Japanese Puzzle Bank Portrays A Building Bank “National Savings Bank” Circa 1948

Quite an unusual piece for bank collectors or just for those seeking a unique collectible. This is a coin bank made of all wood; walnut and inlay here and there with a green painted roof; portraying an institutional bank; in this case, “National Savings Bank”. There are two slots on top of the bank to accommodate the saving of coins. When the bank is full; the method of opening the bank to remove the coins, exemplifies the ultimate in Japanese ingenuity.

A video attached to the listing displays the foregoing;

Upon filling the bank; the simple action requires that you rotate the building counter clockwise until the top and the bottom are detached from one and other for easy access and removal of the coins. Reverse the procedure to start saving again.

This bank was made in Japan, right after World War ll, during the occupation, around 1948. It is a further manifestation of a mid to early 19th century Japanese tradition of hiding documents and money in boxes with “tricks” and a multiplicity of “moves” to unlock a box or trunk.

With these banks, it is all about condition and completeness, considering the rough play and use the banks were subject to from children (and adults!) trying to figure out how to open them. This particular bank is in excellent and all original, complete condition with no repairs and no replacements; there is a superficial 1/4″ hairline on the underneath interior coin removal opening (see image). This bank is from my own personal collection of banks; having been in my possession since the late 1980’s.

Dimensions: 4 1/2″ wide x 3″ deep x 4 1/4″ high

Note: After 40 plus years of dealing and collecting toys, I am justly qualified to guarantee and present the authenticity of antique and vintage toys and banks; important considering the fakes and reproductions in the marketplace


Japan Circa 1948 c.H: 4 1/4""W: 4 1/2""D: 3""