Banknotes of the Japanese yen

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A series D 1000 yen note, featuring the portrait of Natsume Sōseki. It has been replaced by the series E 1000 yen note since November 1, 2004.

The banknotes of the Japanese yen are part of the physical form of Japan's currency. Modern banknotes were first released by the Bank of Japan in 1885, three years after the Japanese government established a centralized bank. Throughout their history, the denominations have ranged from 0.05 yen to 10,000 yen. All of notes worth more than 1 yen, and printed since 1946 are still legal tender.

Meiji era[edit]

1885–1887[edit]

Daikokuten (1885–87)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Bank of Japan silver convertible one yen banknote 1885.jpg Old 1 Yen Bank of Japan silver convertible note - reverse.jpg ¥1 78 × 135 mm Daikokuten Geometric patterns September 8, 1885 October 1, 1958 Valid
Series Kyu 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥5 87 × 152 mm Geometric patterns Daikokuten January 4, 1886 March 31, 1939
¥10 93 × 156 mm Daikokuten Geometric patterns May 9, 1887 March 31, 1945
¥100 116 × 186 mm Daikokuten September 8, 1887

1888–1891[edit]

Remodeled convertible banknotes (1888–91)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Revised 1 Yen Bank of Japan Silver convertible - back.jpg ¥1 85 X 145 mm Takenouchi no Sukune Silver obligation May 1, 1889 October 1, 1958 Valid
Series Kaizo 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥5 95 X 159 mm Sugawara no Michizane Silver obligation December 3, 1888 March 31, 1939
Series Kaizo 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥10 100 X 169 mm Wake no Kiyomaro Silver obligation September 12, 1890 March 31, 1925
Series Kaizo 100 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥100 130 X 210 mm Fujiwara no Kamatari Silver obligation November 15, 1891 March 31, 1945

1899–1900[edit]

Convertible Banknote A (1899–1900)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Series Ko 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥5 85 X 146 mm Takenouchi no Sukune and Ube Shrine Gold obligation April 1, 1899 March 31, 1939
Series Ko 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg Series Ko 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - reverse.jpg ¥10 96 X 159 mm Wake no Kiyomaro and Goou shrine Wild Boar design with gold obligation October 1, 1899 March 31, 1939
Series Ko 100 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥100 130 X 210 mm Fujiwara no Kamatari and Tanzan Shrine Gold obligation 1900 1913 March 31, 1939

1910[edit]

Convertible Banknote B (1910)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Series Otsu 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥5 78 X 136 mm Sugawara no Michizane Kitano Tenmangū shrine with convertible wording September 1, 1910 March 31, 1939

Taishō era[edit]

1915–1917[edit]

Taishō convertible banknotes (1915–17)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Revised 1 Yen Bank of Japan Silver convertible - front.jpg Revised 1 Yen Bank of Japan Silver convertible - back.jpg ¥1 85 X 145 mm Takenouchi no Sukune Silver obligation August 15, 1916 October 1, 1958 Valid
¥5 73 X 130 mm Takenouchi no Sukune and Ube shrine Convertible wording December 15, 1916 February, 1927 March 31, 1939
Series Otsu 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥10 89 X 139 mm Wake no Kiyomaro and Goou shrine Convertible wording May 1, 1915 March 31, 1939
Series Ko 20 Yen Bank of Japan note - obverse.jpg ¥20 86 X 149 mm Sugawara no Michizane Kitano Tenmangu shrine November 20, 1917 March 31, 1939

Shōwa era[edit]

1946–1948[edit]

Series A (1946–48)
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension Expiration
Series A 5 sen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series A 5 sen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥0.05 94 × 48 mm Prunus mume blossoms Geometric patterns May 25, 1948 December 31, 1953 June 30, 1954
Series A 10 sen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series A 10 sen bank of japan note -back.jpg ¥0.1 100 × 52 mm Pigeons The Diet building September 5, 1947
Series A 1 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpeg Series A 1Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥1 124 × 68 mm Ninomiya Sontoku Geometric patterns March 19, 1946 October 1, 1958 Valid
Series A 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series A 5 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥5 132 × 68 mm Geometric patterns March 5, 1946 April 1, 1955
Series A 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series A 10 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥10 140 × 76 mm The Diet building February 25, 1946
Series A 100 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series A 100 Yen Bank of Japan note - Back.jpg ¥100 162 × 93 mm Prince Shōtoku, "Yumedono" (A hall associated with Prince Shōtoku in Hōryū-ji Temple) Hōryū-ji Temple February 25, 1946 July 5, 1956
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

1950–1953[edit]

Series B (1950–53) [1]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension
Series B 50 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series B 50 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥50 144 × 68 mm Orange Takahashi Korekiyo The headquarters of the Bank of Japan December 1, 1951 October 1, 1958
SeriesB100Yen Bank of Japan note.jpg SeriesB100Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥100 148 × 76 mm Brown-orange Itagaki Taisuke The Diet building December 1, 1953 August 1, 1974
Series B 500 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series B 500 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥500 156 × 76 mm Dark blue Iwakura Tomomi Mount Fuji April 2, 1951 January 4, 1971
Series B 1000 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series B 1000 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥1000 164 × 76 mm Grey Prince Shōtoku "Yumedono" January 7, 1950 January 4, 1965
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Series B introduced a new high value banknote ¥1000.

