Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hard to Come by Cash

Well, I guess any cash is hard to come by these days.. but this note in particular is pretty unique. Below is the front and back of a 2000 yen note (about $20 USD) which M brought home a few nights ago. I hadn't seen one of these before, and wondered if it was like a $2 bill - an older note with a low level of circulation and production.

In fact, it's a new note, it was first issued on July 19th, 2000 to commemorate the G8 Economic Summit in Okinawa as well as the millennium. Pictured on the front (top picture) of the note is Shureimon, a famous gate in Okinawa near the site of the summit. The other side (bottom picture) features a scene from The Tale of Genji - a classic work of Japanese literature and one of the first novels of all time - and the author Murasaki Shikibu on the lower right corner.

These notes are rare in the market, but like $2 bills, they are readily available at banks. Many Japanese consider the 2000 yen note a novelty as it is the only Japanese denomination in the factor of 2. To promote the circulation of the notes, some companies had started paying wages in them. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

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