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Japanese 10 Yen currency note

Date: 1950
Overall: 73 × 137 mm
Medium: Paper, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from June Hammond
Object Name: Note
Object No: 00054422
Related Place:Nihon,

User Terms

    These three Japanese currency notes were given by John Morris to Sadako Kikuchi on 31 December 1950 as a bond of eternal friendship.
    SignificanceLike many couples unable to marry, John and Sadako swapped tokens declaring their commitment to each other. These currency notes evoke a powerful and intensely personal story of love and war, when the lobbying of a group of Australian servicemen would mark the beginnings of a multicultural Australia.
    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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