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National Treasure Medallion Series
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The Japan Mint is proud to release a silver medallion featuring Himeji Castle (designated as National Treasure of Japan). We have started National Treasure Medallion Series last year with the Horyuji Medallion.

The obverse side of the medal features Himeji Castle and flying white herons, while the reverse side features swallowtail (emblem of the Ikeda family), square, triangle and circle-shaped small holes (known as “Sama”) through which soldiers would shoot arrows and guns to enemies attacking the castle, and designs of castle roof tiles.

Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle was registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japanese National Cultural Treasure in December, 1993. Along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, it is one of Japan’s “Three Famous Castles”, and is the most visited castle in Japan. It was constructed in its present form in the early 17th century by Terumasa Ikeda. The castle was also called “Shirasagi Castle (White Heron Castle),” because the castle tower, consisting of five levels and seven floors, and its other features such as white walls, remind of a white heron with its wings spread. Although the castle is full preparation for attack by “Sama,” etc, it has no record of being under attack.

Himeji serves as an excellent example of the prototypical Japanese castle, containing many of the defensive and architectural features most associated with Japanese castles. The tall stone foundations, whitewash walls, and organization of the buildings within the complex are standard elements of any Japanese castle, and the site also features many other examples of typical castle design, including gun emplacements and stone-dropping holes.

One of Himeji’s most important defensive elements, and perhaps its most famous, is the confusing maze of paths leading to the main keep. The gates, baileys, and outer walls of the complex are organized so as to cause an approaching force to travel in a spiral pattern around the castle on their way into the keep, facing many dead ends. This allowed the intruders to be watched and fired upon from the keep during their entire approach. However, Himeji was never attacked in this manner, and so the system remains untested.

Specifications for Silver Medallion
Material Pure silver
Diameter 60mm
Weight 160g
Thickness 5.5mm
Finishing oxidized finish
Packaging Presentation box
Scheduled Sales Qty. 5,000 pieces
Price JPY 20,000 + shipping and insurance charges*

If you are interested in the medallions, contact is (Phone: +81-6-6351-5087, Fax: +81-6-6351-6608, Email:overseas@mint.go.jp).

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