Obverse. Photo © Stack's Bowers Galleries
  • 5 Yen 1949-1958, Y# 72, Japan, Hirohito
  • 5 Yen 1949-1958, Y# 72, Japan, Hirohito

Hirohito (1901–1989) was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 25 December 1926, until his death on 7 January 1989. In Japan, reigning emperors are known simply as "the Emperor" and he is now referred to primarily by his posthumous name, Shōwa (昭和), which is the name of the era coinciding with his reign; for this reason, he is also known as the "Shōwa Emperor" or "Emperor Shōwa."

At the start of his reign, Japan was already one of the great powers—the ninth-largest economy in the world, the third-largest naval power, and one of the four permanent members of the council of the League of Nations. He was the head of state under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan during Japan's imperial expansion, militarization, and involvement in World War II. After Japan's surrender, he was not prosecuted for war crimes as many other leading government figures were, and his degree of involvement in wartime decisions remains controversial. During the post-war period, he became the symbol of the new state under the post-war constitution and Japan's recovery, and by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world's second largest economy.


State name above, date below, text separated on either side by newly sprouting plants each with two leaves.

The date begins with the symbols for the era name Shōwa (昭和), followed by the era year, and ends with the symbol for year (年).

日 本 国


Value and denomination. Rice plant growing on left side of coin representing agriculture; over waters at bottom of coin representing fisheries; and teeth of a cog or gear around the central hole representing industry.



5 Yen

Shōwa, Old script
Y# 72 Schön# 49 JNDA# 02-11
Material Brass
Weight 3.75 g
Diameter 22 mm
Thickness 1.5 mm
Shape round with a center hole
Alignment Medal
Japan Mint

Related coins

Shōwa, New script

Brass, 3.75 g, ⌀ 22 mm

Brass, 3.75 g, ⌀ 22 mm