issued as 1 cash (see our discussion of iron coins). He records (page 28) these were cast in the second year of Ching-te (AD 1005) at Chia-ting Fu and Chiung-chou in Szechuan.

 

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Chen Tsung, AD998-1022, Large IronCash, Value 3 – CH’ING-TE YUAN-PAO

Price US$ 60.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: HSIANG-FU, AD 1008-1016

   

S-474
Orthodox script
Yuan-Pao ending

S-477
Orthodox script
T’ung Pao ending@

 

With “T’UNG PAO” and “YUAN-PAO”, this is the first occurrence of multiple inscription endings during a reign title (See our discussion of inscription varieties).

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

 

 

Orthodox script Hsiang fu yuan Pao

 

          

Orthodox script Hsiang fu Tong Bao

 

S-473-474. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSIANG-FU YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script (large and small calligraphy). Reverse: blank. Average (5 specimens) 24.9 mm. 3.94 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

S-475. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSIANG-FU YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Schjoth’s specimen was 26.0 mm. 5.58 grams. This coin has very wide rims, is 1.2 mm larger than usual, and is considerably above the 1 cash standard weight range. It has all the characteristics one would expect from a SEED CASH and as such should be considered a very rare specimen, however the size is in line with 2 examples of S-477 we describe below, and in fact this may turn out to be fairly common. More research needs to be done on this issue, and we cannot currently assign a value to it.

 

S-478. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “HSIANG-FU YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 34 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 10.82 grams (about the same as S-472). This is a rare coin and we cannot provide a valuation.

 

S-476-477. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSIANG-FU T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script (large and small calligraphy) Reverse: blank. Average (2 specimens) 25.7 mm, 4.55 grams (Schjoth shows his specimens as about 24 mm. Average 3.8 grams, however the 2 specimens we recently examined averaged 25.7 mm, 4.55 grams, suggesting Schjoth’s listing may have been in error).

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

Reign title: T’IEN-HSI, AD 1017-1021

   

S-479
Four different scripts.

S-480
Orthodox Script@

 

Dr Iwan collections

Orthodox script Tien-Hsi(Xi) tong bao

 

 

 

 

Schjoth (page 29) records that during the last year (AD 1021) at least four mints were casting copper coins (Yung-ping at Jao-chou in Kiangsi, Yung-feng at Ch’ih-chou in Anhui, Kuang-ning in Fookien, and Feng-huo at Chien-chou in Shansi) and a few other mints may have operated briefly at Pien-liang (the capital) and Hangchow. Three mints cast iron coins (Chiung-chou, Chia-ting-fu and Hsing-chou, all in Szechuan) and in one year 1.5 million strings were cast, but it is not clear if this includes the iron issues.

He also records a formula for the bronze alloy: in 5 cattie of coins was 3 cattie 10 ounces of copper, 1 cattie 8 ounces of lead and 8 ounces of tin.

 

S-479. Not in Hartill or FD, so a scarce type.

 

Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-HSI T’UNG-PAO” in rare four different scripts. Reverse: blank. Average (1 specimens) 23.8 mm, 2.79 grams.

F   $25.00     VF   $45.00.

 

BECAREFUL different WITH common Tien-“hsi”seal script

 

Dr Iwan collections

Seal script Tien “hsi” Yuan Bao

 

 

 

Schjoth states that this type has a different calligraphy styles on each of the four characters:

“T’IEN” – seal script, “HSI” – orthodox script, “T’UNG” – grass script, “PAO” in li (official) script, and while this is not clear from his drawings, the specimens we have now seen bare this out.

This is the earliest occurrence of seal script on a Northern Sung coin, possibly an experimental coin to see how it would look. However, this is controversy over this type, as while Schjoth believed it to be a Chinese issue (hence we include it here) there are others that think it is an Annamese issue, but there appears to be no clear consensus on this.

 

S-480,482. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-HSI T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (2 specimens) 24.5 mm, Schjoth had two specimens, one of 24 mm. 4.16 grams. Schjoth has a specimen that was only 21 mm, 2.48 grams, which is likely a counterfeit of the period and which has be left out of our average size and weight figure.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

              

S-481. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-HSI T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: crescent at top left. 24 mm. 3.15 grams. We have not had this type and cannot provide a valuation at this time.

 

S-483. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-HSI T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 28 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 7.52 grams. This is a very rare coin and we cannot provide a valuation at this time.

 

This is smaller and lighter than the iron coins cast during the previous two reign titles, but slightly heavier than those of the next. Please see our general discussion of the iron coins for why we believe they are 1 cash and not 2 cash as Schjoth suggests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CH’IEN-HSING, AD 1022

No coins seem to have been cast for this reign title.

 

Emperor JEN TSUNG
AD 1023-1063

 

 

[ ] Emperor Renzong  

 

Jen Tsung used nine reign titles,

 

casting coins for all of them. He used as many as ten denominations of mixed iron and bronze, with numerous variations in script style and orientation, providing dozens of major and hundreds of minor varieties.

