1. How do you decide the obverse and reverse of coins?
History shows us the following explanation.
Table for Composition and Weight of the Newly Produced Coin under the New Coinage Act in 1871 stipulated "the Obverse side to be borne Ryumon or Rising Dragon image to symbolize the Emperor".
Contradictory in August, 1873 under the Cabinet Ordinance, new 2 Sen copper coins together with other copper coins were stipulated to bear the Ryumon or Rising Dragon image on the reverse side. Furthermore under the Cabinet Ordinace in 1874, 1 Yen silver coin (trade dollar) was also stipulated to be borne the image on the reverse side. Accordingly no unity was found among coinage.
Therefore in June, 1875 at the time of renaming the New Coinage Act to Coinage Act Ryumon was stipulated to be borne on obverse side of coins.
Cabinet Order of Coinage Specifications stipulated under the Coinage Law in 1897, did not have any stipulations regarding both sides of the coins. However, the side with the Chrysanthemum Crest image is called obverse and this practice had long been effective.
After World War II, the Chrysanthemum crest pattern was not used on the surface so that no one could specify the obverse and reverse of coin.
As all the coins manufactured after 1897 in practice bore the year inscription on the reverse side, so the side with year mark has commonly been called reverse and logically the other side has been called obverse.
In working practice the side borne dated- mark has been called reverse.