Review the time of issuance to identify old Japanese paper money. Look for the time of the Meiji government, Dajokan satsu -- 1868. In 1872, The "Meiji Tsuho Satsu" was the first yen currency printed using the Western method for coloring paper money. In 1873, the national bank notes were issued by various Japanese national banks.
Look for the silver and gold standards banknotes, and for certificate sticker notes. During 1885, the Bank of Japan issued its first note which was backed by silver. Later in 1897, the bank notes were backed by gold. In 1942, The Bank of Japan issued new bank notes no longer backed by gold. In 1946 new banknotes were issued with a certificate sticker attached in front of the note.
Look for old Japanese money printed for the occupied countries: Indonesia, Malay, Philippines, Burma and Oceania. During War World II, military currencies were issued by the Japanese government to be used in the countries that were governed by Japan at the time. The denomination and name of the money is written in English on the front and back of the currencies.
Find the official person printed on the banknote to identify old Japanese money. The portrait of the Japanese empress, emperor, prince and other royals and government officials are printed on the front and back of the old Japanese paper money.
Use Numismatic Publications to identify and learn about old Japanese banknotes. There are various publications found online and in bookstores of old Japanese paper money. Look for catalogs and websites that contain large numbers of pictures and information.