"B" and "A" Yen
B&A型軍票 - B and A - Gata Gunpyō
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B Yen (Okinawa)
A Yen (Japan & Korea)
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B Yen (Zone B)
Okinawa / Ryukyu Islands
B Yen Collection, Including 1000y E-E
10s, 50s, 1y A-A, B-B, C-C & D-D, 5y A-A & B-B, 10y, 20y, 100y, 1000y E-E.
All notes are crisp uncirculated. Unmounted. Price on Request
B Yen 1000y D-D, D638934D, VF++ ~Sold~
"Specimens of Military Yen Currency, Area B" B-Yen Booklet.
Contains punched specimen H-A notes for the 10s, 50s, 1y, 5y
10y, 20y and 100y notes (7). Notes are tipped to booklet tabs
at the left side of each note. All notes are crisp uncirculated.
Very Scare. ~Sold~
B Yen Collection Through 100y
10s, 50s, 1y A-A, 1y D-D, 5y A-A, 5y B-B, 10y A-A, 20y, 100y.
All notes are crisp uncirculated except 5y AA which is very
fine. Price: $140.00.
10s~20y (x100 each)
B-Yen, 10s-20y x100, crisp uncirculated. Except for 5y all packs have
consecutive serial numbers. The 10s pack has two replacement notes.
The 5y unit has 1 substitute note for a missing note (not a replacement
B-Yen, 10 sen, Crisp Uncirculated,
Consecutive Serial #s, Pick P63.
1 note $ 4.00
5 notes $18.00
20 notes $45.00 (serial numbers A39xxxxxxA but not consecutive)
40 notes $80.00 (serial numbers A39xxxxxxA but not consecutive)
B-Yen, 10s, Crisp Uncirculated Pack of 100
with 2 Replacement Notes (H-A) Price: $600.00
B-Yen, 10s, Crisp Uncirculated x100 Price: $325.00
Light stain in right margin of 1st 10
notes, original band present but broken
A03253403A-99A (97 notes) Low Serial #s
A39775765A-7A (3 notes) High Serial #s
B-Yen, 10s, high serial #, XF, A43120579A Price: $15.00
B-Yen, 10s, high serial #, VF+, A45884964A Price: $15.00
B-Yen, 10s, Crisp Uncirculated, Choice
Replacement Note - H00063158A Price: $195.00
B-Yen, 10s (x2), Crisp Uncirculated, Choice
Replacement Notes - H00063608A & 9A Price: $385.00
B-Yen, 50s, high serial numbers, x5, CU
A32734622-6A Price: $50.00
B-Yen, 50s, H-A, AU, PMG 58 EPQ "Choice About Uncirculated
Replacement Note - H00102539A Price: $285.00 Exceptional Paper Quality"
B-Yen, 50s, H-A, Fine+
Replacement Note - H00250032A Price: $125.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, H-A, Almost Uncirculated
Replacement Note, H00186026A Price: $250.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, H-A, Extra Fine, thick number "2"
Replacement Note, H00112051A Price: $225.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, H-A, Replacement Note, H00268036A,
F-VF, heavy crease upper right corner Price: $175.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, H-A, Replacement Note, H00069769A, Good,
staining - most evident on the back Price: $150.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, A-A, Error/Changling, A08155890A, Price on Request
VG, Serial No shifted up 2mm and right
1mm, all green printing faded
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B01988140B, CU Price: $125.00 PMG 67 EPQ -"Superb Gem UNC
Exceptional Paper Quality"
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00484867B, CU Price: $100.00 Crisp Uncirculated
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00484814~6B, CU Price: $285.00 3 notes, consecutive numbers,
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00484817B, AU Price: $90.00 Almost Uncirculated+, uncirculated
