In this NHK News Web Easy article, I'm having trouble understanding the sentence


Specifically, my (incorrect) attempt would be "The new 10,000¥ note was designed by Shibusawa Eiichi, who is called the father of the modern Japanese economy." However, a more correct translation is apparently something like, "The design of the new 10,000¥ note features Shibusawa Eiichi, who is called the father of the modern Japanese economy."

As I understand the sentence, Shibusawa Eiichi is the subject of デザインする, hence my confusion. Naïvely, I'd write something like


I've checked a few dictionaries (namely, Jisho and Kodansha's Furigana Japanese English Dictionary, as well as some online example sentences), and none of them indicate that the subject of デザインする has a special role. Should I simply treat 〜がデザインする as a set phrase? Or, is it the presence of してある that's causing my confusion?

EDIT: To clarify my question, what is the specific meaning of が in the original sentence? Because of 〜てある, should I literally translate the sentence as "For the new 10,000¥ note, Shibusawa Eiichi, who is called the father of the modern Japanese economy, was designed."?


1 Answer 1


~てある is a grammatical construct that indicates that something has been put in a certain unchanging state.

Consider the following sentence:


"There are various dishes lined up on the table" would be one way to translate this. The dishes are in the unchanging state of being lined up, hence てある.

This line you posted:


can be interpreted as something along the lines of

"Shibusawa Eiichi, referred to by many as the father of modern Japanese economics, is designed onto the 10,000 yen note."

Shibusawa Eiichi is in the unchanging state of being embedded onto the aforementioned yen note, hence てある.

  • Thanks for the answer! Would that translation also apply to the original, which uses 〜がデザインしてある instead of 〜のデザインしてある? Commented Jan 7 at 23:55
  • I've just edited my question to try to make it clearer. Commented Jan 8 at 0:06
  • 並べてある is closer to デザインしてある.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jan 8 at 4:09
  • 1
    @JoshuaGrosso Apologies for the late response. I intended to quote the version that uses が as opposed to the one with の. I've edited my answer to reflect that. 「のデザインしてある」 doesn't really make sense grammatically.
    – Crow
    Commented Feb 2 at 2:51

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