money

Pretty money – Poll reveals Japan’s “coolest” cash

Pretty money – Poll reveals Japan’s “coolest” cash

When it comes to cash, we all no doubt have our favourites. I, for one, have a huge soft spot for those nice, big 500 yen coins since every time I hold one I feel like I’m either shopping in a medieval market town or about to plonk it down on a bar counter to cover the cost of my beer, bath and bed for the night. Those flimsy little one yen coins, however, have a habit of seeking me out, and I always find myself trying to palm them off on convenience store clerks, devastated when I’m a single coin short of the nine yen they’re asking for.

In a recent poll, 477 My Navi Woman readers were asked which of Japan’s coins and notes boasts the “coolest” design. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number-one spot went to the 10,000 yen note – the largest denomination available and worth roughly US$100 – but there were some surprises in the list too. Join us after the jump for a closer look at some of Japan’s cash.

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Greece national football team players turn down individual bonuses for something else

Greece national football team players turn down individual bonuses for something else

The World Cup is not just a battle between nations to determine who is the strongest in the world. It is also a momentous celebration of international exchange and an opportunity for citizens of the world to display their national pride. Heart-wrenching and heartwarming stories alike are born from the event, which remain in people’s minds long after the final score has been forgotten. Some of the most memorable stories from the tournament don’t even take place on the pitch during gameplay; rather, they materialize in other acts of chivalry off the field.

Although Greece was defeated by Costa Rica on Sunday, Greek citizens couldn’t have been prouder to see their national team advance to the Round of 16 for the first time ever. The Greek athletes also seemed content just having served as representatives for their home country, as they incredibly refused individual monetary bonuses and instead asked for a joint venture that should further unite them in spirit with their fellow countrymen.

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Man buys, gives away thousands of movie tickets to get back at girl who dumped him 7 years ago

Man buys, gives away thousands of movie tickets to get back at girl who dumped him 7 years ago

While we’d never advocate acts of revenge as such, we have to admit that, if it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing well. And this is one such example.

Dumped seven years ago because he was too poor even to take his girl to the movies, this now highly successful businessman continued to be plagued by feelings of bitterness and regret. Deciding that it was time to exorcise his love-life demons once and for all, he splashed his cash and bought up thousands of tickets for the Beijing premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction, giving them away to those who spread the word of his tremendous wealth online.

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China ‘fearful’ of becoming world’s number one economy, says academic

China ‘fearful’ of becoming world’s number one economy, says academic

China is fearful of becoming the world’s leading economic power and does not want to overtake the US. That’s the argument Kai He, Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah State University, has put forward in an article for the RSIS Commentaries on June 2, in which he suggests three reasons why China “doesn’t want to be number one”.

A major report back in May that suggested that China’s economy will overtake that of the US this year was met with opposition from an unlikely source: Beijing itself. A message published by China’s state media questioned the accuracy of the report, which was based on World Bank figures, and discouraged people from “reading too much into it”.

But why would Beijing refute the suggestion that it will be the world’s leading economic power before the year is out?

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Average savings of Japanese households revealed, netizens reel in shock

Average savings of Japanese households revealed, netizens reel in shock

Our mothers always told us that it’s not polite to talk about money. And while we usually listen to what our mother’s tell us, this one time we’re going to ignore their advice. Sorry, mom!

But, really, it’s not a big deal, because we’re not talking about our money. Instead, we’re talking about Japanese people’s money–specifically, how much they have saved up on average. And the number might surprise you.

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Silver 1,000 yen coin to be issued for Shinkansen’s 50th anniversary

Silver 1,000 yen coin to be issued for Shinkansen’s 50th anniversary

Japan first started issuing commemorative coins in 1964 to celebrate the Tokyo Olympic Games two specially designed coins face-valued at 100 yen (US$0.98) and 1,000 yen, respectively. They would be the first in a long string of special coins celebrating events such as an Emperor’s 60th year on the throne and the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s 50th anniversary.

October 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the Japan’s famous bullet train lines, and so the Ministry of Finance has seen fit to put out yet another pair of coins. The first one revealed puts the legendary train lines right up there with Japan’s other iconic symbols.

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$100 chocolate toothpaste? Gucci eraser? 7 ridiculously expensive items from around the world

$100 chocolate toothpaste? Gucci eraser? 7 ridiculously expensive items from around the world

 

Here at RocketNews24 we love finding “The Most Expensive (Thing) Ever” and have even been known to see it as something of a challenge. Our eyes light up whenever we see an advert or – more likely, press release – for “World’s Most Expensive (household item that’s usually quite cheap)”.

