Exhibits Exhibit descriptions < The Nature of Japan’s Colonial Aggression as Reflected in Bank Notes
Exhibit descriptions
The Nature of Japan’s Colonial Aggression as Reflected in Bank Notes
A Grandmother’s Handmade Mumyeongbe (Cotton Yarn)
Yogan: A Living Necessity
Memories: Sokbaji (Inner Trousers for the Hanbok)
Kyōwakai Membership Card
Report Card with Korean Name Erased
Tokyo Bombing Victim Certificate
Handmade Taegukgi(The Flag of Korea)
Korean Registration Certificate Issued by Osaka Prefecture
Discrimination and Antiforeignism in a Crime Prevention Poster
Kenkoku Gakkō of 60 Years Ago
The Hanshin Education Struggle
Zainichi Koreans and the Pachinko Industry
Bataya Slum Areas in the 1960s
Mun-sun Kim’s Petition Written in Blood
List of Brown Atoll “Honorable Suicides” & Free Korean Press
Towel Used in a Prison for War Criminals
List of Members in the Association for Zainichi Korean Disabled Veterans of the Former Japanese Imperial Army
Choi Seung-hee and Sohn Kee-chung
Propaganda film You and Me
The Joy-Bearing Kkot-Kama (Traditional Korean Marriage Bridal Sedan Chair)
Korean Tigers Taken to Japan

The Nature of Japan’s Colonial Aggression as Reflected in Bank Notes

The historical figures that appear on money, such as China’s Mao Zedong or America’s Lincoln, can be said to be national symbols representing the will of the state.

When Koreans came to Japan during the colonial period, they had to exchange Korean bank notes to Japanese bank notes in Shimonoseki or Busan. The value was equivalent, but the figure printed on the bills was different. The Bank of Japan note had figures such as Shōtoku Taishi (100 yen), Fujiwara no Kamatari (10 yen), and Sugawara no Michizane (5 yen), with changes over time.

For the Bank of Chōsen (Korea) money, however, the same portrait of a man with a long white beard was featured on all bills. The portrait remained the same from the inception of the Bank of Chōsen yen in 1911 until Korean liberation in 1945. The person represented on the bills was Takenouchi no Sukune, a mostly forgotten mythical figure who is said to have served five Japanese emperors and lived more than 300 years. He was a military god known especially for his service as the military commander of Empress Jingū, who as the wife of the fourteenth emperor Chūai led the “Silla Expedition” (Silla seibatsu) with the intent of subjugating the Korean kingdom. The aim of the portrait was to express the Meiji Japanese state’s insistence that “Korea has always been Japanese territory” from ancient times, as a way of concealing its colonial intentions.

It is also worth remembering that the first imperial Japanese paper money issued by Meiji Japan (1881) had the portrait of Empress Jingū on it. One must not forget the workings of Japanese imperialism as evidenced in their money.

The Bank of Chōsen (Korea) note
and the Bank of Japan note (R)