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 Japanese archipelago shaking hands and cherry blossom .999 fine silver coin is part of the fourth series of designs for the program.
The obverse depicts a literal handshake between two halves of the Japanese archipelago. Superimposed upon this image are several delicately-colored cherry blossoms. A circular field of the same burnt lavender color–denser in the middle and more diffuse as it reaches the edge of the coin–sits behind the main design.
The inscriptions for “Japan” and “1000 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. Koji Komatsu of Kochi 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 Silver|
|OBV Designer||Koji Komatsu|
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