Coins of the Sickly Emperor #1: 1 Sen (Imperial Japan, 1922)-Article

Updated: Nov 17, 2021


This coin is an Imperial Japanese 1 Sen, dated 1922. The 1 Sen coin was the smallest denomination, of the Japanese Yen. The coin is a plain-edged design made of bronze (95% Copper, 4% Tin, 1% Aluminum) and weighs 3.75 g. Its dimensions are 23.03 mm (0.907 in) wide and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick.


The Taishō-era 1 Sen entered circulation on the 5th year of Emperor Taishō's rule (1916). And was last issued on his 13th year of Taishō (1924). The design of the Taishō-era Sen was closely copied by it's successor the Shōwa era Sen (1927-1945). The Sen was last issued in 1945, the final year of World War II (1939-1945). By 1953, the Sen denomination was abolished, due to inflation.

Observe

The obverse’s center features coin's 1 Sen value, expressed in Japanese kanji (一 錢). The center is partitioned by a double ridge, followed by an elaborate floral pattern. The top and bottom of the pattern is feature a pair of chrysanthemum. The symbol of the Japanese Emperor and the Imperial Family. The coin's furthermost layer features a beaded pattern, followed by a rim. This final feature is present on both side.


Reverse

The reverse's center features the Paulownia Seal, the symbol of the Japanese national government. The upper text reads “Great Japan” (本 日 大), below reads “Year 11 of Taishō” (年一 十 正 大). The upper and lower text is divided by a pair chrysanthemum seals.


Notably each coin is read clockwise, from right to left. Individuals unfamiliar with this system, may accidentally translate the issue year backwards. The issue year being the 3rd and 4th symbol on the lower text. Another area of concern is properly identifying the issue period.


The 1st and 2nd symbol represents the period of Imperial rule, such as the Taishō era (正 大). Due to similarities in design to the later Shōwa era (和 昭) coins. Both imperial series can easily by misidentified for each other.


The Sickly Emperor

Despite the Emperor's enthusiasm for attending diplomatic discussions, ship commissioning and military academy graduation ceremonies. The Emperor's declining health limited his ability to attend such events. In early December 1926, he contracted pneumonia. Which progressed to a heart attack, on 25 December 1926. He was succeed by his son Hirohito (1901-1989), Emperor Shōwa. Who served as Japan's longest-lived and longest-reigned Emperor (1926-1989).ocracy", in Japan.


Despite the Emperor's enthusiasm for attending diplomatic discussions, ship commissions and military academy graduations. The Emperor's declining health limited his ability to attend such events. In early December 1926, he contracted pneumonia. Which progressed to a heart attack, on 25 December 1926. He was succeed by his son Hirohito (1901-1989), Emperor Shōwa. Who served as Japan's longest-lived and longest-reigned Emperor (1926-1989).


Size Comparison

A 1 Sen coin with US Quarter for comparison.


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