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. 9 (March 1979)
The leading story in the 9th issue is the JNDA catalog for 1979 and which coins were included and which were left out. The Japanese Mint was also open to orders for the 1979 mint sets at this point in time. One of the main articles discusses Military Payment Certificates, their significance and why they are valuable to collectors today. There is a continuation of the Japanese Mint Medals and Japanese coinage series as well. There are a number of interesting articles, but the MPC article takes center stage in this edition. Check out “Market Reflections” for selling prices of coins at this time.