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The 20th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Emperor Akihito

Coins Commemorate 20th Anniversary
of the Enthronement of Emperor Akihito

The Japan Mint has issued 50,000 proof sets commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Emperor Akihito, but a maximum of only 5,000 sets have been reserved for the overseas markets. The official distributor in the United States is Panda America.

Each proof sets includes a 10,000 Yen gold coin (20 gm., .999 fine, 28mm.) and a 500 Yen nickel-brass coin (7 gm., 26.5mm.) in a presentation box, with a certificate of authenticity. The reverse of each coin features the chrysanthemum Imperial Crest of Japan. A mythological Phoenix—symbol of the Emperor--is featured on the gold coin, rising above the main gate (Nijyu-bashi) bridge at the Imperial Palace. The obverse of the nickel-brass coin pictures a chrysanthemum flower. Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC, and were introduced into Japan probably in the 8th century AD, when the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal.

The 1990 ceremony, known as the daijosai, or great food-offering ritual, brought a solemn, mysterious and debate-filled conclusion to the events installing the 56-year-old Emperor, who succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father, Hirohito, in January of 1989.

Akihito is the 125th Emperor of Japan, in a dynasty that traces its roots to the seventh century. For most of history, the emperor has held little power, and since the end of World War II he has been defined as a mere "symbol" of the state. But the daijosai -- last performed by Hirohito in 1928 -- was an extraordinary moment in Japanese cultural history, for the first time transporting the ancient origins of the world's oldest monarchic dynasty into the glare of modern publicity. Scholars say that the daijosai, which has its origins in harvest festivals, has been conducted in one form or another since prehistoric times, although it was suspended for more than two centuries before Japanese reunification in the 17th century.

After a ritual bath, the Emperor, wearing white silk robes symbolizing purification, marched solemnly surrounded by courtiers. After his entrance, the Emperor went out of public view and, inside two shrines, offered food and rice wine to the spirit of his mythical ancestor, the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami. He then consumed some of it himself while praying for the well-being of the nation and for peace on earth.

the Japan 2009 20th Anniversary  of Emperor Akihito Enthronement 2-pc set
Features:

10,000 Yen Gold Proof Coin

Obverse:

Phoenix, auspicious cloud and Nijyu-bashi Bridge

Weight:

20.0 grams

Diameter:

28 mm

Mintage:

100,000 pcs

Composition:

99.9% Pure gold

 

500 Yen Nickel-Brass Proof Coin

Obverse:

The Chrysanthemum

Weight:

7.0 grams

Diameter:

26.5 mm

Mintage:

50,000 pcs

Composition:

72% Copper, 20% Zinc,
8% Nickel

Common Reverse: The Chrysanthemum Crest



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