The Bank of Japan (日本銀行, Nippon Ginkō?, BOJ, JASDAQ: 8301) is the central bank of Japan. The Bank is often called Nichigin (日銀?) for short. It has its headquarters in Chuo, Tokyo.
Like most modern Japanese institutions, the Bank of Japan was founded after the Meiji Restoration. Prior to the Restoration, Japan's feudal fiefs all issued their own money, hansatsu, in an array of incompatible denominations, but the New Currency Act of Meiji 4 (1871) did away with these and established the yen as the new decimal currency, which had parity with the Mexican silver dollar. The former han (fiefs) became prefectures and their mints became private chartered banks which, however, initially retained the right to print money. For a time both the central government and these so-called "national" banks issued money. A period of unanticipated consequences was ended when the Bank of Japan was founded in Meiji 15 (1882) after a Belgian model. It has since been partly privately owned (its stock is traded over the counter, hence the stock number). A number of modifications based on other national banks were encompassed within the regulations under which the bank was founded. The institution was given a monopoly on controlling the money supply in 1884, but it would be another 20 years before the previously issued notes were retired.
Following the passage of the Convertible Bank Note Regulations (May 1884), the Bank of Japan issued its first banknotes in 1885 (Meiji 18). Despite some small glitches—for example, it turned out that the konnyaku powder mixed in the paper to prevent counterfeiting made the bills a delicacy for rats—the run was largely successful. In 1897 Japan joined the gold standard and in 1899 the former "national" banknotes were formally phased out.
The Bank of Japan has operated continuously since its founding; however, it was reorganized in 1942 Under the Bank of... [continues]
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