Vol. 24 (Winter) Issue 1, pp. 1-10

Historical transition of community currencies in Japan

Shigeto Kobayashi*, Yoshihisa Miyazaki** and Masayuki Yoshida***

* Sapporo City University, Japan. Email: s.kobayashi@scu.ac.jp

** National Institute of Technology, Sendai College, Japan. Email: frontier-spirit-21-y.m@nifty.com

*** Joetsu University of Education, Japan. Email: yoshida@juen.ac.jp


This study investigates the historical transition of diversifying community currencies (CCs) in Japan. We searched for papers, reports, newspaper articles, and websites about Japanese CCs to acquire all available information on CCs issued in Japan. We classify the types of CCs by purpose and examine their development process by organizing the purposes, issuing forms, and starting year for each CC.

Our survey results show that 792 CCs were issued in Japan. The largest number of CCs was 130 issued in 2002. New CCs have gradually decreased since 2002, and approximately 15-20 CCs were issued annually since 2008. The purpose of issuing CCs also changed; CCs aiming to “create connections among people” were the most frequent, though this changed in 2002 to “revitalizing the regional economy.” The number of issued CCs to “create connections among people” was in third place in 2011, while “promoting resource recycling” was second.

To classify CCs in Japan, we conduct a cluster analysis using sample scores obtained by Hayashi’s quantification method type III as a dependent variable for the issuing purpose. Many CCs issued in the first half of 2000 belonged to Cluster 4, “formation of people’s connection and regional economic revitalization;” however, those issued in recent years belonged to Cluster 3, “forestry and regional economic revitalization.” Although the number of new CCs decreased drastically in the past 15 years, CCs are clearly evolving as a tool for solving social problems with changing issuing purposes.


Classification, cluster analysis, issuing purposes, issuing forms, Japanese CCs.

Article Kobayashi et al.

To cite this article: Kobayashi, S, Miyazaki, Y and Yoshida, M (2020) ‘Historical transition of community currencies in Japan’ International Journal of Community Currency Research Volume 24 (Winter 2020) 1-10; http://www.ijccr.net; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2020.001