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Flag my father brought back from WWII

CarlG

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My father was in Japan right after the war ended. He brought this flag home and for the last 70 years he's wondered what it says. He's now 88 and I'd like to help him out. I realize that there are a lot of signatures on here, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated. In the photos I've numbered different phrases or names. Thank you very much.
WWII flag - Imgur
 

Mike Cash

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7 is the signature of a Navy captain (equivalent rank to Army colonel).

I don't see any other indications of rank, any date, any place name, or any unit name/number. But it is hard to see on this phone screen and I haven't looked terribly carefully yet.

How did you decide on what to number and what not to?

Exactly how did your father come into possession of this?
 

CarlG

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Mike,
Thanks for looking at the flag.
With regard to my numbering, I just tried to group similar writing styles. I thought that would make it easier to refer to a particular signature or phrase (since there are so many on there). I started with what I thought was the top left, and went on from there.
The flag was given to my father by a Japanese family in Sasebo in late September or early October 1945. He was with the first Navy troops to arrive in Sasebo at the end of the war.
I really appreciate your help with this.
 

Toritoribe

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The flag was given to a soldier/sailor Yoshii, who was a graduate of Nagasaki Prefectural Sasebo Commercial High School.
Do you mean you want to have us translate all the poems/phrases/names on the flag?
 

CarlG

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Thanks for looking at the flag. I realize that there is a lot on there, and I don't expect anyone to translate all of it. I numbered what I thought were different phrases. Any translation that you could do on any of those phrases would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much.
 
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The flag is full of patriotic and military slogans, most of which translate imperfectly into English. There is a fine list of slogans (and their translations) in the thread here.
Please help me with kanji translation of WWII Yosegaki Hinomaru | Japan Forum
These slogans are commonly found on flags, so you might be able to match up the kanji in that list with some of the kanji on your flag. I did notice a couple of references to 特攻 tokkou or "special attack" (the Japanese word for suicide "kamikaze" pilots) on the flag, so it makes me wonder if the flag was the property of one of these pilots. These are numbers 37 (special attack spirit/will/mind/attitude) and the bit in-between 40 and 41 on your picture (special attack spirit/soul).

Your father's flag is a very handsome one. Some people post pictures of flags that look very suspicious (possibly Chinese-made fakes, or post-war souvenirs?), but your flag looks like the real deal. I particularly like the falcon/hawk illustration on the top right. I think also if you search on the web you can find organizations that try to repatriate Japanese war souvenirs with their surviving families. Might be something to think about.
 

CarlG

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Majestic,

Thank you for your help. Since it came directly from the soldier's family to my father in 1945 in Japan, I am certain of the authenticity of this flag.

I'll check out the link you've suggested.

Also, thank you for the tip with regard to repatriating war souvenirs. I will look into that.
 
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My father was in Japan right after the war ended. He brought this flag home and for the last 70 years he's wondered what it says. He's now 88 and I'd like to help him out. I realize that there are a lot of signatures on here, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated. In the photos I've numbered different phrases or names. Thank you very much.
WWII flag - Imgur
Wow, such an awesome piece, i know 0 Japanese but this looks like an incredible piece. Hope you can get all this translated. Thanks for sharing :)
 
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