but minor creases
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B02574454B, AU Price: $85.00 Almost Uncirculated
high serial number 2,624,000 printed
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B02574352B, XF Price: $75.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00430074B, VF Price: $70.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00386118B, Very Good+ Price: $65.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B01059098B, Very Good Price: $65.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00383008B, Very Good Price: $55.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00759629B, Very Good Price: $45.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B02193789B, Very Good,
horizontal fold Price: $40.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, B-B (Bureau of Engraving) B00737977B, Very Good- Price: $20.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, C-C (Japan Printing), 5 notes - consecutive serial #s - C05774539~43C
Crisp Uncirculated, Pick P67c Price: $130.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, C-C (Japan Printing), 5 notes - consecutive serial #s - C02522120~4C
Crisp Uncirculated, Pick P67c Price: $135.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, D-D (Japan Printing), Crisp Uncirculated,
Pick 67d Price: $30.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, D-D (Japan Printing), 3 notes - consecutive serial #s
Crisp Uncirculated, Pick P67d Price: $85.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, D-D (Japan Printing), 4 notes - consecutive serial #s
Crisp Uncirculated, Pick P67d Price: $110.00
B-Yen, 1 yen, D-D (Japan Printing), Extra Fine to Almost Uncirculated,
serial # D01803508D, Pick P67d Price: $22.00
B-Yen, 5 yen, A-A, Extra Fine, A25677389A, high serial number
(27,000,000 issued), Pick P69a Price: $30.00
B-Yen, 5 yen, B-B, Crisp Uncirculated, B00118954B, Pick P69b Price: $50.00
Lowest amount printed except for 1,000 yen notes
B-Yen, 5 yen, B-B, Crisp Uncirculated, B01727566B, Pick P69b Price: $45.00
Lowest amount printed except for 1,000 yen notes
B-Yen, 5 yen, B-B, Crisp Uncirculated, 3 notes - consecutive serial #s,
B00119043~45B, Pick P69b Price: $120.00
B-Yen, 5 yen, B-B, Crisp Uncirculated, B00004942B, very low
serial number, 4,942 of 2,000,000, Pick P69b Price: $65.00
B-Yen, 5y, H-A, AU, PMG 50 "About Uncirculated"
Replacement Note - H00030271A Price: $450.00
B-Yen, 10y, H-A, XF, PMG 45 EPQ - Lucky "777" "Choice Extremely Fine
Replacement Note - H00048777A Price: $475.00 Exceptional Paper Quality"
B-Yen, 10 yen, Very Fine+, H000182125A, Replacement Note,
scraped area at middle of bottom edge Price: $350.00
B-Yen, 10 yen, Very Fine, H00066360A, Replacement Note Price: $325.00
B-Yen, 10 yen, Very Good+, H00048429A, Replacement Note Price: $265.00
B-Yen, 10 yen, Very Good, H00155614A, Replacement Note,
small staple size holes (2) at bottom left Price: $245.00
B-Yen, 20 yen, Very Good, A00145848A, low number, crease at left Price: $20.00
B-Yen, 20 yen, Crisp Uncirculated, high number, A34287894A Price: $35.00
B Yen 20y, H-A, H00011207A, VF++, Replacement Note ~SOLD~
B Yen 20y, H-A, H00089391A, VG, Replacement Note Price: $100.00
Military Club (El Peon's Casa - Naha Airmen's Club) chits,
5c, 10c, 25c, c1963 Sold
A Yen (Zone A)
Japan & Korea
Specimens of "A" Yen (all 7 denominations).
Loose notes each punched specimen on H-A notes for the 10s, 50s, 1y, 5y
10y, 20y and 100y notes - extracted from booklet. The notes were once tipped
to booklet tabs at the left side of each note and evidence of that can
be seen. All notes are crisp uncirculated. Very Scare. ~Sold~
A-Yen 10s (CU) Price: $50.00 Serial #A15287826A, PMG 64 "Choice Uncirculated"
A-Yen 50s (CU) Price: $50.00 Serial #A17492621A, PMG 64 "Choice Uncirculated -
Exeptional Paper Quality"
A-Yen 50s (AU) Price: $42.00 Serial #A03465404A, almost uncirculated
A-Yen 50s (XF+) Price: $40.00 Serial #A09281314A, extremely fine -
almost uncirculated, corner bend at lower right
A-Yen 50s (VF) Price: $35.00 Serial #A02499016A, very fine
A-Yen 50s (F-VF) Price: $30.00 Serial #A15071165A, fine-very fine
A-Yen 1y Variety Price:$250.00 Serial #H00170923A, good, H-A Replacement Note
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $50.00 Serial #A19777858A, PMG 64 "Choice Uncirculated -
Exeptional Paper Quality" Lucky "777"
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A10674263A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A06177556A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A07899417A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A11792831A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A19633269A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (CU) Price: $45.00 Serial #A10674263A, crisp uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (AU+) Price: $42.00 Serial #A09944271A, almost uncirculated+
A-Yen 1y (AU) Price: $40.00 Serial #A09945746A, almost uncirculated
A-Yen 1y (AU) Price: $20.00 Serial #A15110265A, almost uncirculated+, "short snorter" -
signature ("Pvt Earl Kregan") on reverse, centered high on front
A-Yen 1y (XF+) Price: $35.00 Serial #A08753525A, extra fine+
A-Yen 1y (XF) Price: $34.00 Serial #A02919551A, extra fine
A-Yen 1y (VF) Price: $32.00 Serial #A11796725A, fine to very fine
A-Yen 1y (VF) Price: $30.00 Serial #A16333597A, very fine, obverse centered low
A-Yen, 1y (XF) Price $475.00 Serial #H00175250A, Replacement Note, PMG graded,
40 EPQ, Extremely Fine, Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ)
A-Yen 5y (AU) Price: $125.00 Serial #A14740830A, almost uncirculated, centered low
A-Yen 5y (VF) Price: $85.00 Serial #A15773882A, very fine
A-Yen 5y (VF) Price: $75.00 Serial #A01162568A, very fine
A-Yen 5y (VF) Price: $70.00 Serial #A01162553A, very fine
A-Yen 5y (F+) Price: $70.00 Serial #A01597702A, fine+
A-Yen 5y (G) Price: $22.00 Serial #A18905165A, good, heavy horizontal crease
A-Yen 10y (UNC) Price: $200.00 Serial #A05174597A, Uncirculated
A-Yen 10y x3 (UNC) Price: $650.00 (Net) Serial #A23485410~12A, 3 notes, Uncirculated
A-Yen 10y (XF- AU) Price: $155.00 Serial #A18629993A
A-Yen 10y (XF) Price: $145.00 Serial #A20850125A
A-Yen 10y (VF+) Price: $95.00 Serial #A10329108A, very fine +
A-Yen 10y (VF) Price: $90.00 Serial #A09697403A, very fine
A-Yen 10y (VF) Price: $85.00 Serial #A05166351A, very fine
A-Yen 10y (VF) Price: $80.00 Serial #A02655294A, very fine
A-Yen 10y (F) Price: $50.00 Serial #A21290615A, fine
A-Yen 10y (G+) Price: $30.00 Serial #A18807999A, good+, centered low - front and back
A-Yen 10y (G) Price: $25.00 Serial #A09757169A, good
A-Yen 20y (VF) Price: $185.00 Serial #A01218066A, very fine
A-Yen 20y (UNC) Price: $750.00 (Net) Serial #A01286863A
A-Yen 100y (UNC) Price:$1500.00 (Net) Serial #A01923332A
Above 2 as one unit Price:$2000.00 (Net) 20y & 100y, A-Yen, Uncirculated
Horizontal imperforate pairs, with selvage, of revalidation stickers (shoshi) for
use on pre-WWII Japanese bank notes, 10y, 100y, 200y and 1000y - all specimens.
