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The reign title is the name that appears on their coins.

Some emperors used one reign title for their entire reign.

Knives were a common barter item in ancient China, but a bit hazardous to carry around to trade.

Some of China's first coins were made to look like a knife, so that people would think of them as money, but they lacked a sharp blade. This knife coin is called the "Ming" after the city where it was made (not the dynasty that was much later).

Once they become emperor however, the emperor choses a reign title.

Japanese coins are dated by ruling emperor (year of accession) plus the regnal year.

Prior to 1948 regnal numbers are read from right to left.

Examples: Emperor (Mutsuhito) regnal year from R to L = 2 x 10 6. Emperor (Yoshihito) regnal year from R to L = 10 1. After 1948 (reform coinage) regnal numbers are read left to right.

Emperor (Hirohito) regnal year (now L to R) = 5 x 10 6 = 56. Since the 1960s fifty yen and higher denomination coins use western numbers for the regnal year.

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