Wicker Basket

1930s-1940s, Japan

I’m Totally Random.

I worked for Japan during World War II. Yes, me–a plain old basket. You see, random numbers make for secure codes. And nothing’s more random than pulling numbers out of a basket, right? To encrypt messages with the type B cipher machine, Japanese operators first pulled numbered slips of paper out of me. Bingo! You’ve got a random four-digit number. That number told them which code sheet to use, giving them the starting positions for the machine. Simple yet effective. That’s me.

Wicker basket, Japan, 1930s—1940s