Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Japanese invasion money of Burma

(Japanese welcomed in Burma, 1942. The Burmese, recently freed from British control, thought their lives would improve markedly under Japanese control. They were soon to be sadly disappointed. The Japanese treated them with the same kinds and level of crimes against humanity that they employed throughout Asia during this war. The Burmese paid a heavy price)

Burma, another British possession in Asia and unluckily a target for the invading Japanese army. In mid January 1942, the Japanese had attacked the southern part of Burma and completes the invasion of Burma in May 20,1942.They conquered Mandalay on 21 May, 1942 forcing the British to retreat into India.The Japanese had also help from the Thai army for the invasion. Once again Burma had its own set of invasion money design by the Japanese. These invasion banknotes are denominated in Rupees,the same name of the currency used under the British rule.The invasion money are exchanged at a rate of 1:1 with local currency like other occupied territories such as Malaya.
(Streets of Rangoon littered with invasion money after the defeat of Japan in 1945.We can see that just how useless are these banknotes that people would rather throw them than to keep them)

Like the banana money of malaya, these notes are also to suffer from inflation due to excessive printing of money by the Japanese.The Japanese found it convinient to buy supplies or pay workers by just printing money.As a result of this many Burmese people at that time were paid with a bundle of these notes or have a number of these banknotes.These banknotes were also used to pay the workers working on the Death Railway.
In 1942 the Japanese issued paper script currency of 1, 5 and 10 cents and ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Rupees. There were also denominations of 100 Rupees note.The denominations lower than 1/4 Rupees have prefixes of fractional letters and block letters like other occupied territories invasion money.From 1943 onward the Japanese issued paper script currency of 1, 5 and 10 Rupee with a 100 Rupee note in 1944. The native characters at the top of each note read “Burma State,but this will be in the next post below.

1942-44 Issue
1,5,10 cents,1,5,10,100 Rupees

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