The Japanese government has announced the designs for a new set of coins commemorating the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. There will be three gold coins with a face value of ¥10,000, and three silver coins with a face value of ¥1,000 (about $127 and $12.70 respectively).
Information about the coins can be found at the Japan Ministry of Finance website (in Japanese). All of the coins have “がんばろう日本” (“gambarou Nihon”) written on them. “Nihon”, of course, refers to Japan. “Gambarou” is often translated “good luck”, but has more the feeling of “persevere” or “keep it up”. It is the all-purpose Japanese word of encouragement, and has become a slogan for Japan since the 2011 disaster.
The coin in the bottom right corner of the picture at the top was designed by a fourth grader. A lot of Japanese people have criticized it because it was obviously done in crayon or with a marker by a child. We find it refreshing in its childlike simplicity. It is a good reminder that many of the victims of the disaster were children, and that everyone in the nation was touched by what happened, not just adults.