JPY – Japanese Yen

Monetary System

1 ryō = 4 bu = 16 shu (until 1871)
1 Japanese yen (JPY) = 100 sen = 1,000 rin = 10,000 mon

Japanese Government
日本政府

The Japanese Government (GOV), also known as the Greater Japan Imperial Government during the days of the Japanese Empire, issued the first national banknotes in Japan following the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in late 1867 and the “restoration” of the emperor in early 1868. The Japanese Government continued to issue notes until 1948, albeit more and more sporadically and contemporaneously with other issuers. It also issued military notes and notes for use in occupied territories during World War II.

1984 – 2003 Literature Issues

These notes each feature a portrait of a different Japanese writer and have the text 日本銀行券 (Bank of Japan note) at upper front and Nippon Ginko at upper back. Notes with 1-letter prefixes command a 1.75x premium.

Description: 1,000.00 Yen   Size: 150 x 76 mm

Blue and red. Front: Japanese text; Natsume Sōseki (author). Back: English text; two cranes in mating dance. No security thread. Watermark: Natsume Sōseki. 150 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 5,000.00 Yen   Size: 155 x 76 mm

Brown, purple, orange, and red. Front: Japanese text; oval globe of earth; Nitobe Inazō (economist, author, politician). Back: English text; Mount Fuji and foothills. No security thread. Watermark: Nitobe Inazō. 155 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 10,000.00 Yen   Size: 160 x 76 mm

Brown and black. Front: Japanese text; Fukuzawa Yukichi (author and civil rights activist). Back: English text; standing pheasant; lying pheasant. No security thread. Watermark: Fukuzawa Yukichi. 160 x 76 mm. Paper.

2000 Commemorative Issue

This 2,000-yen note commemorates the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit held in Okinawa, Japan on 21-23 July 2000. Manufacturers of vending machines, ubiquitous in Japan, were reluctant to reconfigure them to take this note and it quickly became unpopular with the general public. Production ceased in 2003 and they are now rarely found in circulation. The exception is the islands of Okinawa, due to both the illustrations on the note and the fact that US$20 notes were familiar to the population (Okinawa was an American military possession until 17 June 1972).This note has the text 日本銀行券 (Bank of Japan note) at upper front and Nippon Ginko at upper back. Notes with 1-letter prefixes command a 1.5x premium.

Description: 2,000.00 Yen   Size: 154 x 76 mm

Multicolored. Front: Japanese text; main gate of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa. Back: English and Japanese text; Scrolls and calligraphy depicting events in TheTale of Genji(world’s first novel, early 11th century) and The Diary of Lady Murasaki (c. 1010). No security thread. Watermark: Gate of Shuri Castle. Printer code: I. 154 x 76 mm. Paper.

2004 – 2019 Issues

These notes have the text 日本銀行券 (Bank of Japan note) at upper front and Nippon Ginko at upper back. Notes with 1-letter prefixes command a 1.5x premium.

Description: 1,000.00 Yen   Size: 150 x 76 mm

Blue. Front: Japanese text; Noguchi Hideyo (bacteriologist). Back: English text; Mount Fuji and foothills; plum blossoms. No security thread. Watermark: Noguchi Hideyo. Printer code: L. 150 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 5,000.00 Yen   Size: 156 x 76 mm

Lilac, yellow and orange. Front: Japanese text; Higuchi Ichiyō (author). Back: English text; Irises Screen by Ogata Kōrin (17th century artist). No security thread. Watermark: Higuchi Ichiyō. Printer code: L. 156 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 10,000.00 Yen   Size: 160 x 76 mm

Brown, green and orange. Front: Japanese text; Fukuzawa Yukichi (author and civil rights activist). Back: English text; standing cockerel. No security thread. Watermark: Fukuzawa Yukichi. Printer code: L. 160 x 76 mm. Paper.

Expectations

On 9 April 2019, Japan’s Ministry of Finance announced plans to introduce a new series of notes in the first half of 2024. The new series will consists of three denominations (the existing 2,000-yen note is not being replaced) featuring bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburō on the 1,000-yen note; Tsuda Umeko, founder of Tsuda Juku University and the first Japanese woman to study in the US, on the 5,000-yen note; and industrialist Shibusawa Eiichi, on the 10,000-yen note. All three notes will feature 3D holographic elements, elaborate watermarks, and larger denomination numbers to aid the sight-impaired. Existing notes will continue to circulate in parallel for three to four years.

Description: 1,000.00 Yen   Size: 150 x 76 mm

Blue. Front: Japanese text; flowers; Kitasato Shibasaburō (bacteriologist). Back: English text; Katsushika Hosukai’s woodblock print, “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” from “Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji.” Holographic patch. Unknown security thread. Watermark: Unknown. Printer code: Unknown. 150 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 5,000.00 Yen   Size: 156 x 76 mm

Lilac. Front: Japanese text; flowers; Tsuda Umeko (educator). Back: English text; wisteria flowers. Holographic stripe. Unknown security thread. Watermark: Unknown. Printer code: Unknown. 156 x 76 mm. Paper.

Description: 10,000.00 Yen   Size: 160 x 76 mm

Brown. Front: Japanese text; flowers; Shibusawa Eiichi (industrialist). Back: English text; Marunouchi side of red brick railroad Tokyo Station from 1914. Holographic stripe. Unknown security thread. Watermark: Unknown. Printer code: Unknown. 160 x 76 mm. Paper.