These are the adhesive stamps referenced in the Pick catalogue under Japan
Pick #79-82. Price: $300.00
As above, horizontal pairs without selvage Price: $275.00
As above, blocks of 8 Price on Request
Japanese Bank Notes with Shoshi
Pick 79a, 10y (1930) with 10y shoshi, VG Price: $25.00
Pick 79b, 10y (1943-4 10y watermark) with 10y shoshi, VG Price: $25.00
Pick 79d, 10y (1945) with 10y shoshi, VF Price: $45.00
Currency Grading Standards.
- Uncirculated (UNC - CU)  - Perfect.
- About Uncirculated (AU) - Slight evidence of handling.
- Extremely Fine (XF or EF) - Clean and bright but with light handling, no more than 3 light folds or one strong crease.
- Very Fine (VF)  - Light soiling but note is crisp. May have several folds. No tears. Corners may be slightly rounded.
- Fine (F)  - Considerable signs of circulation, soiling, edge tears not extending into design, no holes.
- Very Good (VG) - Extensive signs of circulation, heavy soiling, creases, strong folds, may have hole in center from folding.
- Good (G) - Well worn/used, overall unattractive appearance.
Currency is often found graded by commercial and society grading services. The numerical grade and above descriptive grades are roughly as follow:
Almost Uncirculated 50~58
Extra Fine 40~45
Very Fine 20~35
Very Good 8~10
Some notes offered on this webpage have been graded by the Professional Money Guaranty (PMG), a commercial grading firm. For detailed information on PMG grades, click here. Currently the minimum PMG charge for grading a note is $25.00. That charge is factored into the pricing
of PMG graded notes on this webpage.
"B" Yen and "A" Yen (Series 100)
"B" yen notes were initially issued in 10s, 50s, 1y, 5y, 10y, 20y and 100y denominations. In 1951 the 1000y denomination was introduced. While most notes were printed by Strecher-Traung, some notes of 1, 5, and all the 1,000 yen were printed in Japan by the Ministry of Finance's Printing Bureau and the 1 yen block B-B notes were printed by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The "B" yen currency was in use in Okinawa until 1958 giving it the distinction of being the longest in use US military currency of the World War II era.
Both "B" and "A" underprinted military currency yen notes bear the series number 100.
All "B" underprint notes have block letters associated with printers.
All of the 1000 yen notes were printed in Japan. They were printed on light brown color paper, which is smooth on the front and slightly rough on the back, using the Intaglio printing process. The other notes printed in Japan (1 yen C-C & D-D and 5 yen B-B) were printed on cream color paper. All denominations printed in the US were printed using offset color lithography (4 color) on watermarked (very faint) white bond paper.
Notes in all denominations from 10 sen to 100 yen were prepared in 1945 and ready for use immediately on the invasion of Okinawa, April 1, 1945. Troops on the invasion ships were allowed to draw small amounts of the "B" yen and actually carried it ashore when they landed. The value of the 100 yen note was approximately 80c so it easy to understand that the need for a larger denomination note soon developed. The 1,000 yen notes were first issued in December of 1951.
Replacement notes (block H-A) substituted into packs of notes did not have the same numbers as the block "A-A" notes they replaced. The replacement notes were added into packs in the there own numerical sequence.
