From the Battle of Sekigahara in the year 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu became the founder and first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan. After he seized power, the Tokugawa ruled Japan as Shoguns and established a government from their castle town Edo (now known as Tokyo). This period saw the flowering of urban culture and a monetized commodity economy in Japan. Effective power rested with the Tokugawa Shogun, not the Emperor in Kyoto whose role was ceremonial, even though the former ostensibly owed his position to the latter.
The Shogun built great temples and shrines, while controlling foreign policy, the military and feudal patronage. The Samurai were the military nobility and were rewarded for their loyalty with land, which was in turn handed down and divided among their sons. The hierarchy that held this system of government together was reinforced by close ties of loyalty between Samurai and their subordinates. These interesting rectangular coins were minted and circulated during the final period of Japan's Shogun rulers and into the Meiji Restoration in which began in September, 1868. The obverse shows the inscription of value along with two Paulownia flowers and the reverse depicts the signature of the mint official.