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Friday, October 13, 2017

No Bull, Philippines Burned Its “Currency” At End Of WWII

During WWII, after Japan occupied the Philippines, the Japanese began to issue its own special money - peso’s.

Usually when one issues a paper bill, it is because it is of a large enough denomination and value.
In this case, the money was worth very little.

Kind of what post WWI Germany’s money was like, where it was actually cheaper to wipe one’s butt with the paper money, than to spend money to purchase toilet paper. Really. 

The Philippine population would use wheelbarrows to haul around the low-value money just  to be able to pay for basic groceries. They referred to the Japan-Philippine Peso as “Mickey Mouse.”

Why would they use the term “Mickey Mouse” as a slang word meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial?

Mickey Mouse as a Walt Disney creation, was hardly trivial, small-time or amateurish. Mickey Mouse - even in the WWII-era, was well known by all Allied forces… kids loved him and his cartoons and comic strips and comic books! What’s wrong with being “Mickey Mouse”?

I have NEVER understood how the term came to mean something so “demeaning”.

Anyhow… ‘Mickey Mouse’ or simply an embarrassment of non-riches, when The Philippines were liberated in 1944, and it tried to get back to a state of normalcy, they had to get rid of all that ‘dirty, dirty money’.

Just as in the photo above, money was gathered into large piles on the streets—in this case via a bulldozer driven by an American GI (general infantry) in the country’s capital of Manila—and burned.

Below, is an example of a 10 peso bill I own.

Andrew Joseph

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