 

 

 

Reign title: T’IEN-SHENG, AD 1023-1031

   

S-484
Seal Script@

S-486@
Orthodox

 

S-484-486. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. Average (12 specimens) 24.8 mm 4.11 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

Dr Iwan collections

 

Orthodox script Tien Sheng yuan Bao

 

Type 1

 

 

 

 

 with back double print   half rim board coin like moon crescent in bali they called moon coin (RARE)

 

        

Type 2

 

 

 

back blanc

 

 

S-487-488. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “T’IEN-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. Schjoth had two specimens of 25 mm and averaging 6.6 grams, smaller and lighter than those cast in the previous reign title. This type is rare and we have not been able to establish a value for it.

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Jen Tsung, AD1023-1063, T’IEN-SHENG YUAN-PAO

Price US$ 30.00

 

 

Reign title: MING-TAO, AD 1032-1032

Dr Iwan Collections

 

 

S-489
orthodox Script@

S-490
Seal Script@

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

Seal Script Ming Tao Yuan Pao

 

 

Back broad  rim

 

Orthodox script ming Tao yuan pao

 

S-489-490. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “MING-TAO YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. 25 mm. Schjoth had two specimens averaging 4.0 grams. The orthodox script variety is common but we are not certain about

 

the rarity of the seal script type.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

S-491. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “MING-TAO YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. 25 mm. Reverse: nail mark in top left corner. Schjoth had one specimen of 3.55 grams. We have not yet determined a value for this variety.

 

Schjoth does not record any iron coins for this reign title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CHING-YU, AD 1034-1037

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-492
Seal Script@

S-494
Orthodox Script@

 Dr Iwan collections

 

May be seal script Ching Yu Yuan Pao reverse blanc(no example exist),but this is also may be sheng sung yuan pao

 

 

Seal script Sheng sung yuan Pao

 

 

S-492-494. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHING-YU YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 25 mm. Average 3.73 grams.

   

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $5.00@

 

S-495. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “CHING-YU YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script.@ Reverse: blank. 25 mm. 6.8 grams. We have not handled one of these and cannot provide a valuation for it.

 

Schjoth records: “Hsu Chia’s proposal to cast coins by a chemical process, of fusing copper and iron, was adopted.”. We assume this refers to a copper-iron alloy but have not been able to determine which coins these were. As copper was worth more than iron, it makes little sense to issue iron coins with a copper content, but a considerable saving could be had by adding some iron to mostly copper issues. Some years ago we had a few North Sung cash that looked like rusty iron, but were non-magnetic, which we assumed just had a peculiar patination. However, they were issued under the reign title HSUAN-HO around AD 1119-1125 which is 100 years after this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: PAO-YUAN, huang Sung Yuan Po AD 1038-1039

   

S-498
Seal Script@

S-500
Orthodox Script

 

“Huang-Sung” @was used instead of “Pao-Yuan” on these coins. To do otherwise would have repeated the character “Pao”, a practice considered to be incorrect.

Dr Iwan collections

 

 

Seal script Huang Sung Tung Pao

S-496-500. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HUANG-SUNG T’UNG-PAO” (Imperial currency of Sung) in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank but one example with a star shaped hole. Average (2 specimens) 24.5 mm. 3.35 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

S-501-502. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “HUANG-SUNG T’UNG-PAO” (Imperial currency of Sung) in seal and orthodox script. Schjoth had two specimens, one of 24 mm, 7.53 grams and the other of 25 mm, 7.07 grams. These are rare and we cannot provide a valuation at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: K’ANG-TING, AD 1040

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-503
Orthodox Script

 

Jen Tsung only used this reign title for less than a year and very few coins were issued. We have never seen one.

 

S-503. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “K’ANG-TING YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 18 mm. 3.35 grams. This specimen is far too small for an official casting, but the weight is too high to suggest a contemporary counterfeit. As this is very rare and does not fit with then normal structure of the coinage, it may be a modern forgery. We note Fisher’s Ding (Ding Fubao) lists two Iron 1 cash for this reign title, but no bronze coins.

 

Schjoth (page 29) records: “In the K’ang-ting year, the official, Pi Chung-yuan, drawing attention to the bad state of the finances and the requirements for frontier expenditure, proposed the issue of a large currency, ‘value ten’ of copper and iron.” We have found no evidence that value ten cash were cast during this or either of the next two reign titles, but this passage is important as it shows that iron and copper coins could be cast and be circulating at identical denominations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CH’ING-LI, AD 1041-1048

   

S-504
read from top, then
around to the right

S-505
read top-bottom-right-left

 

S-506. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CH’ING-LI CHUNG-PAO” in orthodox script reading top-bottom right left. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. 3.35 grams. We have not recorded a value for this type.

 

S-504 and 505. Bronze, 3 cash. Obverse: “CH’ING-LI CHUNG-PAO” in orthodox script with orientations reading top-bottom right-left (504) and top around to the right (505). Reverse: blank. Average (10 specimens) 7.4 grams with a range from 6.2 to 8.6 grams, 30-31 mm (the 8.6 gram specimen was 32 mm).

F   $15.00     VF   $25.00

Rare coin

 

These weights are correct for value 2 cash, but Schjoth (page 30) records: “In the 4th year of Chia-yu (AD 1059), owing to the increased casting by the people of illicit coins, the ‘value three’ coins of the heavy issue of Ching-li chung-paos were reduced to the value of two cash”.. This clearly suggests the heavier “Ch’ing-li” coins were issued as a fiduciary three cash, making them subject to counterfeiting.

