Japan's main unit of currency is the yen (or en) (symbol: ¥). The sen, a former monetary unit, was worth 1/100 of a yen. ("Yen" originally referred to a round coin, while "sen" referred to a copper coin. The plural of "yen" is "yen.")
The low denominations are represented by coins: ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, and ¥500. Coins increase in size and weight with value. The kanji "Nihon Koku" (aka "Nippon Koku") means Country of Japan.
Higher denominations are represented by banknotes. The following notes are in general circulation: ¥1,000, ¥5,000, and ¥10,000. (The ¥500 note was replaced by a coin in 1990.) Japanese bills are the same width, but differ in color and length.
All Japan's currency was changed in 1984. In late 1993, Japan began to circulate new yen bills that cannot be counterfeited on color copiers. To protect the ¥1,000 and ¥10,000 banknotes, the mint uses, on the central bank governor's seal, an ink that glows when exposed to ultraviolet light. The mint claims that fine print on the bills also is impossible to photocopy.
Names are in Japanese order: family name + given name.
Years are expressed as the year of an emperor's reign (e.g., Heisei (1989-present), Showa (1926-1989)).
"Nippon Ginko" means Bank of Japan.
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