Shiba Inu currency becomes so popular it gets its very own line of merchandise. 

In April this year, the Ministry of Finance revealed new designs for the Japanese yen –scheduled to go into circulation in 2024 — featuring an image of Tokyo Station and the Great Wave off Kanagawa, as painted by ukiyo-e wood block master Hokusai.

The redesign prompted Japanese illustrator and manga artist Ponkichi to come up with an alternative banknote of his own, featuring a widely beloved Japanese icon: the Shiba Inu.

▼ At the top of the note, in the middle, you’ll see it’s been issued by “日本柴銀行”, the Japan Shiba Bank.

Ponkichi’s 1,000 yen (US$9.31) note design became so popular it got its own range of merchandise, and now the artist is back with another cute currency, this time with a 500 yen creation.

▼ While the 1,000 yen design paid tribute to the Shiba Inu, the 500 yen design pays tribute to the smaller Mame Shiba Inu breed.

Japan doesn’t actually have a 500-yen note, as the country’s banknotes start at 1,000 yen. However, if we were to switch from today’s 500-yen coin to a 500-yen note, Ponkichi’s design would be hard to beat, with not one, but five Mame Shiba Inu pups gracing its surface.

Once again, Ponkichi’s doge yen idea has gone viral, and now it’s been given its own merchandise line too, featuring everything from stationery to towels and even a wallet and smartphone case. Let’s take a look at the range below.

▼ There’s the Mame Shiba Banknote Full Colour Memo Notepad for 528 yen.

▼ The Wan Wan (woof woof) Set Ticket Case (in Mame Shiba and Shiba Inu designs) for 770 yen.

▼ The Mame Shiba Banknote Synthetic Leather Keyholder for 770 yen.

▼ The Mame Shiba Banknote Pass Case for 1,595 yen.

▼ The Mame Shiba Banknote Change Purse for 1,870 yen.

▼ The Mame Shiba Banknote Face Towel for 2,200 yen.

▼ The Mame Shiba Banknote Wallet for 3,278 yen.

▼ And the Mame Shiba Banknote Smartphone Case (in medium/large size) for 3,520 yen.

▼ The smartphone case is the kind where the phone slides up when the camera needs to be used.

The new Mame Shiba Banknote merchandise can be purchased from the FurBaby Space Factory online store, and is also available from other online shopping sites like Amazon Japan.

We’d love to see these banknotes turned into real currency in the future, not only because they’re so adorable, but because we really want to buy a sweet potato from this Shiba Inu by handing him a note with his face on it!

Source, images: FurBaby
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