 

Reign title: HUANG-YU, AD 1049-1053

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-507
Orthodox Script

 

S-507-508. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HUANG-YU YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. 23 mm. Schjoth had two specimens weighing 2.15 and 3.2 grams.

This issue is rare and we have no record of a price for it.

 

It appears from Schjoth (page 30) that during this reign title an order was given to cast value 10 large copper and iron coins, but there is no evidence that these coins were actually cast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CHIH-HO, AD 1054-1055

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

 

S-509
Seal Script
with YUAN-PAO@

S-511
Orthodox Script
with YUAN-PAO

 

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-512
Seal Script
with T’UNG-PAO

S-513
Orthodox Script
with T’UNG-PAO

 

S-509-511. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIH-HO YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Average 3.72 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

Dr Iwan collections

 

 

 

Seal script Chih Ho Yuan Pao reverse blanc

 

S-512-513. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse:

“CHIH-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox script.@ Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Average 3.62 grams. We have no valuation records for this type

 

Reign title: CHIA-YU, AD 1056-1063

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

 

S-514
Seal Script

S-515
Orthodox Script

 

S-514-515. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIA-YU YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank. We have noted an orthodox script example with a star shaped hole. 24 mm. Average 3.87 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

S-516-518. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIA-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Schjoth notes an orthodox script example with a star shaped hole. 24 mm. Average 3.32 grams.

VG   1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emperor YING TSUNG
AD 1064-1067

 

 

[ ]Yinzong  

 

Reign title: CHIH-P’ING, AD 1064-1067

   

S-519
Seal Script@

S-522
Orthodox Script

S-519-523. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIH-P’ING YUAN-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Average 3.34 grams.

VG   1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

This type often exists with an unusual style of “CHIH”. Munro believes these were cast in Japan, which is possible. We will elaborate on this at some future date.

 

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-524
Seal Script

S-526
Orthodox Script

 

S-524-526. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHIH-P’ING T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Average 3.97 grams. Our records do not include a price for this type, but it is probably the same as those above.

 

Schjoth (page 30) records that during this reign title, 1,700,000 strings of cash (100 coins per string) were cast annually from six minting departments.

Dr Iwan collections

Seal script Chih Ping Tung Pao reverse blank

 

Compare withthis almost same and What the different between 

 

Orthodox script chi ping

with

 

Hsien ping

 

hsien ping beloe

Dr Iwan collections

 

Orthodox script Hsien Ping Yuan Pao

 

 

 

Type one

 

 

Type two the leg of yuan  script off

 

 

 

Emperor SHEN TSUNG
AD 1068-1085

 

 

[ ]Shenzong

 

[ ]Zhezong  

 

 

 

 

Emperor Shen Zong

Schjoth (page 31) records that as many as twenty-six mints operated during this period, with a combined annual mintage as high as five-and a half million strings.

 

 

Reign title: HSI-NING, AD 1068-1077

 

Seal Script version 1
with Yuan-pao

 

@?

Seal Script version 2
with Yuan-pao

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

Seal script “Hsi”-Ning yuan Pao

 

@

xi ning tong bao inscription.

This inscription, however, is written in seal script.

Coins with this style of calligraphy were cast during the years 1068-1077 of the reign of Emperor Shen Zong.

 

 

 

@

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

Orthodox script  “Hsi-Ning” Yuan Pao

Orthodox Script (one of several styles)
with Yuan-pao

     

S-527
Seal Script version 1
with Yuan-pao

S-529
Seal Script version 2
with Yuan-pao

S-535
Orthodox Script (one of several styles)
with Yuan-pao

Compare sela script  xi ning yuan pao above with the coin below(not same this sheng sung yuan bao)

 

     

S-538
Seal Script
with Chung-pao

S-537
Orthodox Script style 1
with Chung-pao @

S-542
Orthodox Script style 2
with Chung-pao

 

All coins of this reign title read from the top around to the right. Early in the reign only 1 cash coins were cast, and those with orthodox script tend to be style 1. Later in the reign the large denominations were cast, on which those with orthodox script tend to be style 2. It is not yet clear to me is the 1 cash denomination continued to be made after the larger denominations were introduced.

 

 

EARLY ISSUES

S-527-530 and 532-535. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING YUAN-PAO” in seal (two different versions) and orthodox scripts (3 different versions). Reverse: blank. Average (2 specimens) 23.8 mm. Average 3.12 grams. One with a star-shaped hole has been noted.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

One of Schjoth’s specimens weighed only 1.63 grams. It is probably a contemporary counterfeit and in not included is the average weight calculation.

 

S-531. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: crescent at bottom. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 3.7 grams. We have not recorded a value for this type.

 

S-544. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING YUAN-PAO” (or “T’UNG-PAO”) in orthodox script. Schjoth’s specimen must have been in poor condition as the exact reading was uncertain). Reverse: blank. 25 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 7.53 grams. We cannot provide a valuation for this type at this time.

 

At 7.53 grams and 25 mm, this appears to be a 1 cash and must have been part of this early series.

 

S-536-537. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING CHUNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. 25 mm. Average 3.57 grams. Our records do not currently include a value for this type.

