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Good luck wwII soldier flag

Bill Cleaver

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Japanese soldier flag 1.jpg
Looking for information regarding a Good Luck Soldier flag for WW2.
It has illustrations on it depicting the Samurai tradition. The art work is quite good. I've not seen any others like it.
Does anyone have any information on this type of flag
 

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  • Japanese soldier flag.JPG
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Mike Cash

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That is the single most laughable fake "WWII" flag I think we ever have seen or ever will see.

Somebody told you that was from WWII? Did you buy it?
 

Bill Cleaver

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Thanks for your reply Mike.
It's definitely not modern. My father brought it back from WW2. He acquired it on Okinawa. He served with the 77th division during the entire campaign for the island. I remember the flag being on our wall for my entire childhood and I'm 66. Might be a fake but it's a vintage fake. I wonder if anybody has any others like it. Still curious about who the artist was.
 

Toritoribe

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It's just a souvenir made after WW2, and even not a fake of Good Luck Flag.
 

Bill Cleaver

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Thanks for the reply
Have you seen others like this? My father brought it home with him after WWII. He was in the 77th division & fought in the island campaigns for the Philippines, Guam, & Okinawa. I remember it hanging on the wall as a kid back in the early fifties. My father said he got it on Okinawa. I'm 66 now. How soon after WWII was it made. Like to get to the bottom of this mystery.
 

Toritoribe

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I'm a Japanese, and know that there can't be those kinds of Good Luck Flag.
 

Bill Cleaver

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Could have been made as a souvenir even during the war. I think other GI's actually made them for sale. Still like to find some other examples.
Thanks again.
 

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Majestic

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Hello Bill,
I think if you search on this site for terms like yosegaki or war flags or other such things, you can find a few threads with various kinds of flags. It seems that for every 4 flags we see, one of them might be authentic, and the other three will feel like Chinese fakes. When I say "authentic", I mean it feels like an authentic Japanese artifact, and not necessarily a war artifact. It isn't unusual for a flag to show up that just has signatures on it, and so there is no way of knowing if it was a wartime "good luck" flag, or just some random souvenir from a school or social club or something. So if your father brought this flag back from the occupation, I think it may have been a flag made and sold for much-needed cash - but no way to know unless there was a similar example with details of its provenance. I've never seen another flag with just drawings on it like this. It certainly is unusual. If there is any good news to come out of this, you can probably rest easy that it wasn't stolen off of some dead soldier, and instead was probably just a bit of memorabilia your father acquired.
 

Bill Cleaver

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Yes. Hate to think it was on some poor soldiers dead body. Could have been made by GI's themselves for cash. I found a photo online an actual shop with GI's making them. It would be interesting to know if it was actually made in Japan. The artwork although somewhat crude has a rather Calligraphic feel to it, reminiscent of Japanese artwork. It would be great to identify the artist even if he was a GI.
 

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mdchachi

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Very interesting. The GI flag making operation. Based on what you said, it's clearly vintage and likely made in Occupied Okinawa. I would guess a GI made it. The western soldier is depicted in much better detail than the Japanese figures which are drawn to look like savages. Also the battlefield is drawn from the American perspective. You could try asking Dr Lori if she's seen anything like that.
 

Bill Cleaver

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Thanks mdchachi for your reply. I agree it was probably made in occupied Okinawa. My father was never stationed in Japan and shipped home from Okinawa. However I believe the figures depicted on the flag are all Japanese. It appears to represent the transition from Samurai warrior to soldier. Which further adds to the mystery. Would GI's depict such a scene? The characters maybe interpreted by some as fierce warriors and not savages. Thanks for the tip.
 

mdchachi

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You think the soldier on the bottom right with beard stubble, helmet and two stars on his lapel is Japanese? I'm far from an expert but it doesn't look Japanese to me. Helmet style alone looks American doesn't it?
 

Mike Cash

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You think the soldier on the bottom right with beard stubble, helmet and two stars on his lapel is Japanese? I'm far from an expert but it doesn't look Japanese to me. Helmet style alone looks American doesn't it?

You make good points. But the collar insignia is a dead giveaway it was meant to be a Japanese soldier. Crappy drawing.
 

Bill Cleaver

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Mike Cash is correct. Definitely a Japanese soldier. Probably should have sent a higher res image of flag. See attach for uniform reference. Art work is crude but drawing with a brush with no chance of erasing is pretty hard to do.
 

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mdchachi

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Sure fooled me. If you ever find anything more about it please report back here. It's quite the mystery.
 
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