Specimen replacement notes (blocks H-A with "Specimen" perforation at bottom center) in booklets. There are "H-A" replacement notes perforated "Specimen" for all, Block A-A notes in the B yen series except for the 1,000 yen note. The 1,000 yen note did not exist when these booklets were prepared. I have seen these notes separately and in booklet form. Separate notes were probably removed from a booklet and generally have faint evidence of that on the reverse. The notes were tipped (attached by good quality glue) onto tabs in the booklet on the reverse side (right edge when viewing the back of the note). Some of these B yen booklets initially were classified "Top Secret" with that handstamped on the outside front and back covers. One booklet I have examined carried a manuscript notation reading "Classification Removed, 5/1/45." Similar specimen notes exist for the "A" underprinted notes (see below). The specimen booklets were intended to provide US Forces personnel advance knowledge the currency that would be placed in use with the invasion. (B Yen Specimens - A Yen Specimens)
Printing (Delivered) Quantities for "B" yen:
10 sen A-A (1945) -- 51,856,000 [45,884,000]
50 sen A-A (1945) -- 43,344,000 [32,700,000]
1 yen A-A (1945) -- 53,984,000 [40,200,000]
1 yen B-B (1955) -- 2,624,000 [2,574,000]
1 yen C-C (1956) -- 7,680,000
1 yen D-D (1957) -- 7,680,000
5 yen A-A (1945) -- 27,000,000 [25,700,000]
5 yen B-B (1957) -- 2,000,000
10 yen A-A (1945) -- 60,740,000 [54,600,000]
20 yen A-A (1945) -- 35,408,000 [35,200,000]
100 yen A-A (1945) -- 39,042,000 [32,000,000]
1,000 yen A-A (1951) -- 500,000
1,000 yen B-B (1952) -- 500,000
1,000 yen C-C (1953) -- 500,000
1,000 yen D-D (1955) - 1,000,000 [811,000]*
1,000 yen E-E (1956) - 3,000,000 [2,742,783]
The numbers above in brackets [ ] represent recorded (approximate -
rounded up or down to the next 100,000s) high numbers for these notes.
* 1000y D-D. There are only 6 digits and no "0" place holder for the seventh digit.
Printing (Delivered) Quantities for "A" yen
10 sen -- 93,456,000
50 sen -- 76,668,000
1 yen -- 66,176,000
5 yen -- 29,840,000
10 yen -- 51,880,000
20 yen -- 4,506,000
100 yen -- 9,140,000
331,666,000 - Total
The "A" yen notes were issued in 10s, 50s, 1y, 5y, 10y, 20y and 100y denominations. All "A" underprinted notes are block A-A except for replacements which are block H-A. Specimen replacement notes (block H-A with "Specimen" perforation at the bottom center) exist for all 7 notes in this series.
While there were 20,000,000 more "A" series notes delivered than "B" series (1945) notes (331+ million vrs 311+ million), the "A" series notes are scarcer than the "B" series. The high value 20 yen and 100 yen "A" series notes were delivered in substantially smaller quantities than the same "B" series denominations.
The "A" underprinted notes were in use in Japan and the Ryukyu Islands for a little over two months (July 19, 1946 to September 30, 1946) but only as a form of military payment certificate and not by the civilian population. They were used in Korea from September 7, 1945 through July 10, 1946 as general currency (apparently more of an official recognized status than actual use) and from July 19 to September 30, 1946 as a form of military payment certificate.
The "B" yen underprinted notes were used in Japan by the civilian population from September 6, 1945 through July 15, 1948.
US Forces personnel were issued "B" yen currency prior to the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945. The "B" notes yen were used almost continually in the Ryukyu Islands from April 1, 1945 until September 30, 1958. There was a short period in 1946 (July 19, 1946 to September 30, 1946) when the "B" yen notes held by US Forces personnel were replaced with "A" yen notes. This period was brief (2+ months) and then the "A" yen notes were withdrawn and "B" yen reissued.
