Today I attended a breakfast seminar for Records and Information Management Professionals where a very interesting talk “Excerpts from the History of the Royal Australian Army Pay Corps” was presented by Major K. Wayne Spence OAM.
While learning about records of the military in its many forms from rocks, trees, orders (there are 3 types), pay books, diaries, field notes, unit histories, ledger cards etc being created from various conflicts, mention was made of Scrip. I had never heard of Scrip nor, as I discovered, its alternative names of Invasion Money or Mickey Mouse Money but as soon as I saw his examples from Germany, I knew I had some – it was the strange money my Dad had brought back from the War when he was part of the occupying force in Japan in 1945 to 1946.
Dad told me is was Japanese Yen but it didn’t say that, it said something about cents (see picture) and I always thought it must have been some kind of play money. I have an interest in coins and I was curious but I do remember he didn’t offer any other explanation, so he might not have been sure about it how it came to be himself.
Today I discovered it wasn’t play money – it is Scrip and it was issued by the Japanese Government to their troops in countries they had invaded in place of real currency to prevent black market trade and to control the value against home currency. That value could be changed at any time. It was also used in Japan. The use of Scrip was a common practice amongst the Allied Forces as well.
With the overthrow of the Japanese, the Scrip that my Dad brought home became worthless and, apparently prior to capitulation, the Japanese Government ordered that it all be destroyed. Obviously it wasn’t all destroyed and it isn’t worthless anymore. The two notes I have, that were originally worth only one cent anyway, are the same as ones listed on e-bay for $10.
It is amazing how and why you learn new things.