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Japanese Peso Note

Peso note, c. 1944, Japanese (made for Philippine use), paper, gift of the University of Tennessee Alumni Association, 1945.1.519.34.

Just ten hours after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japanese government launched another bombardment on the then US-controlled Philippine islands. During their control of the island, the Japanese government issued new currency. These peso were non-affectionately named “Mickey Mouse money” by the Filipinos due to their value drastically decreased near the end of World War II. This peso was most likely issued near the end of WWII as 1000 peso notes were needed due to hyperinflation. At one point, 75 pesos (the then equivalent of 34 US dollars) could buy one duck egg.

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