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August 20, 2010
Announcing the 9th Japan Prefecture Coin - Gifu!

Japanese Gifu Prefecture Coin Features Exotic Fishing Scene!

The Japan Mint is issuing the most extensive and beautiful series of coins in its history - commemorating 47 Prefectures.  The large Prefecture 40 mm. coins are being minted in gem proof quality from 99.9% pure silver, limited to 100,000 of each, and picture local scenery, flora and fauna, in full color.  Gifu is featured on the 9th Prefecture coin.  Gifu is located almost in the center of Japan, and is one of only eight prefectures with no access to the sea.  It does however have an abundance of rivers, and a river fishing technique called "Cormorant Fishing" is featured on the  extremely colorful Gifu commemorative coin:

Japan Gifu Prefecture Silver Coin

Cormorant fishing, called ukai, is a traditional method of river fishing that has been practiced in Japan for about 1,300 years, but is now preserved mainly for tourists. Fishermen use cormorant birds on leashes to catch sweetfish (such as the Ayu). The ukai scene on the new coin takes place on the Nagara River, and looks much as it did over 200 years ago as portrayed by the great Japanese artist Hiroshige.

Ukai fishing is done from small flat bottomed boats called Ubune. The boats are designed to be able to navigate the shallow waters of the rivers where the fish are easier to catch. As they begin their fishing run, the fishermen attract the fish by lighting bright fires in metal baskets suspended from the front of their boat. The light is supplemented by either the sound of a drum or the beating of an oar against the side of the boat.

The cormorant birds are then sent out into the water to catch the fish. Each bird is on a leash that is attached to a small metal ring around the base of its neck. The metal ring is just large enough to let extremely small fish through, but too small to let a bird swallow any fish of the size that fishermen or tourists are hoping to eat. Every time a cormorant catches a fish, it is pulled back into the boat and is forced to disgorge the fish.

Official American distributor Panda America offers these in original government packaging with a Certificate of Authenticity.  Earlier issues in the Prefecture Series, that was launched in 2008, are still available from Panda America.


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Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 12348

Price: $179.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 12349

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11552

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11551

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11549

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11548

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11547

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11460

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11428

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11242

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11241

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11240

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11195

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11105

Price: $99.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 11102

Price: $129.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10967

Price: $149.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10945

Price: $129.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10944

Price: $129.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10889

Price: $129.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10858

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10857

Price: $129.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (10,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10814

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000 (5,000 available outside Japan)
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10795

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10772

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1,000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10759

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10732

Price: $139.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10722

Price: $149.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10619

Price: $149.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10565

Price: $169.00
Metal:  Silver Denomination: 1000 Yen
Weight: 1 oz Mintage: 100,000
Purity: .999 Grade: Proof
Item ID: 10517
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