|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 12. Numbers, counting, and dates|
|2000 yen note with 弍 for "two"|
The kanji numerals used on bank notes, called daiji (大字), are a special form used in financial documents to prevent cheating. The usual kanji numerals for "one", "two", "three", "ten" and so on are extremely simple, and so it is easy for a forger to alter them, by, for example, adding an extra line to a "one" kanji, 一 in order to make it a "two", 二. The daiji are more complex kanji used to represent the same numerals in order to prevent cheating. This system of numerals is also used in China.
Although it is unlikely that a forger will modify a current-day banknote by altering the kanji numerals, the daiji continue to be used.
Laws such as the Commercial Registration Act (商業登記規則, see link at the end of the page) may mandate the use of these numbers for writing dates and sums of money.
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