On April 9th, Japan's Finance Ministry announced new designs for Japan's banknotes with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. Scheduled to go into circulation in 2024, the banknotes will represent the first redesign in 20 years. Meiji-era businessman Eiichi Shibusawa will be on the 10,000-yen note, Female educator Umeko Tsuda on the 5,000-yen note, and Nobel-nominated bacteriologist Shibasaburo Kitasato on the 1,000-yen note:

Not necessarily as a criticism of the government's proposal and perhaps simply inspired by the occasion, alternative banknote designs began to show up on Twitter, both quick PhotoShop jobs by amateurs and designs by fully-fledged artists and illustrators.

Among the latter group is Ponkichi, an accomplished illustrator and occasional manga artist who has contributed artwork to major game franchises, and also happens to have a penchant for cute and furry animals. As you can see, his love of shiba inu shines in this re-imagining of the 1,000 yen note, which already has 246,000 likes and 98,000 retweets at the time of writing:

ぽん吉 Ponkichi (@PonkichiM)

(Those who can read kanji may notice that 日本銀行 Bank of Japan has been replaced with 日本柴銀行 Shiba Bank of Japan)

Ponkichi also granted permission to another artist to use his design as a base to imagine a 2,000 yen note (which was absent from the Finance Ministry's announcement) featuring a cat:

Although Ponkichi's adorable banknote will never become legal tender, there's no harm in imagining you could use it on your next trip to Japan.

To learn more about Ponkichi's art, you can follow him on Twitter or visit his website. Also worth mentioning is his current project, 犬騎士物語 Inu Kishi Monogatari ("Dog Knight Story"), which you can follow at this Twitter moment, and even support on his Pixiv Fanbox page.

By - Ben K.