Learning from the past . . .
Looking back at history and the events that brought us to where we are is a good way to learn and grow. So too in Numismatics, rediscovering past events can enlighten and educate us. Bearing this in mind, I’ve decided to post all 12 issues of the Far East Journal, (FEJ) newsletter over the coming months on this website.
This newsletter was a created in 1978/79 by myself and a few friends who were also involved in Japanese numismatics at the time. The main contributor was feature editor Michael L. Cummings (MLC) who wrote many of the stories and articles. I could not have done this without him. Sadly, Mike passed away in 2007. During his time in Japan Cummings wrote two English editions of a book entitled ‘Modern Japanese Coinage’, the second was published by the FEJ.
Another person I would like to mention by name, who unfortunately is also no longer with us, is Hal Drake who was senior staff writer for Pacific Stars and Stripes at the time. He wrote the article on the destruction of Military Payment Certificates (MPC) in issue No. 9. I, myself had a direct connection to MPC, having used them both in Vietnam and Japan during my time with the military and the Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper from 1967 to 1978. I often think if only I had known the future collectors/investors market for Military Payment Certificates, I would probablt not be doing what I'm doing now! I hope you enjoy these brief glimpses into the past in relation to Japanese numismatics. --Herb Cook
Vol. 1 No. 1 (July 1978)
In addition to announcing the first issue of FEJ, this issue has cover story about an ‘Inverted 1975 Japan Mint Set’. This was probably the FEJ’s largest error, most readers thought, just a mint packaging error, who cares? There is also the first of a series of articles by Cummings on the ‘Monetary Disorder in Late Tokugawa Japan’. Another first ‘of a series’ is ‘Exonumia - Japanese Mint Medals’ which featured the Showa 11 (1936) medal commemorating the opening of the Osaka Mint grounds for the annual viewing of the Cherry Blossoms. This first issue has many other stories and articles that I hope you’ll find interesting.