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"Japan to Issue Redesigned Banknotes in July 2024"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on September 4, 2023 Available until September 3, 2024

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News." In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Japan to Issue Redesigned Banknotes in July 2024" which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on June 30, 2023. Keywords include「お札(おさつ)osatsu」"banknote" and「経済(けいざい)keezai」"economy."



"Japan to Issue Redesigned Banknotes in July 2024"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country through Japanese news stories.
Today's headline is…

"Japan to Issue Redesigned Banknotes in July 2024"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on June 30th.
Now let's go over some vocab words that will help us understand what's going on.
study abroad
Let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
新(あたら)しい1万円(まんえん)は「日本(にっぽん)の経済(けいざい)の父(ちち)」と呼(よ)ばれている渋沢栄一(しぶさわ えいいち)がデザインされています。5000円(えん)は日本(にっぽん)の女性(じょせい)で初(はじ)めてアメリカに留学(りゅうがく)した津田梅子(つだ うめこ)、1000円(えん)は細菌(さいきん)の研究(けんきゅう)をした北里柴三郎(きたさと しばさぶろう)です。
The government will issue newly designed banknotes in three denominations starting next July. That includes the 10,000 yen note, which will now feature a portrait of the industrialist Shibusawa Eiichi, who played a key role in modernizing Japan's economy.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
Let's start with the following sentence:
新(あたら)しい1万円(まんえん)は「日本(にっぽん)の経済(けいざい)の父(ちち)」と呼(よ)ばれている渋沢栄一(しぶさわ えいいち)がデザインされています。
"The new 10,000 yen note features Shibusawa Eiichi, who's referred to as the "father of the modern Japanese economy."
This sentence contains two phrases that are in the passive voice: ~と呼(よ)ばれている and デザインされている.
In Japanese, we use verbs in the passive form when we want to take the emphasis off of who does the action, or leave them unspecified. So with passive phrases the "agent" or "doer" of the action is omitted.
The phrase 日本経済(にっぽんけいざい)の父(ちち)と呼(よ)ばれている is saying that Shibusawa is called the father of the Japanese economy. Who calls him that? Well, an unspecified majority of the general public.
But the key information here is not who calls him the father of the Japanese economy, it's the fact that he is. That's why the passive form ~と呼(よ)ばれている is used.
The passive voice is used regularly in Japanese. So I recommend embracing it and trying to get used to it both in speech and in writing.
Absolutely. All right, let's move on to the following sentence.
5000円(えん)は日本(にっぽん)の女性(じょせい)で初(はじ)めてアメリカに留学(りゅうがく)した津田梅子(つだ うめこ)、1000円(えん)は細菌(さいきん)の研究(けんきゅう)をした北里柴三郎(きたさと しばさぶろう)です。
"On the 5,000 yen note is Tsuda Umeko, the first Japanese woman to study in the U.S., and on the 1,000 yen note is Kitasato Shibasaburo, who studied bacteria."
So this sentence mentions two names, both of which are preceded by a description of who that person is.
Tsuda Umeko is modified by the adjectival clause 日本(にっぽん)の女性(じょせい)で初(はじ)めてアメリカに留学(りゅうがく)した, that is, "the first Japanese woman to study in the U.S."
Kitasato Shibasaburo is described as 細菌(さいきん)の研究(けんきゅう)をした. It's saying he was someone "who studied bacteria."
So in Japanese these types of modifiers or descriptive clauses are inserted before nouns.
And, that's all we have for today.
The story mentions that the new bills will have new and improved security features, including cutting-edge holograms.
Sounds cool.
All right, be sure to tune in next time for more!

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