On the Manufacturing Process of the Raw Paper for Japan-Made Banknotes Introduced by Yuan Shikai
308 , 2015-11-01 , 関西大学大学院東アジア文化研究科
Since the mid 19th century, Opium trading out-flowed China’s silver cash currency and pushed up the price of silver. The Chinese market was also overflowing with foreign silver dollars. As a result of this, numerous unauthorized currencies were introduced into the market due to insufficient coinage. In 1896, Zhang Zhidong, the governor of Hubei and Hunan, introducedbanknotes from Japan in order to address the problem. The imported bills were very popular among the public and became widely circulated. Yuan Shikai was transferred to Shandong as Grand Coordinator in 1903 when the finances there deteriorated. Yuan attempted to improve the situation by issuing banknotes, however, the roughly made banknotes triggered a severe social crisis. Accordingly, following Zhang’s example, Yuan introduced Japanese made banknotes to Shandong Province in 1901 and 1902 respectively. After this successful introduction, Yuan was promoted to Governor-general of Zhili Province and minister in the Northern Warlords Government. He intended to introduce the raw paper used in Japanese made banknotes to Zhili in order to print and issue bills. This paper will discuss Yuan’s introduction of raw paper used in Japanese made banknotes and the process of commissioning Japan’s National PrintingBureau to produce the raw paper.