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Japanese 2 sen coin (leper colony money)

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2 sen
General information
Country

Merchant flag of Japan (1870) Japan

Used by

Ōshima Seishōen Sanatorium

Value

¥0.02

Years

between 1912 and 1925 (ND)

Measurements and composition
Composition

brass

Appearance
Shape

round

Obverse

Value

Reverse

"検" symbol

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The 2 sen coin is a coin that was minted by the Empire of Japan at some point between 1912 and 1925 for use in the Ōshima Seishōen Sanatorium, a leprosarium located on the island of Ōshima in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture. Like the 2 sen coin used outside the sanatorium, the coin used by the institution had a value equal to 0.02 yen prior to demonetization. A specialized 2 sen coin was used at Ōshima Seishōen instead of the normal 2 sen piece for fear that people could become infected with leprosy through contact with items lepers had touched. It has since been proven that leprosy cannot be transmitted through such means, so handling an example of the coin is not harmful to one's health.

The coin is composed of brass and is round in shape. Its value is inscribed vertically in Japanese as "貳銭" (romanized: Ni sen; English: "two sen"), with a considerable amount of space between both characters. The symbol "検" (ken), meaning "inspection" in English, is stamped twice to the left of the value, while the name of the reigning Emperor Taishō is written vertically in Japanese as "大正" to the right. A single "検" (ken) character is present on the reverse.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins currently lists the piece as rare and does not indicate the coin's mintage or provide valuations for any grade.

ReferencesEdit

Template:Japan leprosarium currency

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Japanese yen
Banknotes 5s10s50s¥1¥5¥10¥50¥100¥500¥1000¥2000¥5000¥10,000
Coins 1r5r1s2 s5s10s20 s50s¥1¥2¥5¥10¥20¥50¥100¥500¥1000¥100,000
Miscellaneous Bank of JapanJapan MintNational Printing Bureau

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