Marking a Turbulent Era
The Japan Mint
In 1871, a huge foundry, built by the newly launched Meiji government, began operations. Located near the old Osaka Castle, the Japan Mint’s chimney emitted a trail of smoke that was seen by local residents as a mark of civilization and enlightenment, and the facility heralded the arrival of modern industry in the area. The entryway to the mint’s foundry and a reception house called the Senpukan (the only parts that remain from the original structure) exemplify the legacy of the English engineer Thomas Waters, who designed the mint before going on to create a brick-lined area in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The building also conveys the turbulent times after the start of the Meiji administration, when the meaning of many places was in the process of being redefined.