But brands also love to come up with their own insanely high-end products in the hope of gaining a superlative world title. Whether it’s encrusting something entirely with diamonds, or coating it in gold dust, we can’t help but feel they’re doing it on purpose, just to get our attention (and column inches). Today we bring you seven products from Japan and around the world that you didn’t even know you wanted … until now!

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Unknown person leaves thousands in cash and gift certificates in dozens of mailboxes in Japan

Unknown person leaves thousands in cash and gift certificates in dozens of mailboxes in Japan

What if you found an unmarked envelope full of money in your mailbox? Would you keep it?

On March 20 and 21, exactly 30 households were faced with this very dilemma as an unknown person deposited a total of 760,000 yen (US$7,420) in the mailboxes of an apartment complex in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture. The largest sum found in a single mailbox was 137,000 yen (US$1,339). Just 10 days earlier, mysterious envelopes were deposited at an additional 30 homes in Kawasaki City, 486 km (300 mi) away. This time, the envelopes contained gift certificates with monetary values ranging from 5,000 yen (US$48) to tens of thousands of yen (hundreds of US dollars).

If this sounds like easy money to you, you might be surprised to learn what half of the residents chose to do with the cash.

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Japan’s vending machines are no match for counterfeit coins

Japan’s vending machines are no match for counterfeit coins

Counterfeit coins and bills are hard to make and with the advancement of technology, hard to pass for genuine money. Store clerks are armed with a variety of techniques, from special pens to knowledge of watermark placement, making it even more difficult for those looking for undeserved cash to score big.

However, with the proliferation of vending machines across Japan and the circulation of a high-value 500 yen (US$5) coin, counterfeiters have a perfect mark for cashing in their fake coins, as a recent photo on Twitter confirms.

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“I will never forget again”: Nagasaki man gets back the cash he left at an ATM

“I will never forget again”: Nagasaki man gets back the cash he left at an ATM

What happens when you withdraw a ton of cash from an ATM in the middle of the city, only to walk away and realize later that you forgot to stick it in your wallet? Apparently nothing, if you happen to live in Nagasaki City. Earlier this week a Nagasaki native experienced the above situation, and was ecstatic to find the money untouched when he returned later. The killer part of everything? Wait until you hear his profession.

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Chinese millionaire offers small fortune to rent a girlfriend for the Lunar New Year, fails miserably

Chinese millionaire offers small fortune to rent a girlfriend for the Lunar New Year, fails miserably

The Chinese Lunar New Year is less than a week away. Indisputably the biggest event of the year for the Chinese, it is a time when families reunite to celebrate the start of a new year. It is crunch time for Chinese around the world as they get busy preparing for the big day; filling refrigerators with food, preparing hongbao (red envelopes with money in them), and for some, finding the perfect “other half” to introduce to their expectant family.

A wealthy young man has recently offered to pay 1,000,000 Chinese yuan (around US$165,300) to rent a “girlfriend” for a week to accompany him on his trip back to his hometown for the annual celebrations. But even his stacks of cash didn’t seem to help.

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Otoshidama: How kids in Japan get rich once a year

Otoshidama: How kids in Japan get rich once a year

With Christmas being just a regular day and the exchanging of gifts something of a rarity, we often feel that kids in Japan are missing out somewhat. Of course, not every Westerner is fortunate enough to know the joy of waking up on December 25 and finding presents–brought by a benevolent bearded man, no less–under the Christmas tree or at the foot of their bed, but those who are would most likely agree that it’s a pretty spectacular feeling for a kid to have.

But while the rest of the world is coming to realise that the toys they asked for aren’t quite as cool as they’d expected and dreading going back to school or work, kids in Japan are making out like bandits and getting not presents but cold, hard cash on New Year’s Day in the form of otoshidama.

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Goods and services that cost a pound of flesh, a bouquet of flowers, and some deep knee bends

Goods and services that cost a pound of flesh, a bouquet of flowers, and some deep knee bends

Daily life is full of costs that can add up and quietly eat away at your finances without you even noticing. If you take all those subway tokens and cups of coffee and added them up you’d have a nice chunk of change.

Some services are well aware of this fact of life and are offering relief from these nibbles at our wallets in exchange for some healthy or polite habits. Here are five examples from around the world as gathered by Naver Matome.