1957–1969[edit]

Series C (1957–69) [1]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension
Series C 500 Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series C 500 Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥500 159 × 72 mm Blue Iwakura Tomomi Mount Fuji November 1, 1969 April 1, 1994
Series C 1K Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series C 1K Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥1000 164 × 76 mm Yellow-green Itō Hirobumi The headquarters of the Bank of Japan November 1, 1963 January 4, 1986
Series C 5K Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series C 5K Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥5000 169 × 80 mm Green-brown Prince Shōtoku The headquarters of the Bank of Japan October 1, 1957 January 4, 1986
P94b-10000Yen-(1958) front.jpg P94b-10000Yen-(1958) back.jpg ¥10,000 174 × 84 mm Brown-green Prince Shōtoku A pillar painting of Hōō in Byōdō-in Temple December 1, 1958 January 4, 1986
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

The series C introduced two new high value banknotes ¥5000 and ¥10,000.

1984[edit]

Series D (1984) [2]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Issue Issue suspension
Series D 1K Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series D 1K Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥1000 150 × 76 mm Blue Natsume Sōseki Pair of cranes November 1, 1984 April 2, 2007
Series D 5K Yen bank of japan note - front.jpg Series D 5K Yen bank of japan note - back.jpg ¥5000 155 × 76 mm Purple Nitobe Inazō Mount Fuji, Lake Motosu
Series D 10K Yen Bank of Japan note - front.jpg Series D 10K Yen Bank of Japan note - back.jpg ¥10,000 160 × 76 mm Brown Fukuzawa Yukichi Pair of pheasants
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Due to the discovery of a large number of counterfeit Series D banknotes at the end of 2004, all Series D banknotes except ¥2000 were virtually suspended on January 17, 2005,[3] and officially suspended on April 2, 2007.[4] According to a news release [5] from the National Police Agency, they seized 11,717 counterfeit Series D banknotes (excluding the ¥2000 denomination) in 2005. However, they seized only 486 counterfeit current issue banknotes, namely Series E ¥1000, ¥5000, ¥10,000, and Series D ¥2000.

Heisei era[edit]

2000[edit]

Series D (2000) [2]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
2000 yen banknote (Series D), obverse.png 2000 yen banknote (Series D), reverse.png ¥2000 154 × 76 mm Green Shurei-mon Scene from the Tale of Genji and portrait of Murasaki Shikibu July 19, 2000
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
2000 yen note with The Tale of Genji and Murasaki Shikibu on the right corner

This is the current issue. The 2000 yen note was first issued on July 19, 2000 to commemorate the 26th G8 summit in Okinawa and the 2000 millennium year as well. Pictured on the front of the note is Shureimon, a famous gate in Naha, Okinawa near the site of the summit. The other side features a scene from The Tale of Genji and the author Murasaki Shikibu on the lower right corner. The motif of the scene was taken from the 12th century illuminated handscrolls of the novel kept at the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya. The image of Murasaki Shikibu is taken from the Gotoh edition of the Murasaki Shikibu Diary Emaki held at the Gotoh Museum.

These notes are rare in the market[clarification needed], but at banks they are readily available. Many Japanese consider the 2000 yen note a novelty as it is the only Japanese denomination whose first digit is 2. To promote the circulation of the notes, some companies had started paying wages in them. The series D is the first to display the EURion constellation.

2004[edit]

Series E (2004) [2]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1000 yen banknote (Series E), obverse.png 1000 yen banknote (Series E), reverse.png ¥1000 150 × 76 mm Blue Noguchi Hideyo Mount Fuji, Lake Motosu and cherry blossoms November 1, 2004
5000 yen banknote (Series E), obverse.png 5000 yen banknote (Series E), reverse.png ¥5000 156 × 76 mm Purple Higuchi Ichiyō Kakitsubata-zu (Painting of irises, a work by Ogata Kōrin)
10000 yen banknote (Series E), obverse.png 10000 yen banknote (Series E), reverse.png ¥10,000 160 × 76 mm Brown Fukuzawa Yukichi Statue of hōō (phoenix) from Byōdō-in Temple
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

This is the current issue. The EURion constellation pattern can be observed on the series E.

Reiwa era[edit]

2024[edit]

On April 9, 2019, Finance Minister Tarō Asō announced new designs for the ¥1000, ¥5000, and ¥10,000 notes, for use beginning in 2024.[6] The ¥1000 bill will feature Kitasato Shibasaburō and The Great Wave off Kanagawa, the ¥5000 bill will feature Tsuda Umeko and wisteria flowers, and the ¥10,000 bill will feature Shibusawa Eiichi and Tokyo Station.

Series F (2024, scheduled)
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 front.jpg 1000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 back.jpg ¥1000 150 × 76 mm Blue Kitasato Shibasaburō The Great Wave off Kanagawa (from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series by Hokusai) 2024, scheduled
5000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 front.jpg 5000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 back.jpg ¥5000 156 × 76 mm Purple Tsuda Umeko wisteria flowers
10000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 front.jpg 10000 yen obverse scheduled to be issued 2024 back.jpg ¥10,000 160 × 76 mm Brown Shibusawa Eiichi Tokyo Station (Marunouchi side)
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Currency in Use: Bank of Japan Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ www.boj.or.jp https://web.archive.org/web/20070808131512/http://www.boj.or.jp/type/release/zuiji/bnnew16.htm. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ 一万円券、五千円券および千円券の今後の支払について:日本銀行 Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ www.npa.go.jp https://web.archive.org/web/20070810214710/http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/souni/gizou.htm. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Japan announces new ¥10,000, ¥5,000 and ¥1,000 bank notes as Reiwa Era looms". Japan Times. Retrieved April 9, 2019.

External links[edit]