The Gintsuka was established in 1455 by the Ashikaga Shogun, taking its name from its highest denomination coin. Before 1455, Japan was reliant on bartering and imitation Chinese coins for trade. This currency was kept on by the Fusahito Theocracy after the fall of the Shogunate in 1472.
Two types of coin were cast, one in copper and one in silver. The silver coin, the Gintsuka (literally meaning 'silver currency') gave its name to the currency. It is 68% pure silver and has a weight of 29g, following the traditional Chinese coin style of a circular coin with a square hole punched in the centre. The copper coin, the Wadotsuka, has the same weight and is 97% pure. One Gintsuka is worth 12 Wadotuska and on the face of both coins, there are the Mons or emblems of the Date and Ashikaga clans, representing the 1451 union between the two. The reverse is cast with the Japanese symbol for happiness directly above the symbol for unity, showing the Shogun's commitment to the union of the Japanese states. Under the Fusahito Theocracy, the Date and Ashikaga Mons were struck of all coinage, replaced with the crysanthemum mons of the Imperial family.