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Chinese man slaps his cheating girlfriend with money, attacks her “cyber husband” online

Chinese man slaps his cheating girlfriend with money, attacks her “cyber husband” online

Geez, is it just my imagination, or is there an increasing number of people these days who try to solve all problems with money in haste? Seriously, even relationship problems. A 26-year-old woman in China got slapped with a wad of Chinese yuan when her boyfriend found out that she was cheating on him with a “cyber husband” on an online gaming platform. And here I thought such distasteful behavior only existed in melodramatic TV soap operas.

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Bedroom tents helping South Koreans keep warm this winter

Bedroom tents helping South Koreans keep warm this winter

We here at RocketNews24 are no strangers to finding new ways to both keep warm and save a few yen on our heating bill through the harsh winter months, but our friends in South Korea, encouraged by a recent unusually cold spurt, have found an ingenious way to lower their thermostat and stay toasty all night—indoor tents. And the tents are becoming so popular that some retailers are selling out!

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Why does the fifty yen coin have a hole? And other fun facts about Japanese coins

Why does the fifty yen coin have a hole? And other fun facts about Japanese coins

A fun way to get a perspective on another country’s history and culture is by looking at the currency used. The materials and design that go into making them can say a lot about what a country holds dear.

So, why don’t we take a quick look through the modern coins used in Japan and learn a little about why they look the way they do and some other tidbits along the way such as what happens when you microwave a one-yen coin and why you shouldn’t do it.

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Living Wallet: The high-tech/creepy solution to your money spending problems

Living Wallet: The high-tech/creepy solution to your money spending problems

We understand it’s hard to save money. With so many cool Gundam theme cakes and Sailor Moon accessories around, who wouldn’t be trying to empty their coin purses and pocketbooks to exchange their hard earned cash for awesome novelty goods. Sometimes, our spending gets a little out of control and we have to save a little, employing various tactics to try and see an increase in the bank account.

But what if your wallet started inching away, undulating like some sort of deranged caterpillar in hopes you forgo your next splurge. And what if you ignored the weirdness of the movement, picked up said wallet, and it started screaming at you? No, we’re not making this up. One company in Japan hopes to curb your spending with a “living wallet.”

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Starbucks: More expensive in China than Japan or America, but why?

Starbucks: More expensive in China than Japan or America, but why?

It’s safe to say that no one you see at Starbucks is there because they want to stretch their java-buying budget. With locations in more than 60 countries (and seemingly every branch in the Tokyo area at maximum capacity every day between 3 and 7 p.m., the Seattle-based chain must be doing something right, but sometimes it’s hard not to feel a bit surprised at the prices they charge.

But the next time you’re sitting in a Starbucks in Japan or America, pretending to sip from an empty mug because you’re not quite ready to disconnect from the free wi-fi but don’t feel like laying out the cash for another cup, consider yourself lucky. You’d be paying a lot more for your latte if you were at a Starbucks in China.

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NPO lobbies to rebuild Edo Castle at the cost of 50 billion yen (US$500 million)

NPO lobbies to rebuild Edo Castle at the cost of 50 billion yen (US$500 million)

Naotake Odake, former managing director of the Japan Tourist Bureau (JTB) and once director of the Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau, spent years of his professional life traveling to cities across the globe in order to promote Tokyo as a worthwhile tourist destination. In his travels, he noticed a trait shared by all the major cities: they each had a unique and well-recognized landmark embodying the history and culture of the land. According to Odake, a structure of this sort is vital to bolstering a spirit of pride in any given population. Unfortunately for Tokyo, he believes that this sort of historical landmark is something that Japan’s capital city severely lacks. What he has against Asakusa Temple, Tokyo Tower, or Tokyo Skytree, I’m really not sure. But, it is for this reason that Odake has taken the lead as the chairman of a non-profit organization which hopes to rebuild the Edo Castle’s innermost tower. “In order to present Tokyo as a proud tourist city, we need something like Edo Castle,” he says. But will the payoff really outweigh the costs?

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10 surprising lifestyle habits of Japanese savers: Why are men who throw things out good with money?

10 surprising lifestyle habits of Japanese savers: Why are men who throw things out good with money?

An online survey was recently carried out on 100 Japanese men in their 30s with an annual salary of 6 million yen (US$61,000) or less who have nevertheless managed to amass more than their annual income in savings, and the results were really quite surprising. The men’s answers seem to overturn the common wisdom on how to save money, resulting in a list of characteristics that natural savers share.

I always imagined thrifty types would hang on to all their old junk in case it came in handy, but for some reason, the men who have proved themselves to be great at saving money also tend to excel at throwing things away and… reading maps.

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