Have you ever looked at Japanese currency and wondered, "Who the heck is on the bills?" In some countries, the representatives on the bills can be recognizable because they are typically the visages of royalty, revolutionary leaders, or former heads-of-state. For example, the U.S. has mostly American presidents (with a few other "founding fathers"), most commonwealth countries have current or former members of the Royal family, Vietnam has Ho Chi Minh, etc. In Japan, however, the figures on the bills are not so straightforward. While Fukuzawa Yukichi (the first represented below) is well-known to students of Japanese history, the other two are a bit more obscure. So here are the three representatives selected to grace Japanese currency:
FUKUZAWA Yukichi (10,000 yen note)
Higuchi Ichiyo (5,000 yen note)
Higuchi is not the first female to grace a Japanese bank note, but she is the first to have lived in the modern era. Higuchi was a Meiji-era (1868-1912) author and Japan's first prominent female writer in modern Japan. Unfortunately, Higuchi fell victim to Tuberculosis, a disease that claimed many lives during Japan's Industrial revolution and up to World War II. Higuchi represents Japan's unique and prominent literature.