View Full Version : Japanese yen

25th May 2007, 15:57
¥10000 engraved by Edoardo Chiossone

Circulated coins in all 6 denominations

User(s) Japan
Inflation 0.3%
1/100 sen
1/1000 rin
Symbol ¥
Plural The language(s) of this currency does not have a morphological plural distinction.
Coins ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, ¥500
Freq. used ¥1000, ¥5000, ¥10000
Rarely used ¥2000

The yen (円, en) or en is the currency of Japan. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the United States dollar, the euro and the pound sterling. The ISO 4217 codes for the yen are JPY and 392. The Latinised symbol is Ґ while in Japanese it is also written with the kanji 円.

In standard Japanese, the yen is pronounced "en" but the spelling and pronunciation of "yen" is standard in English, due to a historical Portuguese transliteration. The inclusion of the letter y is based on romanization of an obsolete writing of the word which included the kana ゑ (ye/we), examples of which can also be found in such words as Yebisu, Iyeyasu, and Yedo. Like the spellings of names of people outside Japan, the romanization of yen has become a permanent feature. En literally means "round object" in Japanese, as yuan does in Chinese, referring to the ancient Chinese coins that were circular in shape and widely used in Japan up to the Tokugawa Period.

The yen was introduced by the Meiji government in 1870 as a system resembling those in Europe. The yen replaced the complex monetary system of the Edo period, based on the mon. When the Bretton Woods system collapsed a century later, the value of the yen began to float. After the Plaza Accord of 1985, the yen appreciated against the dollar, until it reached a peak of about Ґ85 per dollar in the mid 1990s. After that, the Bank of Japan adopted a weak yen policy which has held it in the range of Ґ100-140 per dollar. In the last couple of years, the yen has grown weaker and weaker against not only the dollar but against nearly all other important world currencies due to a de facto zero interest rate policy which has encouraged massive yen carry trades, where speculators borrow in yen and buy bonds and other assets in currencies that charge significant interest. This can be very profitable, but is a short position on the yen, which in the absence of other factors drives the yen's value down.

A 1000 yen note, featuring the portrait of Natsume Sōseki. New yen notes, featuring the bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi, entered circulation on November 1, 2004.In 1872, the Ministry of Finance introduced notes in denominations between 10 sen and 100 yen. "Imperial Japanese Paper Currency" followed in 1873 in denominations of 1 yen up to 20 yen. "Imperial Japanese Paper Money" was issued between 1881 and 1883 in denominations between 20 sen and 10 yen.

In 1877 and 1878, the Imperial Japanese National Bank issued 1 and 5 yen notes. In 1885, the Bank of Japan began issuing notes, in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 yen. 20 yen notes were added in 1917, followed by 200 yen in 1927 and 1000 yen in 1945.

Between 1917 and 1922, the government issued 10, 20 and 50 sen notes. 50 sen notes were reintroduced in 1938. In 1944, 5 and 10 sen notes were introduced by the Bank of Japan.

Allied forces notes
The Allies issued notes in denominations of 10 and 50 sen, 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 yen between 1945 and 1951, during which time the Bank of Japan also issued notes. Banknotes below 1 yen became invalid on December 31, 1953 by the same legislation mentioned above.

Australia actually made notes for the invasion as well and those can be seen at the Australian Reserve Bank website

Regaining sovereignty
By the early 1950s, notes below 50 yen had been replaced by coins, followed by those for 50 and 100 yen in the late 1950s. In 1957 and 1958, 5000 and 10,000 yen notes were introduced. The 500 yen notes were replaced after 1982, whilst 2000 yen notes were introduced in 2000.

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