Japanese yen
The Japanese yen (denoted by the ¥ symbol) is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar and the euro; it is also widely used as a reserve currency. The concept of the yen was a component of the Meiji government's modernization program of Japan's economy, which postulated the pursuit of a uniform currency throughout the country, modelled after the European decimal currency system. Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan's feudal fiefs all issued their own money, hansatsu, in an array of incompatible denominations. The New Currency Act of 1871 did away with these and established the yen. The Bank of Japan was later founded in 1882 and given a monopoly on controlling the money supply.

This picture shows the obverse (top) and reverse (bottom) sides of a one-yen banknote of the Meiji era constitutional monarchy, dated 1873, which was the second year of issue for yen banknotes. The banknote was engraved and printed by the Continental Bank Note Company (later part of the American Bank Note Company) of New York and is now in the National Numismatic Collection of the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution.Banknote credit: Continental Bank Note Company