Schjoth describes these as larger than usual, but 25 mm is not enough larger to be significant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATER ISSUES

Schjoth (page 31) records the following passage:

“During the years the armies moved westward, coins value ten were cast. When the war was ended and the armies withdrawn, the illicit casting of coins set in, and the value of the large coinage had to be reduced to ‘three’ and eventually to ‘two’.

On the recommendation of some high officials, henceforward, of the larger issues of coins only value two were cast and these circulated throughout the empire.”

 

S-538-42a. Bronze 10 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING CHUNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank. The size of these varies between 30 and 32 mm, with significant weight variations between about 6.5 and 8.5 grams. Based on 43 specimens we found an average weight of about 7.8 grams. These fit a 2 cash standard but appear to have been issued at 10 cash, later devalued to 2 cash. We have noted one example with a star-shaped hole.

VG   $2.50     F   $4.00     VF   $7.50, gVF   $9.00

 

From a recent hoard we noticed that the type S-538 seems to come in both the 30 to 32 mm size (later re-valued to 3 cash) and in the 28 to 29 mm size (later re-valued to 2 cash). It is possible that the 28-29 mm specimens were a distinctly different issued from the 30-32 mm specimens.

 

S-543. Iron 10 cash. Obverse: “HSI-NING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. 35 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 10.54 grams. These are rare and we have not seen one, and cannot provide a valuation for it.

 

The passage about war-issue 10 cash coins (see above) does not mention iron coins, but at 35 mm these are large coins and are likely of this series as they do not fit anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: YUAN-FENG, AD 1078-1085

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

   

S-546
Orthodox Script

S-545
Seal Script

S-556
Grass Script@ok

 

Dr iwan collections

 

Seal script yuan Feng tung pao

 

Grass script Yuan Feng Tung Pao

1 CASH ISSUES

S-545-550. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal, orthodox and grass scripts. Reverse: blank or with crescent. We have also seen one example with a star hole (add about 60% to the price for a crescent or star hole). Average (36 specimens) 24.5 mm, 3.90 grams. We have noted that there is a range of sizes with specimens noted from 23.5 to 25.1 mm.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.75     VF   $5.00@

 

S-551-552. Bronze larger 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. Average (3 specimens) 25.6 mm, 3.56 grams (range 2.87 to 4.15 grams). These are interesting coins, and the consistently large size suggest they are a separate issue from those above, but the weights are well within the 1 cash weight range. At this point, we do not know why the two issues exist, but we do not that coins of this size were cast during earlier reign titles (see S-477 above).

VG   $7.50     F   $9.75     VF   $12.50@

 

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, AE 2 Cash
grass script yuan feng tung pao

 

Price US$ 35.00

S-563-564. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. Schjoth had two specimens of 25 and 24 mm. Average 7.05 grams. The same weight and size as the iron 1 cash cast prior to the war and appear to be a re-introduction of that denomination at the end of the war. We have not seen an example of these and cannot provide any valuation for them at this time.

 

LARGE ISSUES

S-553, 556. Bronze 10 (2) cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass script. Reverse: blank. These vary between about 28 and 31 mm (average is 30 mm), and based on 31 specimens we found an average weight of 7.44 grams. We have also seen some examples with a star hole which should be worth a small premium).

 

VG   $2.50     F   $4.00     VF   $6.00

 

 

 

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

24 mm Grass script Yuan feng tung Pao

 

26 mm Grass script Yuan feng tung Pao

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, AE 2 Cash

Yuan feng tong bao

Price US$ 35.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China, 1078-1085 AD., Northern Sung dynasty, emperor Shen Tsung, 2 Cash, Schjoth 556.

China, Northern Sung dynasty (906-1127 AD.), emperor Shen Tsung (1068-1085 AD.), reign title: Yuan Feng (1078-1085 AD.), 1078-1085 AD.,
Æ 2 Cash (29-30 mm / 5,68 g),
Obv.: Yuan / Feng / T’ung / Pao , in Chinese grass script, clockwise top-right-beneath-left of central hole.
Rev.: (plain) .
Fredrik Schjoth. Chinese currency. Oslo, 1929, no. 556 .

 

S-554, 555, 557-559. Bronze 10 (2) cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass script. Reverse: several varieties with an assortment of dots and crescents. 28 mm. Schjoth had 5 specimens averaging 6.45 grams. We do not have any records of valuations for these variations, but they should be worth some premium over the plain-reverse examples above.

 

S-560-562. Iron 10 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse blank or with a nail mark. 30 mm. Averaging 11.88 grams, these are of the same standard as the fiduciary 10 cash issues cast during the previous reign title.

 Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, Iron Cash, Value 3
seal script yuan feng tong bao
Price US$ 75.00

 

The Western Wars were ongoing during the early years of this reign title, so these heavy coins were probably a continuation of the fiduciary 10 cash of the previous reign title which were devalued at first to 3 and then to 2 cash.

Schjoth records (page 31): “In the 8th year of Yuan-yu ‘(AD 1086)’, when Che Tsung ascended the throne, fourteen of the old mints were closed. During the eight years that followed Shansi had orders to re-issue its small currency.”

It appears Shansi issued larger coins until AD 1086. We have not found the year in which the Western War ended, but it appears to have been before AD 1086 indicating some of these heavy coins were cast at a 2 cash denomination (we believe this probably only applies to the bronze issues). As the bronze 10 cash were cast to the two cash standard, it is probably not possible to differentiate early 10 cash from later 2 cash.

