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100 Mon Tenpo Tsuho
Cast from October 1835 to 1870, the Tenpo Tsuho (or Tempo Tsuho, as it is pronounced) is one of the most iconic Japanese Edo-era cast coins because of its large size, oval shape and good casting. These coins are made from bronze, have Tenpo Tsuho on the front (meaning currency of the Tenpo era) and To Hyaku (Value 100) and the mint official's signature on the back. The edges are stamped with Sakura (cherry blossoms) of various shapes and sizes depending on the mint. There are many very difficult to identify varieties of 100 Mon, and several specialized Japanese works have been published on the subject. The most common coins are from Honza (Edo, Musashi province) and Satsuma, and these are only worth a few dollars. However, some rare and therefore more valuable varieties exist for those willing to spend the time identifying these oval coins! The Hartill catalog lists eight varieties; the JNDA catalog lists 24; the Jones catalog lists 22.

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