Continuing our five-part series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the 'Choshu Five' in the UK, we take a look at Kinsuke Endo who came to be known as 'The Father of the Modern Japanese Mint'.
Kinsuke Endo was chosen by the Choshu domain to be smuggled out of Japan in an attempt to gain better knowledge of western nations. It was hoped at the time that this would strengthen the domain in its struggle to overthrow the shogunate
. The Choshu Five arrive in England in 1863 and Endo spent 3 years studying there before returning to Japan in 1866.
After the Meiji Restoration and the establishment of the new Meiji government, in 1881 Endo became the head of the new National Mint in Osaka. He served in the role for 11 years where he worked to establish a unified national currency. However, he is perhaps more often remembered for his wish that the grounds of the Mint should be open for all the people of Osaka in spring, so that people can enjoy the sakura trees
planted there when they come into bloom.