Kokuritsu Ginko Shihei (National paper currency) (国立銀行紙幣)

Kokuritsu Ginko Shihei was paper currency issued by the National Bank in the early Meiji Period.

Historical backdrop and summery

Currencies such as Meiji Tsuho (government note in Meiji Period) which was issued after the Meiji Restoration were inconvertible paper currency (paper currency which was not assured an exchange with standard money, such as gold and silver), and at that time, gold standard system was an international trend, so Japan also needed to issue convertible currency (paper currency which was assured an exchange with standard money). The Meiji Government left an establishment of the gold standard system to the private sector, and enacted a regulation of national bank in 1872, (to establish issue banks with private capital, and oblige them to issue convertible currency). Four national banks (in Meiji Period) were built and convertible Kokuritsu Ginko Shihei was issued since 1873. But they ran into financial difficulty due to the lack of gold coins, and since the regulation of national bank was forced to be amended to permit issuance of inconvertible currency, the number of banks increased abruptly and new Kokuritsu Ginko Shihei (inconvertible currency) was issued.

Characteristics

Being issued by each bank, names of issuers varied by banks, but the face value and the forms were unified. In addition, convertible currency was printed in the United States.

Convertible currency

Production of each currency was outsourced to the United States.

One yen

Face Tajimamori (ancient Japanese figure and also worshiped as a god of sweets) and a ship for wars

Back Mongol invasion attempts against Japan

Issued on August 20, 1873

Abolished on December 31, 1899.

Measurement 80 mm by 190 mm

Two yen

Face Yoshisada NITTA and Takanori KOJIMA

Back Imperial Palace

Issued on August 20, 1873

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 80 mm by 190 mm

Five yen

Face rice planting and rice reaping

Back Mt. Fuji seen from Nihonbashi (Chuo Ward Tokyo)

Issued on August 20, 1873

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 80 mm by 190 mm

Ten yen

Face gagaku (ancient Japanese court dance and music) performance

Back Empress Jingu's conquest of Korea

Issued on August 20, 1873

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 80 mm by 190 mm

Twenty yen

Face Susano (Deity in Japanese Mythology) and Yamatanoorochi(eight-forked-snake)

Back a scene from Japanese Mythology

Issued on August 20, 1873

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 80 mm by 190 mm

Inconvertible currency

Shiheiryo (paper money office) was renamed to National Printing Bureau which started to produce domestically by western printing.

One yen

Face two sailors

Back Ebisu (god of fishing and commerce)

Issued in December, 1877

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 74 mm by 156 mm

Five yen

Face a smith

Back Ebisu

Issued in July, 1878

Abolished on December 31, 1899

Measurement 89 mm by 174 mm

Later

Due to the establishment of the Bank of Japan, they became uncurrent as well as Kaizo Shihei (convertible currency issed by the Meiji government), in December, 1899.