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Help Help with potential WW2 find

Zchen10

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I was browsing online for an ornate brass bowl for decor when I found an eBay listing for a vintage 1970/80s Chinese brass bowl and a tea caddy.
to my surprise when the items arrived, the caddy was in Japanese. It is likely made from brass, semi-circle in shape and about 11x8x4cm in dimension. I do apologize about photo quality, as the inscription is a bit faded and it’s the best attempt I had with an iPhone camera.
I was told by a friend that it was dated to 1944 and involves Palau and New Guinea but not much more than that. I was wondering if someone on this platform can help me confirm this and perhaps expand on this. Thank you
 

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Toritoribe

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It would be a fake. It's inscribed by someone who actually didn't know kanji.
 

Majestic

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Hmm. Could we have a look at the whole thing? There is a Tokyo (or Mitsubishi) aresenal mark on it.
 

Toritoribe

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I was talking about the inscription, not the item itself.

The mark doesn't look like Tokyo or Mitsubishi, though.;)
marks.jpg
 

Majestic

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I'm talking about this one. Mitsubishi had a similar one. The inscription I also found to be plausible. The numbering was funky, and the writing sloppy, but it is kind of hard to engrave something on a curved surface. The variant of 出 is something only someone with an understanding of kanji would know. (That was my impression anyway).

昭和拾八年

一月拾日出発
一月二四日パラオ上陸
六月一九日パラオ出発
六月二七日ニューギニア上陸

 

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Zchen10

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Hmm. Could we have a look at the whole thing? There is a Tokyo (or Mitsubishi) aresenal mark on it. