The Bank of Japan is the central bank of Japan. The Bank is often called Nichigin 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
Contributions by Enkyo2, Fg2, and Rawjapan.