Monday, March 7, 2011

Japan 10 Yen 1930 Banknote on U. S. Propaganda leaflets of WWII

In the summer of 1945, Japan was showered almost daily by aerial leaflets in such quantity that the Japanese people developed a kind of apathy against them. A novel approach had therefore to be sought to attract renewed attention. The ingenious idea was to reproduce the face side of the then current 10-yen banknote and replace the back by a propaganda message. For who could resist money falling from the sky?

There are four different propaganda leaflets. All have the same exquisitely lithographed front to resemble closely the genuine Japan 10 Yen 1930 banknote but with different messages on the back.

One striking difference between the genuine bills and the counterfeit is that the former has red seal on the front whereas the latter has brown seal. The other difference is that all counterfeit bills bear the serial number 450941 and the block number 1124 on the front.

The purpose of the leaflets was to stir Japanese resentment against their government and to create fear of inflation.

Genuine 10 Yen note

U. S. Propaganda leaflet

Translation of message Code No. 2034:

In 1930, when the Gumbatsu (militarists) had not yet started the war in China, you could by the following items for 10 yen:
* 25 sho (about 20 Kg) of good rice.
* Or material for 8 summer kimonos.
* Or 4 bags (50 Kg packages) of charcoal.

In 1937, after the start of the China Incident, you could buy the following for 10 yen:
* 25 sho of low grade rice.
* Or material for 5 summer kimonos.
* Or 2 bags of charcoal.

Today, after waging three years of hopeless warfare with the world's greatest powers, you can buy the following with 10 yen:
* 1/2 sho of good rice in the black market.
* Or a small amount of charcoal, if you can get it.
* Cotton material, nothing.

This is what your leaders call co-prosperity.

Translation of message Code No. 2009:

The Gumbatsu is wasting your tax money. For this war the Gumbatsu has spent the equivalent of 5000 yen for every Japanese. Think what you could have done with that.
Every day the war continues more of your money is being wasted.

Translation of message Code No. 2016:

You have made much money up to now, but what good is it? You can buy little more with it than you can with this 10 yen.

Those who devote their total energies to war production are the same as soldiers. You are soldiers of production. But, do you get plenty of beer and rice? Do you receive specially distributed goods such as soldiers and their families receive?

Translation of message Code No. 2017:

What good is money in the bank or in bonds? Buy articles you need now and buy articles for future use. The remaining supply is low. As a result of the bombing by America, many of your stores will close their doors while others will be open only for limited periods. Buy food, clothing, and other necessities to tie you over these periods.

Money will not satisfy your hunger or cloth you. Bonds will not satisfy a baby's cry. A wise person would buy now, not save his money. The present is not a time for money. It is a period for goods.


Cate Uber Racek said...

Thank you for your post here. Very helpful! Have you had your notes appraised? Just curious as to their value -- either monetarily or just for historians/collectors.

albert speer said...

very kool post!