Currency Museum Bank of Japan
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FAQ currency

Q4. What was the oldest paper money issued in Japan?

A4. Yamada Hagaki, the oldest paper money issued in Japan, began to be circulated in the Ise Yamada area (present-day Ise City, Mie Prefecture) around 1600. The Yamada Hagaki note was issued by priests from Ise Shrine in the course of commercial activities, and became a substitute for small change paid in exchange for silver coins. Accordingly, the note began to circulate as local currency in the area. Subsequently, similar notes were issued by feudal clans and merchants in large amounts throughout the country and circulated widely during the Edo Period.