The principality of Shen 申 was a feudal aristocratic state of the Western Zhou and early Spring and Autumn period ruled by the Jiang 姜 family and located in the vicinity of Nanyang 南陽, Henan Province. The conventional wisdom has it that during the early Spring and Autumn period, Shen was invaded and conquered by the principality of Chu 楚, became one of its most important Northern xian 県 districts and made significant contributions to Chu's military advance into the midlands of the Huanghe River basin. However, according to the entry in Zuo-zhuan 左傳 for the 13th year of the Zhaogong 昭公 era, the inscription on a bell ensemble（bianzhong 編鐘）unearthed from the early Warring States period tomb of Yi 乙, prince of Zeng 曾（Suizhou city, Hubei Province）and Lingwang Sui Shen（靈王遂申）in the Shanghai Museum Chu bamboo slips, the principality of Shen continued to exist after the conquest. Shen is thought to have been restored by the bulk of its former indigenous ruling class, whom the author refers to as kuoren 国人, during the reigns of Chu Kings Gong 共, Kang 康 and Jia Ao 郟敖.
As to the location of Shen during the late Spring and Autumn period, there has been strong support as of late for theories centering upon the city of Xinyang 信陽, despite the absence of any definitive bibliographical or archeological evidence. In any event, the Shanghai Museum Chu bamboo slips and newly discovered Peng 彭 family burial site strongly suggest that the state of Shen was restored in Nanyang, while Shen xian continued to exist under kingdom of Chu.
The Shen restoration was a policy adopted to deal with both the Huanghe basin and the principality of Wu 呉, to appease the princes under Chu rule on which it had laid heavy military burdens and to maintain an international order centered upon the kingdom of Chu. Not only were the kuoren class of Chen assuaged, but the other client princes were also assured that their small fiefdoms would continue to exist.
For Chu, the armies of its client princes were necessary for its foreign strategy, but those same armies also posed a latent threat to its hegemony. For this reason, in addition to its policy of appeasement, Chu also intervened in internal affairs of its client states through such means as relocating their kuoren members, in preparation for their dissolution.
The reason for establishing Shen xian along with the state of Shen was to affirm Chu's direct rule over the local population in Shen xian, thus taking the former ruling class of Shen away from Shen xian. Direct rule included pressing the subjects of xians into the Chu army, thus eliminating the importance of the former ruling class of client states in the kingdom's military efforts. The author concludes that the restoration of the state of Shen was a policy that clearly reflected the historical features of the period of transition from the Spring and Autumn world order to that of the Warring States period.
This article attempts to reconstruct the total picture of the minting of coins by the Hosokawa Clan in its Kokura domain during the early years of the Tokugawa Bakufu and place that activity within its proper historical context. Although the Kokura domain's minting activities were short-lived, its coins, called “new coin” 新銭, predated the introduction of the Bakufu's Kan'ei Tsuho series and thus have drawn interest as one of the earliest attempts by a feudal lord to engage in serious coin mintage. However, the research to date has yet to provide a complete picture of Kokura domain's minting project, including the process by which counterfeit and coins of unacceptable quality were detected following the minting, issue and circulation of a new series of coins. In order to fill that gap, the author sets out to examine three topics: 1）the reconstruct of the new coin minting system, 2）the way in which coins, including other regional coins, circulated and 3）the actual situation surrounding the export of the new coin to Vietnam.
As to the minting system, the author reveals a system characterized by competitive subcontracting among a number of coin makers. Minting by coin makers was decentralized and conducted based on each maker's profitability expectations. Due to the competition among the makers to lower the cost of minting, a large amount of poor quality coins were produced, necessitating an inspection and rejection process. Consequently, Kokura domain introduced an officially fixed exchange price of 1000 coins (１ kan 貫) worth ５ monme 匁(18.75 grams) of silver in order to correct the price competitive mintage system.
Regarding coin circulation, the auther shows that a) after encountering the appearance of “counterfeit coins” upon the release of the new series, Kokura domain adopted an exclusive policy of designating the new coin as the only official tender, and b) coins of equal or poorer quality were being minted and circulated elsewhere in western Honshu and Northern Kyushu during the early Edo period.
Concerning the export of the new coin to Vietnam, the possibility of the outflow of coins overseas was the determining factor in Kokura domain's decision to cease its minting operations. Furthermore, the author confirms that the new coin, which were regarded in Japan as being of poor quality, were highly valued in Vietnam as “big coin” 大銭 belonging to fine quality coin category.
Based on these findings, the author has raised new issues regarding a) the organizational and management reforms to the minting system as the prehistory of Zeniza 銭座 coin making insutitutions of Kan'ei Tsuho series, and b) the similarities to domain-issued paper currency in terms of monetary policy.