yen

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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Two Japanese high school kids arrested in “really bad” attempt at cash fraud

Two Japanese high school kids arrested in “really bad” attempt at cash fraud

On 4 November Osaka Prefectural Police announced the arrest of two teenagers aged 15 and 16 for fraud. The two boys are accused of trying to pass off a fake one million yen (US$10,000) bank note at a small cigarette stand in Suita City.

Although, passing off counterfeit money is usually considered “uttering” and may be punishable by jail time, the pair were given a reduced charge of fraud because, according to police, “the fake money used was really bad.”

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Got a spare $286,000 lying around? Get your 24k gold Mt. Fuji replica while supplies last!

Got a spare $286,000 lying around? Get your 24k gold Mt. Fuji replica while supplies last!

With Mt. Fuji having recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site on June 22, souvenir makers have rushed to cash in on the mountain’s new found fame offering everything from rice bowls to beer glasses crafted in the shape of the iconic volcano.
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Japanese Government Hints at Issuing 50,000 Yen Bills, We Wonder What They’ll Look Like

Japanese Government Hints at Issuing 50,000 Yen Bills, We Wonder What They’ll Look Like

A major flaw of Japanese currency is the 10,000 yen bill ceiling of banknotes.

For daily life, having a system of bills which max out at around 100 bucks US is not a problem. But for those special times when you want to buy something high-end like a computer or melons, your wallet suddenly swells to the size of a baseball.  In country that largely shuns checks or debit cards, cash is still king – a thick, hard to fit in your back pocket king.

Rumors are swirling about financial reforms in the works by Shinzo Abe’s recently elected Liberal Democratic Party involving, among other things, the issuing of 50,000 yen bills. Yes, it looks like – for once – a politician is looking out for the needs of people with too much money.

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Japanese Man Arrested for Using Novelty Cash, Clerk Tipped off by Laughing Yukichi

Japanese Man Arrested for Using Novelty Cash, Clerk Tipped off by Laughing Yukichi

Japanese paper currency is printed with the faces of various prominent figures.  However, rather than past or present leaders, like many countries do, the yen banknotes are decorated with writers and a scientist.

For example, the 10,000 yen (US$124) bill has the likeness of Fukuzawa Yukichi, a highly influential writer during Japan’s transition from the feudal system to modern government.  He is also known to have never smiled in a photograph, which is why when one man attempted to spend a 1,000,000 yen (US$12,400) bill with a picture of a grinning Yukichi, the clerk’s suspicion was aroused.

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