 

 

 

Emperor CHE TSUNG
AD 1086-1100

 

Reign title: YUAN-YU, AD 1086-1093

   

S-565
Seal Script

S-567
Grass Script@

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Iwan collection

 

27 mmm grass script Yuan Yu Tung Pao

 

S-565-8. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 24.5 mm. Average about 3.85 grams (17 specimens).

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

 

S-569-572. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal script. There are unusual North Sung issues with the following reverses: S-569 – numeral 1, S-570 – numeral 2, S-571 – “Ch’uan” (a stream) and- S-572 – characters meaning “ten months”. 24 mm. Average 2.96 grams. These are rare. We have never seen one and cannot provide a valuation for them.

 

These coins do not fit with the rest of the North Sung series. Schjoth’s suggestion that these may have been cast is Japan could be correct. There is no indigenous coinage from Japan during the Northern Sung period and it appears Japan used Chinese coins during this period, so it is likely some North Sung types were cast in Japan.

 

S-573-574. Metal ?? value ??. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Schjoth lists these as bronze 1 cash, but the weights of 6.06 and 5.52 grams fit into the weight/size standard for iron 1 cash. Until we are able to confirm the alloy and weights of these two coins, we do not wish to classify them. We would appreciate hearing from anyone with access to the Schjoth collection (we think it is in Oslo, Norway) who can check them for us.

 

S-577-578. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. 24 mm. Averaging about 7.12 grams.

The weight and size are at the iron 1 cash standard suggesting these are early issues of this reign title. Schjoth does not mention orthodox script for this type, but his illustration of S-578 shows “YUAN” in orthodox script. We have not handled any of these and cannot currently provide a valuation for them.

 

ISSUES OF AD 1093

Schjoth (page 31) records value two cash were re-introduced in AD 1093, but discontinued in favor of 1 cash after two years. This title ends in the first year, so some must have been cast under the following reign title. Schjoth indicates all two cash were discontinued, but numismatic evidence indicates only iron 2 cash were discontinued while bronze two cash continued to be cast.

 

S-575-576. Bronze 2 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 29 mm. Average 7.85 grams (the weight standard previously established for bronze 2 cash). We note these usually show up in gF or better.

F   $3.50     VF   $5.50

 

 

S-580-581. rare Iron 2 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-YU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. 34 mm. Average 11.03 grams (the standard used during the previous two reign titles for 10 cash later reduced to 2 cash).

F   $25.00     VF   $37.50

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Che Tsung,

yuan yu tong paoAD1086-1100, Iron Cash, Value 3

Price US$ 85.00

 

These are the earliest Northern Sung iron coins we have seen available in recent years. It is very possible they came from a single hoard and may turn out to be scarcer than the values we have seen would indicate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: SHAO-SHENG, AD 1094-1097

   

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-582
Seal Script
with YUAN PAO

S-586
Grass Script
with YUAN-PAO

S-592
Orthodox Script
with T’UNG-PAO

Dr Iwan collections

 

24 mm seal script Shao  Sheng yuan Pao

 

30 mmm seal script shao sheng yuan bao

 

23 mm shao sheng yuan pao(bali mint?)

 

 

 

Name: S586. Che Tsung AE Cash
Description: Northern Sung Dynasty, Emperor Che Tsung, 1086 – 1100 ADAE Cash. Obv: grass script Shao Sheng Yuan Pao
Pao. Schjoth586
Price: US$ 5.00 (2007-04-25)

 

 

ISSUES OF AD 1094

S-597-598. Iron 2 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 34 mm. Average 11.0 grams (the size and weight standard of the iron 2 cash issued in AD 1093).. These must be part of the series discontinued after AD 1094.

F   $25.00     VF   $42.50@

Rare coin

 

Schjoth records that the “Book of Economical Economy of Sung” (v. Hui-k’ao, vol iv p. 24a) states: “During the first years of the Shao-sheng style, the copper coins were daily becoming more scarce, while the iron ones were increasing numerous, a thousand copper-cash were received in exchange of two thousand five hundred of iron.”

This is an interesting passage. It appears bronze coins were being issued at their metal value of about 3.5 grams per cash (see below), but the 11-12 gram iron 2 cash had been demonetized (or people refused to accept them) and were trading at their scrap iron value. Two and a half iron 2 cash, between 27.5 and 30 grams of iron, were exchangeable for a 3.5 gram copper 1 cash (an 8 or 9 to 1 ratio). This supports our earlier belief that iron was worth about 10% of copper and that this had changed little by the late Northern Sung period.

The government’s response was to withdraw the iron 2 cash coins, although it appears that iron 1 cash were still cast and accepted. We find no evidence of iron 2 cash being cast again during the balance of the Northern Sung period, but some brief but unsuccessful attempts at other denominations did occur.

 

OTHER ISSUES OF AD 1094 AND LATER

S-582, 585, 586, 591. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse blank. Average (4 specimens) 24.5 mm, average 3.90 grams (excluding S-585 which at only 21 mm and 1.82 grams is probably a contemporary counterfeit).

