On April 9, 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Finance announced the issuance of three new bills and 500 yen coin. Many people have associated this with the welcoming of Japan’s new era, which was announced earlier this month. However, the two are not really connected.
The new notes and coin are designed to strengthen preventative measures for counterfeiting.
The new bills will be issued in 2024 while the 500 yen coin will be issued in the first half of 2021.
Three New Bills
Ten Thousand Yen
The 10,000-yen bill features Eiichi Shibusawa (渋沢栄一), widely known as the “father of Japanese capitalism.” Shibusawa was involved in the establishment of about five hundred organizations in his lifetime, including the First National Bank, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The back of the bill is representative of the Meiji and Taisho eras featuring Tokyo Station (Marunouchi side), an important cultural property of Japan.
Five Thousand Yen
The 5,000-yen bill features Umeko Tsuda (津田梅子), a pioneer in the field of education for Japanese women and the founder of Tsuda University in Tokyo.
On the back, you see the elegant wisteria, a continuation with the flower theme – the older notes have irises.
The 1,000-yen bill features Shibasaburo Kitazato (北里柴三郎), a bacteriologist, who earned a reputation worldwide for his research related to the prevention and treatment of tetanus.
Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” graces the back and rightly so as it is probably the most popular woodblock print image.
The 2000 yen bill will not be redesigned as there are very few bills in circulation.
New 500 yen coin
The 500 yen coin has no obvious change in terms of its look. However, the new coin will be made using a two-colored, three-layered structure. The current 500 yen coin has grooves of the same size while the new one have different sized grooves on the side.
Wondering if you can use the old bills now?
The new bills will be issued in 2024 and the new 500 yen coin will start circulating only in 2021. You need not worry as you can use all the currency you own without any problems.