Bank of Japan's Mari OHNUKI wrote a paper on the Bank of Japan's role in Japan's financial market integration (1882-...). The paper is downloadable (.pdf-file) from the BOJ's IMES pages. Here's the abstract:
One of the purposes cited for establishing the Bank of Japan was to "facilitate finance" by promoting the nationwide integration of the regional financial markets, which until that point had been divided and functioned independently.
It is established historical knowledge that the Bank of Japan (1882) was modelled upon the Banque Nationale de Belgique (1850). In this article, I point out how Japan's recurrent frustration with foreign dependence nurtured a social Darwinist view of international politics and finance: Japan's capability to survive in the world was believed to be dependent on its capability to assimilate foreign knowledge and institutions.
The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan will hold an exhibition on the surroundings of the Nihonbashi area around the time the buildings of the Bank of Japan were constructed: 「日本橋の風景 ―明治期 にちぎんの建築記録写真 から―」. See the Currency Museum's pages for more info.
The BOJ is currently holding an exhibit of maps reconstructing the Nihonbashi district. See the 「にちぎんがやってきた！―古地図・錦絵にみる日本橋―」-homepage.
I received the referee report of my article on the relationship between the Bank of Japan and the National Bank of Belgium (which I had sent to the people of Financial History Review:
Here is the report:
I recommend publication of this essay, although the author will first need to make revisions. This is original research on an important topic in Japanese financial history. Although several accounts have alluded to Matsukata’s choice of the Banque Nationale de Beligique as the model for the Bank of Japan, this may be the first account in English to explain the circumstances under which Japanese officials chose the Belgian model. This episode of “transnational” emulation is not only of interest to specialists on Japanese finance, but also to historians of Japan in general. The author does a very good job of using of Japanese sources, as well as French and Flemish sources on the Belgian case. I do not know of any other account that has used the original-language sources on both the Japanese and Belgian cases. The sections on the Belgian system and Japan’s adaptations are by far the strongest in the essay.
Numismatic literature on Japan is relatively rare and hard to find, especially early works in a Western language. A true rarity and hardly ever turning up in auctions or catalogues is William Bramsen's The Coins of Japan, first published by the Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fü Natur und Völkerkunde Ostasiens, and later published by Kelly & Co. (Yokohama, 1880). I bought it a while ago through abebooks, scanned it, and uploaded it to the visual node. As it is an antiquarian work, I also chose to put it under the Creative Commons license applicable to the Histor¥-project. Please feel free to use it, but respect the Creative Commons copyright terms.
From the cover page:
This book traces the roots of global financial integration in the first "modern" era of globalization, from 1880 to 1913. It analyzes the direction, destinations, and origins of international financial flows in order to determine the domestic policy choices that either attracted or deterred such flows to developing countries.
The authors dispel the idea that the gold standard and other institutional arrangements were the key to attracting foreign investment, pointing to the stability and probity of political systems as much more important. One of their major conclusions is that the successful management of international financial integration depends primarily on broad institutional and political factors, as well as on financial policies, rather than simply opening or closing individual economies to the international winds.
I have uploaded a new map new pictures to the visual node: it is a collection of postcards depicting activities and machinery of the Ōsaka Mint, an example of the Japanese admiration for (Western) hi-tech at the time. As explained by Roy Hanashiro, the machinery had been bought from Hongkong, which possessed a fully-fledged European-style Mint that had ceased operation early in 1868 (source: Roy Hanashiro, Thomas William Kinder and the Japanese Imperial Mint, 1868-1875 (Leiden, 1999), esp. pp. 36ff.).<
The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan currently holds an exhibition on money and daily life in the Meiji-period. The exhibition's subtitle is 'the era of Higuchi Ichiyō 樋口一葉', after the image of this writer on the newly issued 5,000 yen bills.