Sunday, October 26, 2008

Propaganda Issues on Japanese Invasion Banknotes

Propaganda banknote is a conserted set of messages overprinted on a banknote that aimed to influence the opinion or behaviour of a large group or people. It was widely used during the World War II as a psychological tool. Many of these propaganda banknotes were prepared and disseminated by British Army through the aircrafts during the war time.

The obverse of the Malayan 10 Dollars Japanese Occupation Banknote with a diagonal propaganda message

The reverse printed with a propaganda message in three languages : Malay, Jawi Script and Chinese

The Malayan 10 Dollars Japanese Occupation Banknote was imitated and prepared by the British as a propaganda leaflet that dropped by the war aircraft over Malaya peninsular and Singapore in early 1945. This banknote has a diagonal propaganda message overprinted on the obverse of the note. It was printed in Malay language and read as "WANG JEPUN AKAN MATI BERSAMA2 JEPUN" or translated to English, "Japanese money will die together with the Japanese". The reverse of the note was printed with a propaganda message in three languages namely Malay, Jawi Script and Chinese. Translated to English, it reads "Today Japanese Money is no longer recognised in Burma, but the original British notes in Burma are the only legal tender. When British return to Malaya their notes will become valid again as usual. The original British Money will be valid forever. The Japanese notes will perish together with the Japanese."

The Malayan 5 Dollars Japanese Occupation Banknote printed with "WAR SOUVENIR"

There are also a number of other Malayan Japanese Occupation Banknotes that printed with the words "MALAYAN / WAR SOUVENIR" in red on the top and bottom of the 1 Dollar, 5 Dollars and 10 Dollars notes. In the middle of these notes were printed with the words "MALAYAN VJ" and "Grim Memories of 1941 - 1945" in red. It is learnt that these notes were printed at the end of the war.

The Malayan 1000 Dollars Japanese Occupation Banknote overprinted with 1946 calender

Besides, there are notes in 1000 Dollars that found with overprinted with 1946 calender from January to December in red covered the full obverse of the note. This is another kind of War Souvenir notes printed during the end of the war.

In conclusion, money isn't just a medium of transaction for goods and services. During the war time, it was used differently by the military as a propaganda message to spread information and influence a large number of people to achieve their war agenda. For a collector, these notes not only have their historical value but commercial value as well.

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