The Great East Japan earthquake happened on March 11, 2011. The epicenter was located in the Pacific Ocean over 40 miles east of the Tōhoku region on Honshu, the largest island in the Japanese archipelago. Besides being the most powerful earthquake ever to strike Japan, it produced a 133-foot tsunami that also contributed to the destruction. The earthquake and tsunami were responsible for the meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, a catastrophe rivaled by only the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine in 1986.
To commemorate efforts to rebuild the stricken area, the Japan Mint has minted a series of reconstruction project commemorative gold and silver coins. The bird and nature’s bounty .999 fine gold coin is the fourth entry in the gold half of the series.
The obverse of the coin depicts a stylized bird in flight with a sprig of wheat in its beak. Various leaves representing various beneficial plants surround the bird. Contour lines in the background may represent the wind, but are ambiguous enough that they could stand for either land or waves at sea.
Small raised dots encircle the design and the inscriptions for “Japan” and “10000 Yen” (rendered in Chinese characters) are also present.
The common reverse for all four current series of the commemorative program features a tableau of doves flying in front of a pine tree, which carries great symbolic significance. Referred to as the “Miracle Pine“, the effigy represents the solitary survivor of an approximately mile-long stretch of pine trees in Iwate prefecture long appreciated for its natural beauty. Iwate was hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the scenic pine trees were obliterated. Only the “Miracle Pine” remained.
A ring with Japanese inscriptions encircles the central design, and a circle of small raised dots–similar to that found on the obverse–is also on the reverse. The inscriptions state that the coin was minted in the 27th year of the reign of Emperor Akihito, who assumed the throne upon the death of Emperor Shōwa–better known as Hirohito in the United States–in 1989. Hirohito was emperor of Japan during World War II.
Designer(s): The Japan Mint, along with the Ministry of Finance, held a public design competition for the second, third and fourth series of the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction commemorative coin program. Takashi Tadamoto of Osaka Prefecture created the winning design for the third series gold coin obverse. Adjustments to the original design were made by the Japan Mint as necessary for coining.
|Year Of Issue:||2015|
|Alloy:||.999 Fine Gold|
|OBV Designer||Takashi Tadamoto|
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