is often reflected in coins and currency. From the
fractional currency of the American Civil War to modern
commemorative coinage, each reflects the fortunes and values
of the issuing country. An excellent example is
Japan's 1 Sen coin which changed several times as the tide
of war turned against the Japanese Empire.
At the outbreak of WWII Japan was issuing the same 1 Sen
coin that had been in use since 1916. Made of bronze
and measuring 23mm, it weighed 3.7 grams.
Emperor Hirohito 昭和天皇
4-19-1901 to 1-7-1989
In 1938 a new design was adopted and, after a short run, the
metallic content was changed to aluminum and the size
reduced to 17mm resulting in a weight of 0.9 grams.
In 1941 the design was again changed. The diameter was
reduced to 17mm and the weight reduced to 0.65 grams.
In 1943 the coin was made thinner to further reduce it's
weight to 0.55 grams.
In 1944 the new design for the 1 Sen coin was produced with
an alloy of tin and zinc and a weight of 1.3 grams.
Its size was reduced to 15mm. Tin-zinc is an alloy
common in WWII coinage, and one that corroded quickly in the
In the final days of WWII a 1 Sen coin made of baked clay
circulated unofficially in Japan.