F   $2.50     VF   $4.50@

 

583-584, 587-590. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: a variety of crescents and dots. Average (6 specimens) 24.5 mm, 3.87 grams. We have no records of values for these, but they should be worth some premium over the blank-reverse type.

 

S-596. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in grass script. 24 mm. Reverse: blank. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 7.02 grams. We have no records of value for this type at this time.

 

S-593-595. Bronze 2 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass script. Reverse: blank. Average (3 specimens) 29.3 mm, 6.85 grams.

F   $3.50     VF   $5.50

 

S-592. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SHAO-SHENG T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse blank. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 2.94 grams. We have no record of handling this type.

Read more info

 
 
Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, AE 2 Cash

Price US$ 35.00

    Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, Iron Cash, Value 3

Price US$ 75.00

 
 
Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Che Tsung, AD1086-1100, Iron Cash, Value 3

Price US$ 85.00

    Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Chien-Chung, SHEN SUNG YUAN-PAO

Price US$ 30.00

Sorry, this item has been sold.

 
 
Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, IRON Value 1, CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 185.00

    Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CH’UNG-NING CHUNG-PAO

Price US$ 85.00

 
 
Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 85.00

    Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 75.00

 
 
Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 85.00

Sorry, this item has been sold.

    Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD1101-1125, Value 2 Cash, Title Hsuan-ho (AD1119-25), HSUAN-HO T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 35.00

 

 

 

 

Reign title: YUAN-FU, AD 1098-1100

 

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-606 vareity
Seal Script
with T’UNG-PAO@

S-602
Grass Script
with T’UNG-PAO

 

S-599, 602. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 23 mm. Average about 3.21 grams.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.50@

 

S-600-601. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU YUAN-PAO” in seal script. Reverse: crescents in various positions. 23 mm. Average about 3.41 grams. We have no record of handling these.

Dr Iwan collections

 

25 mm Seal script Yuan Fu Tung Pao

 

25 mmm orthodox script yuan Fu Tong Bao

S-603. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in grass script. Reverse: blank. At 21 mm and 1.66 grams this is probably a counterfeit.

 

S-606. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in seal script. Reverse: blank. 29 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 5.86 grams. We do not have a valuation for this type.

 

S-604-605. Bronze 2 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 28 mm. Average 7.40 grams.

VG   $2.50     F   $3.50     VF   $6.50

 

H-16.336 (Schjoth does not list this denomination). Iron 3 cash. Obverse: “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in seal script. Reverse: blank. Average (1 specimen) 34.2 mm, 13.23 grams.

F   $30.00     VF   $45.00


 

Rare “YUAN-FU T’UNG-PAO” in seal script.

Average (1 specimen) 34.2 mm, 13.23 grams.

F   $30.00     VF   $45.00

 

Emperor HUI TSUNG
AD 1101-1125

 

[ ]Huizong

 

 

Hui Tsung’s coinage is very complex with several attempted reforms, including the introduction of some new fiduciary issues.

We have done our best to sort these out, but in some cases only speculations can be offered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CHIEN-CHUNG CHING-KUO, AD 1101

 

sheng –sung yuan pao

   

S-607
Seal Script

S-609
Grass Script

 

An unusual reign title, composed of four rather than two characters, which does not fit the normal coin layout. “SHENG-SUNG” was used instead.

Dr Iwan collection

(two coins)

 

 

 

 

Seal script Sheng sung yuan Pao

S-607, 609. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. Average (3 specimens) 24 mm. Average 3.65 grams.

VG   $1.75     F   $2.50     VF   $4.00

 

S-608, 610. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. S-608 at 19 mm, 1.92 grams and S-610 at 21 mm, 2.16 grams. The size and weights suggest Schjoth’s specimens were contemporary counterfeits, but the types do exist at regular size and weight.

 

S-611. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in grass script. Reverse: crescent. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 3.28 grams. We have not handled one of these and cannot currently suggest a value.

 

S-612-614. Bronze 2 cash. Obverse: “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank. 28 mm. Average 6.53 grams.

VG   $2.50     F   $3.50     VF   $5.50

 

The iron coins of this reign title are a little perplexing. This is one of the areas where we can only offer speculations, and more study is needed.

 

S-615-617. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in seal and grass scripts. Reverse: blank.



Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Shen Tsung, AD1068-1085, Iron Cash, Value 3

Price US$ 75.00

The sizes and weights of Schjoth’s specimens are very inconsistent. One of 23 mm, 3.91 grams, one of 25 mm, 5.67 grams and one of 21 mm, 2.72 grams.

VG   $55.00     F   $70.00     VF   $100.00

 

During the balance of the Northern Sung, 23 to 24 mm iron coins were sporadically cast at both a 5 to 6 and 3 to 4 gram standard. It is important to remember iron coins are fiduciary, even at the heavier standard containing about 0.2 cash worth of metal. It has been our observation that size is more significant than weight in determining denomination, and that both of these standards are intended to be value 1 cash. We believe the 21 mm specimen above may have been a counterfeit of the period.