While the immediate post war period was probably more of a barter economy for the civilian population, a basic currency system was being established by US military authorities in the Ryukyu Islands. From the invasion on April 1, 1945 until April 14, 1946 existing Japanese notes and coins and the US issued "B" yen notes were used by the civilian population. Effective April 15, 1946 legal tender for the civilian population included (in addition to the "B" yen) "New" Bank of Japan notes and old Japanese notes and coins under 5 yen and old Japanese notes over 5 yen if they were revalidated by affixing a special stamp (shoshi). This system lasted until September 1, 1946 when all Japanese notes were required to be the "New" Bank of Japan issue and "B" yen was no longer legal tender for the civilian population. On August 1, 1947, the civilian population was again authorized to use the "B" yen notes as legal tender along with the "New" Bank of Japan notes. Finally, on July 21, 1948, the only legal tender for the civilian population became the "B" yen. No doubt these constant and drastic changes in legal tender caused much confusion. In addition, while not authorized for use by the civilian population, Military Payment Certificates and even "A" yen was circulating in the US forces community. I suspect that those notes leaked outside of the US forces system, particularly in the off base businesses servicemen tended to frequent.
Minoru Sera, in his Ryukyus Handbook,* published a chart (page 195) outlining these various currency stages in the Ryukyu Islands as it related to the civilian population. The discussion in the preceding paragraph is based upon the information in that chart.
* (Sera, Minoru, Ryukyus Handbook, Philatelic and Historic, Tokyo, printed by the Radiopress Tokyo, 1962, 8vo, gray cloth, 238 pp).
The civilian (non-US Forces) monetary system existing in the Ryukyu Islands immediately after WWII is discussed in a 2003 "Working Paper"** published by the Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University. The discussion of the monetary system for the civilian population tracks the discussion by M. Sera but is confusing as it relates to the prohibition of the use of "B" yen by the civilian population during the period from September 1, 1946 to August 1, 1947. Also, the author's did not mention the use of the revalidated old Japanese notes. The working paper notes that on July 15, 1948, the Japanese Ministry of Finance issued a directive "...terminating the status of B-yen notes as legal tender in Japan."
** (Shinji Takagi, Motosugu Shintani and Tetsuro Okamoto, Measuring the Economic Impact of Monetary Union: The Case on Okinawa, Working Paper No. 03-W15, Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, July, 2003, Nashville TN, 28 pp. On-line here. The monetary system established immediately after the war is found in Paragraph II starting at page 3).
The "A" and "B" yen notes are catalogued/discussed in the below references.
- Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues, Volume Two, by Albert Pick, Seventh Edition, 1994, Krause Publications, Inc., WI, 4to, illustrated hard boards, 1280 pp. The notes are listed under Japan as "Allied Military Currency" and fall within the Japan notes with Pick numbers 62-76. The listing includes values.
- World War II Remembered, history in your hands - a numismatic study by C. Frederick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling, 1995, BNR Press, Ohio, 4to, illustrated hard covers, 864 pp. The notes are listed as "Allied Military Currency--Operation Toy Horse" (pages 290-292) and carry Schwan/Boling (SB) numbers 251-58 ("A" yen) and 261-9 ("B" yen). The listing includes values.
- Military Currency: The B-yen, 1945-1958 by Belmont Faries, published in From the Dragon's Den, Volume 12, No 2, June, 1980, pages 52-61. The article is a comprehensive study of this topic and includes a note by note table listing denomination, year printed, printer, block letters, and quantity printed.
Revalidated with Shoshi - Old Japanese yen Notes. In March of 1946 all Japanese notes of 5 yen or more in denomination were declared invalid effective April 28, 1946. Between April 15 and April 28 the soon to be demonetized notes could be exchanged "New" issue Bank of Japan notes or be revalidated. The "revalidated/revalued notes" carried an adhesive revalidation sticker (shoshi) that was affixed in the area at the upper right corner of the note. The revalidated notes are found in the 10y, 100y, 200y and 1000y denominations. The 1000y and 200y shoshi are quite scarce and almost never actually found affixed to a note. For information on these revalidation/revalue stickers click here. These "revalidated" notes are listed in the Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money (Pick catalogue) as the Japan "1946 Provisional Issue" and assigned catalogue numbers of 79 (10y), 80 (100y), 81 (200y) and 82 (1000y). This revalidation was required in Japan and in the Ryukyu Islands.
George C. Baxley, PO Box 807, Alamogordo, NM 88311
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