Japanese uses a number-writing system that is shared with the Chinese language, and is generally referred to as the Chinese numerals.
The symbols used to represent 0 through 10 are pictured below, with their European/Arabic equivalent: Numbers above (and including) 10 are not made by combining individual digits, like in the Arabic numeral system.
If you have an example of a spade money type not currently listed on this site, please feel free to send us an E-Mail with a detailed description or image, and we will try to provide you with more information.
There are additional Japanese symbols for larger multiples of 10: 100: 百 1000: 千 The Japanese number-writing system is known as a non-positional numeral system because individual symbols don't identify their value strictly based on their position in the number.
For example, 40 (四十, 4 10), 400 (四百, 4 100), and 4000 (四千, 4 1000) all use exactly 2 symbols in Japanese (while the Arabic numbers 40, 400, and 4000 use 2, 3, and 4 respectively). This practice largely stopped after World War 2, and for most purposes Japan uses the same year as America would use.
The other two characters (usually the right and left) on the coin have the general meaning of "currency" and do not really need to be translated.
However, if you wish to be very literal in your translation, these two "currency" characters can be translated as follows: 通寶 "universal currency" or "circulating currency" (pronounced As mentioned above, the inscriptions on a few coins are read clockwise beginning with the top character.