 

S-618. Iron coin of uncertain denomination. Obverse: “SHENG-SUNG YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. At 33 mm and 12.59 grams this coin is larger and heavier than the iron 2 cash issued earlier, but the same as the earlier iron 10 cash that were later demonetized. This appears to be an attempt to introduce a large fiduciary iron coinage, but we have found no evidence to suggest the intended denomination, although the size is the same as the bronze 10 cash of the next reign title. Rare, we have no valuation currently available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CH’UNG-NING, AD 1102-1106

   

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-620
Orthodox Script
CH’UNG-NING CHUNG-PAO
read top-bottom-right-left

S-621
Orthodox Script
CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO
read top-right-bottom-left

S-626
Orthodox Script
CH’UNG-NING YUAN-PAO
read top-right-bottom-left

 

While the coins with the Chung-Pao ending, and those with the T’ung-Pao ending, appear to have very different caligraphy styles, they are both variations of Othodox Script.

Schjoth lists value 1, 5 and 10 cash for this series, but his literary reference mentions only 10 cash. We have so far found no convincing evidence of any coins cast with the intent of a 5 cash denomination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REGULAR SERIES

S-626. Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “CH’UNG-NING YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script. 25 mm. 6.04 grams. We have not seen an example of these and cannot provide a valuation at this time.

LOOK IN AUCTIONS

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125,

IRON Value 1, CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 185.00

 

Schjoth does not list any bronze coins with the “YUAN-PAO” inscription, but the existence of this iron coin proves the inscription was used. It is likely that bronze issues exist but are very rare.

 

S-619, Rare bronze 1 cash, “CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO”. Orthodox script. 25 mm. 3.27 grams. This is consistent with a 1 cash denomination. The 1 cash is rare with this inscription.

VF   $90.00

 

S-625, iron 1 cash, “CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO”. Orthodox script. 24 mm. At 3.46 grams, this is consistent with the iron 1 cash denomination (S-615) issued under the previous reign title. We have not seen one of these and cannot provide a value.

 

S-620, bronze 1 cash, “CH’UNG-NING CHUNG-PAO”. Orthodox script. 25 mm. At 2.12 grams it is unlikely that this is an official issue, but it may be a contemporary counterfeit of a value 1 cash coin of this type. We cannot provide a value for this type at this time.

 

FIDUCIARY 10 CASH SERIES

 

Schjoth records (page 32): “In the 1st year of Ch’ung-ning (AD 1102) the Board of Revenue directed that the four minting departments of Chiang, Yao, Shih and Chien should hand in samples of the new currency …… Each string of a thousand of the value-ten coins weighed 14 catties 7 liang, 9 catties 7 liang 2 mace being copper, 4 catties 12 liang 6 mace being lead, 1 catty 9 liang 2 mace being tin, the waste by melting being 1 catty 5 liang. Each coin weighed 3 mace.”

As far as we have been able to determine 3 mace is about 11 grams, so this passage must be referring to an issue of larger bronze coins. We also note that the two halves may not belong together. The first is about testing 1000 coins that already exist. In the second part “waste by melting” suggests the formula is the amount of metal needed to cast 1000 coins, including the casting sprew that is left after the coins are removed from the trees. This is still open to interpretation.

Schjoth (page 33) also records: “In the 1st year of Cheng-ho (AD 1111), orders were issued that ‘value ten’ coins, which grasping officials for momentary gain some years before had issued to the harm of the government and the people, should be reduced to ‘value three’. The Minister Chang Shang-ying (died 1121) obtained leave to demonetize all the spurious ‘value 10′ coins met with and cast them into light weight Hsiao-p’ing cash”.

Bronze 3 cash should weigh about 10.5 grams, but this passage also makes it clear that 10 cash coins were being cast to a 3 cash standard. It is also clear that counterfeits were abundant. We believe the large coins of this period are the coins referred to, and that any under 8 grams are probably examples of the counterfeits.

 

S-621. Bronze 10 cash (Schjoth calls it a 5 cash). Obverse: “CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (8 specimens) 34.1 mm, 11.47 grams (at the 3 cash standard). These are generally well cast coins with bold characters and fairly high rims.

F   $8.00     VF   $15.00     XF $22.50

 

S-624 is a double-obverse example of the S-621 issue (31 mm, 12.38 grams). Double-obverse coins were never a tradition in China and it is unlikely to be an authentic issue. There are other double-sided fantasy coins that are believed to have been cast during the 19th century for the collector’s market.

 

S-622, 623. Bronze 10 cash. Obverse: “CH’UNG-NING CHUNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. Average (7 specimens) 9.65 grams, with the range between 7.6 and 13.3 grams. The range from 34 to 36 mm. Two of the specimens were under 8 grams were poorly cast and probably old counterfeits, leaving an average of 10.5 grams for the remaining specimens. These are generally bold, well cast coins.

F   $10.00     VF   $15.00

 

Schjoth (page 32) records a story of the enemy melting iron coins to manufacture iron weapons, so tin and lead were added to the alloy to make the metal soft and brittle, not suitable for weapons. The iron coins of this series may be those referred to. “Enemies making weapons” shows these fiduciary coins were cast in a time of war, just as similar coins were cast during the Western Wars 35 years earlier.

 

S-627. Iron 10 (?) cash. Obverse: “CH’UNG-NING T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Reverse: blank. 32 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 10.07 grams. This is in the same weight and size standard as the bronze 10 cash issue, suggesting this was intended to circulate at that denomination. Rare.

