Departmental Bulletin Paper 清末の湖南省における日本製紙幣の導入
On Hunan Province’s Introduction of Japanese Made Paper Currency During the Late Qing Dynasty

何, 娟娟

During the mid-19th century, the opium trade in China caused a massive out-flow of Qing silver currency, and as a result drove up the silver price. Conversely, the Qing market was brimming with foreign silver dollars. Rising silver prices, coupled with the large amount of foreign silver flooding the Chinese market seriously undermined the old minted silver system. In 1896, Zhang Zhidong (張之洞), the governor of Hubei and Hunan province, introduced banknotes from Japan in order to address this problem. The imported bills proved very popular among the public, and were circulated widely. In 1902 the Qing government was required to pay an indemnity to the western powers affected by the Boxer rebellion. The monetary situation was tight and the silver coinage was insufficient. Yu Liansan (俞廉三), the newly appointed governor ofHunan, decided to found the Hunan Currency Bureau by means of issuing official banknotes. The success of Zhang Zhidong in the introduction of Japanese made banknotes in Hubei proved an example for Yu. He ordered banknotes from Japan before the establishment of the Hunan Currency Bureau: the one Yuan silver dollar bill, (「壹圓」銀元票), one Liang silver bill (「壹両」銀両票), and the one Chuan Wen official bill (「壹串文」製銭票). This paper will look at Hunan province’s introduction of Japanese made banknotes, and will illuminate the process behind the commissioning of the Japan National Printing Bureau for the production of these banknotes.

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