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Sheet of ration coupons

Date: c 1940
Overall: 180 × 85 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from June Hammond
Object Name: Coupons
Object No: 00054434
Related Place:England, Nihon,

User Terms

    This sheet of ration coupons was issued in British Occupied Japan after World War II and belonged to Japanese war bride Sadako Morris, who defied her family to marry an Australian soldier and migrate to Australia after World War II.

    SignificanceThese coupons are a reminder of the hardships faced by Japanese civilians like Sadako Morris after World War II.
    HistoryMore than 600 Japanese women migrated to Australia as war brides after World War II. Their husbands had served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) after the surrender of Japan in 1945. At first marriage between Australian soldiers and Japanese women was prohibited. But many men fell in love and lobbied the Australian Government for change.

    When Sadako Kikuchi’s family discovered that she was secretly seeing Australian Army officer John Morris, they threatened to disown her. Strong-willed, Sadako chose to leave, moving into an apartment with John.

    Sadako met John when she was a seamstress in a Kure department store. There was still much bitterness between ex-enemies. ‘Morrisan’ and Sadako had to keep their meetings secret, using Sadako’s brother Yasuo as a go-between.

    In 1952, after intense lobbying, the Australian Government eventually gave permission for soldiers to marry Japanese nationals. Sadako and John had a church wedding in 1952. Most of Sadako’s family attended, despite their earlier opposition. Finally, in December 1953, Sadako and her two baby daughters boarded Changte bound for Adelaide. They were among the first group of non-Europeans officially permitted under the White Australia policy. While many immigrants experienced displacement, culture shock and homesickness, Japanese brides also had to endure bigotry in both Japan and Australia.

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