 

Reign title : TA KUAN, AD 1107-1110

 

 

S-630
Orthodox slender gold Script@

“TA-KUAN YUAN-PAO” in orthodox script, with very fine calligraphy said to be in the Emperor’s own hand, which Hartill refers to as

 “slender gold” script.

They come in a number of different denominations, in both bronze and iron, all with blank reverses. In later times this was a popular model for amulets with a wide variety of reverse types, which are are not coins.

 

 

Bronze 1 cash, 23 to 24 mm, average 3.85 grams. S-628-629.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00@

Dr Iwan collections

 

 

Bronze 23 mm Ta Kuan Yuan bao

 Uncommon,

and the rare 29 mm below

 

 

 

 

Rare Bronze 2 cash, 29 mm. FD-1059, Hartill 16.421.

F   $60.00     VF   $85.00

 

Rare Bronze 10 cash, average (5 specimens) 41.0 mm, 17.5 grams. S-630.

VF   $25.00     XF   $45.00

This is a large and impressive type first cast in AD 1107, which is reported to have been withdrawn in AD 1109 due to excessive counterfeiting, although we expect that report is a little muddled. When these were issued at about 17 grams, the 11 to 12 gram value 10 coins of the previous reign title were still circulating and counterfeiters could make a significant profit melting these and using the bronze to cast the earlier type. The recall was probably to stop this counterfeiting of that earlier type. These are far too common for a coin officially withdrawn after only two years, suggesting they were hoarded in large numbers at the time.

Schjoth’s specimen weighs 23.52 grams and 40 mm, equivalent to value 8 cash, but it was double-sided and probably an amulet made much later (probably Ming or even Ching period).

 

 

S-632 – iron
Orthodox Script

 

Rare Iron 1 cash. Schjoth’s specimen was about 23 mm, 3.42 grams. S-631.

F   $40.00     VF   $75.00

 

Rare Iron 10 cash (what Hartill calls a 2 cash). Average (2 specimens) 30.5 mm. 7.35 grams. S-632. The size and weight are within the standard for fiduciary 10 cash of the previous reign and since those 10 cash were not devalued to 3 cash until after these coins were issued, we believe these were also issued as feduciary 10 cash.

F   $30.00     VF   $55.00

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CHENG-HO, AD 1111-1117

   

S-645
Seal Script@

S-646
Orthodox Script@

 

Dr Iwan collections

 

Bronze 24 mmm orthodox script Cheng(Zheng)-ho tung Pao

 

Bronze 24 mm seal script Cheng Ho Tung Pao

 

Bronze 25 mm seal script Cheng ho tung bao

 

S-633-636. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse: blank. 24 mm. Average 3.37 grams.

F   $2.50     VF   $4.00     XF   $7.00

 

S-637. Bronze 1 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox scripts. Reverse: crescent. 24 mm. Schjoth’s specimen weighed 3.11 grams. We currently have no record of a value for this type.

 

S-638-640. Bronze 2 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse blank. Average (4 specimens) 29 mm, 6.89 grams.

F   $3.50     VF   $5.50

 

 

S-641-642. rare Iron 1 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox script. Reverse: blank.

 

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 85.00

 

 

Northern Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1126, Emperor Hui Tsung, AD 1101-1125, Large Iron Cash, Value 3, CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO

Price US$ 75.00

Schjoth has two specimens, one of 25 mm, 6.51 grams and another of 21 mm, 5.56 grams (possibly a counterfeit).

F   $25.00     VF   $45.00

 

No bronze 3 cash were cast during this reign title, but Schjoth (page 33) records information suggesting many bronze value 3 cash must have been in circulation: “In the 1st year of Cheng-ho (AD 1111), orders were issued that ‘value ten’ coins, which grasping officials for momentary gain some years before had issued to the harm of the government and the people, should be reduced to ‘value three’. The Minister Chang Shang-ying (died 1121) obtained leave to demonetize all the spurious ‘value 10′ coins met with and cast them into light weight Hsiao-p’ing cash”.

This passage cannot be referring to the type S-630 as these contained at least 8 cash worth of copper and had been recalled in AD 1109. The 10 cash of the western wars had been devalued long before, so the reference must be to the value 10 coins of the Ch’ung-ning reign title which contain about 3 cash worth of metal.

“Hsiao-p’ing cash” is a term that can describe any lightweight cash. In some other references it appears to refer to value 1 cash of either bronze or iron, but in a few references seems to specifically mean fiduciary iron coins where “lightweight” means coins which weigh far less than the value at which they circulated, in which case they may be the following two coins:

 

S-643-644. Iron 2 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse blank. 29 mm. Schjoth had two specimens, 6.82 and 9.66 grams. The size and weight of these suggests a value 2 denomination was intended.

F   $25.00     VF   $45.00

 

S-645-646. Iron 3 cash. Obverse: “CHENG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in seal and orthodox scripts. Reverse blank. Average (2 specimens) 31.8 mm, 32 mm. Average 9.10 grams. The size and weight of these suggests a value 3 denomination was intended.

F   $25.00     VF   $45.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign title: CHUNG-HO, AD 1118

 

IMAGE NOT YET AVAILABLE

S-647
Orthodox Script

 

S-647. Bronze 1 (?) cash. Obverse: “CHUNG-HO T’UNG-PAO” in orthodox script. Rev