Note Of The Sacred Lake: 1 Silver Momme (Daikaku-ji Temple, 1861)-Article

Updated: Mar 13

This note is a Japanese hansatsu, issued by Daikaku-ji Temple. Hansatsu were the privately issued currency of Edo-era Japan. They were used to exchange for valuable goods such as gold, silver, and rice. This note was valued for 1 sliver momme or 3.75 grams of silver . The upper observe depicts Seven Gods of Fortune. The note's dimensions are: 165 × 44 mm or 6.50 x 1.73 in. (Full translation is be to added, when reliable resources become available)


Observe

The upper potion of the hansatsu features the Seven Gods of Fortune. A pair of stylized dragons can be seen at the lowest section.
The upper potion of the hansatsu features the Seven Gods of Fortune. A pair of stylized dragons can be seen at the lowest section.

Reverse

The reverse of the the hansatsu features a series of authentication stamps. The primary stamp is located on the upper segment, with additional stamps throughout.
The reverse of the the hansatsu features a series of authentication stamps. The primary stamp is located on the upper segment.

The Seven Gods of Fortune

Daikaku-ji Temple and the Scared Lake

Daikaku-ji in Kyoto, was the residence of Emperor Saga (786-842 CE). Who was noted for his cloistered rule. A practiced adopted by later Japanese emperors, particularly during the Hainan Period (794-1185 CE). This period was marked by a decreased in Chinese influence. Which gave rise to Japan's unique cultural identity.


Daikaku-ji had its origins as Saga-in (Saga Palace), constructed in 814 CE. In time, the palace became known as Saga Rikyu, often loosely translated to Saga Villa. It first served as a place of retirement for Emperor Saga, As well as later Japanese emperors, over the centuries.

The Shōshinden building in Daikaku-ji, features a period painting of Japanese Emperor Saga.
A 13th century painting of Emperor Saga.

According to tradition, Japan was affected by a large epidemic. Emperor Saga was advised by Buddhist monk Kōbō Daishi (founder of Shingon Buddhism), to copy Buddhist text. The plague was said to have ended, after Emperor Saga completed the Hannya Shingyō (Heart Sutra). Emperor Saga's copy of the Heart Sutra continues to be displayed to the public. Once every 60 years, the sutra is displayed in the temple's Shingyōden hall.


In 876 CE, the temple received its current name, 34 years after Emperor Saga's death. It was named Daikaku-ji by Emperor Saga's daughter, Princess Masako (810-879 CE). Who served as a consort of Emperor Junna (785-840 CE). From this point forward, the place was regarded as a Monzeki. A Buddhist temple, in which only monks of aristocratic and imperial linages live.

The original Daikaku-ji temple was burned in 1336, during a period of instabillty. This brief period of civil war began with the decline of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333 CE). Ending with order being restored, during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573 CE). The civil war was attributed to two competing imperial linages, the Northern and Southern Courts.


While the original Daikaku-ji has not has not entirely survived to the modern day. The pond it's pagoda overlooks has. Ōsawa Pond is believed to older then the temple itself. What is certain is that Ōsawa Pond is one of the oldest artificial lakes in Japan. In addition, to being one of the few Heian Period (794-1185 CE) garden pound, to survive to the modern day.


The pond covers 2.4 hectares (5.93 acres) and is based on the outline of Dongting Lake, in China. It was created by damming stream, fed by Nakoso waterfall. There are 2 island within the pond, the smallest is known as Chrysanthmum Island. It's currently disputed whether the pond was created either during Emperor Saga's reign (809-823 CE) or his retirement.


Close-Up Images

 

Additional Notes

  • Additional non-currency related photos are public domain images, provided by Wikimedia.



13 views0 comments