Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Japanese Kanji for Money 金 銀 見 行 券 札 千


Japanese still use cash more often than americans, so having this note (arond $10) in your pocket helps a lot. There are merchants who're not accepting credit cards, mainly because cc transaction fees are around 5% or even higher in Japan.
To the topic:

  • gold, money, metal
  • キン、コン KIN KON
  • かね、かな kane kana
To me it's a "double jewell" under te roof. More scientific explanation it is "two golden nuggets under cover of the earth". It also said it used to be four nuggets but two disappeared. So this is also kanji for "inflation" - just kidding :).

Blogspot's thumbs for pictures are low res, so click on pictue above to see the note in greater details.

The first kanji that looks like squared "one" 一 in the "mouth" 口 has nothing to do with "one" or mouth. In fact, it is a stylized sun 日. Together with 本 they make 日本 - Nihon, Japan.

The next one is:

  • silver
  • ギン GIN
  • * shirogane
It consists of metal 金 and non general use charachter meaning stop. The second charachter, same as one in "look"

  • see; look at;
  • ケン KEN
  • み.る、み.える、み.せる
is said to be derived from eye 目.
While "look" is an eye on legs that "go", in "silver" it's an eye that turns around and looks with scrunity. Shirogane is white metal that needs careful examination.

  • go; carry out; conduct
  • コウ、ギョウ、アン KOU GYO AN
  • い.く、ゆ.く、おこな.う iku yuku okonau
Derived from a pictogram crossroad, together with "silver" it makes "bank",


  • ginkou
It makes me laugh how the masonic all-seeing-eye somehow sneaked to a Japanese kanji for a "bank" and through it to Japanese currency itself. A Thousand Years Conspiracy! Muhahaha!

Next is:

  • ticket
  • ケン KEN
  • *
It is used on the bank note in it's original meaning: "guarantee of safe conduct". So, 日本銀行券 means "nihon ginko's guarantee of safe conduct" or "guaranteed by Bank of Japan".
There is another kanji for bank notes:

  • tag; paper money; counter for bonds;
  • サツ SATSU
  • ふだ fuda
It consists of a tree and a man on his knees next to it, praying on the tree.

Two biggest kanji on the note are 千円 1000 en.

  • thousand
  • セン SAN
  • ち sa
All together they make 千円札 せんえんさつ san-en-satsu or 1000-yen bill!
The man on the note is: Natsume Kinnosuke (夏目金之助), better known by his pen name Natsume Sōseki (夏目 漱石, February 9, 1867 – December 9, 1916), is widely considered to be the foremost Japanese novelist of the Meiji Era (1868–1912).

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