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Motif Information
Motif zeni 01.jpg
Rōmaji Zeni
English Coin
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Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Man-made

Zeni are usually stylized representations of Wadōkaichin (和同開珎), the oldest official Japanese coinage. Wadōkaichin were first minted by Empress Gemmei in 708 CE and were in circulation until 958 CE. After 958 CE, Wadōkaichin had become so devalued that the government ceased minting them and returned to rice as a form of currency.

Official coins were not again minted by the Japanese government until the Tokugawa era (1601 CE). Coins in circulation included local currencies and Chinese coins seized through piracy.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

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Motif Connotations & Symbolism

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Auspicious Nature

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Common Motif Pairings

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Identification & Style Variations

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Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

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In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

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Image Credits

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Authors & Contributors

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