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Note bears 'Tiger of Malaya' signature

By Neil Shafer

Here is the back of a Philippine 5-peso note VICTORY series, bearing the hand signature in Japanese and English of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the World War II “Tiger of Malaya."


This image was sent to me by reader Jon R. Lacy of Oregon. He bought it some years ago, along with a letter written by the serviceman who obtained the signature.

Quoting from that letter, “Yamashita and his staff came to sign the surrender for the Luzon Island ... Saw Wainwright and Percival ... Yamashita was sitting in a jeep to drive off and perhaps 15 got his writing.”

Yamashita was the army general who conquered Malaya and Singapore in 70 days, causing Churchill to call the episode the “worst disaster and largest capitulation” in British military history.

Yamashita was tried as a war criminal for atrocities committed by his troops, found guilty, and hanged in 1946.

As for the note’s availability, anyone interested may contact Mr. Lacy at

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.

• When it comes to specialized world paper money issues, nothing can top the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues .