This 10,000 yen note is worth $125. I held onto it when I changed my foreign currency at Seattle airport so that I can check it out and decide if I want to add it to my collection of foreign bank notes. The yen is the third most-traded currency after the US dollar and the Euro, and widely used as a reserve currency. Maybe I should have gotten more yen when I was in Tokyo! : )
Anyway – that is Fukuzawa Yukichi (Jan 10, 1834 – Feb 3, 1901) on the front (obverse) of the note. He is regarded as one of the founders of modern Japan due to his ideas about government and social institutions. I held up the note against a window blind to check out the watermark. And that bird on the back is not your average farm rooster! It’s a fenghuang, a mythological bird of East Asia that reigns over all other birds. The bird is a symbol of high virtue and grace, and now I know where the bird comes from that I found on a lamp post in the Ginza district in Tokyo.