Billetes de Japón

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Japanese Paper Money

If you enjoy collecting Japanese paper money, you can find yen notes from just about any period in time. Japanese yen bills from the Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei eras all feature their own unique artistic style. Some historical collectors are specifically interested in Japanese Showa bills minted during World War II, but there's something out there for just about every type of collector.

What is the Japanese government-issued Philippine peso?

During World War II, Japanese forces occupied the Philippine Islands and issued fiat currency. These Japanese pieces are designed to look like previous releases of Filipino money, and they look a great deal like the American dollar. Due to metal shortages, Japanese paper centavos were circulated in lieu of the standard yen coin. Filipinos refer to this paper currency as the Mickey Mouse dollar because they viewed it as illegitimate. Some collectors continue to use that name.

Is the yen printed on traditional Japanese paper washi sheets?

Imperial Japanese paper money was printed on washi paper before 1869. The Bank of Japan issued the first contemporary Japanese paper yen notes in 1885. Contemporary Japanese paper currency is struck onto sheets of fiber material that resemble the fabric used to mint dollar bills. No notes issued by the Bank of Japan ever used washi paper for backing. While washi paper and dollar fabric both contain tree and shrub fibers, they're very different materials.

Who is on the banknotes that comprise the Japanese yen?

Since the Japanese yen has gone through several redesigns since the end of World War II, the Bank of Japan has elected to honor a number of people through the years by putting their images on Japanese paper banknotes. Each series has its own list of honorees:

  • JPY A (1946-48) yen notes feature Prince Shotoku on the 100 and Ninomiya Sontoku on the 1-yen note.
  • JPY B (1950-53) yen notes feature Takahashi Korekiyo on the 50, Itagaki Taisuke on the 100, Iwakura Tomomi on the 500, and Prince Shotoku on the 1,000.
  • JPY C (1957–69) yen notes feature Iwakura Tomomi on the 500, Ito Hirobumi on the 1,000, and Prince Shotoku on both the 5,000 and 10,000 paper yen issues.
  • JPY D (1984) notes introduced Natsume Soseki on the 1,000, Nitobe Inazo on the 5,000, and Fukuzawa Yukichi on the 10,000 yen paper notes.
  • Japanese yen paper currency since 2004 includes Noguchi Hideyo on the 1,000, Higuchi Ichiyo on the 5,000 and Fukuzawa Yukichi on the 10,000.
Why is some circulated paper JPY currency folded?

Circulated Japanese yen notes are often folded to fit in pockets and wallets. Some paper JPY issues are folded by practitioners of traditional Japanese origami.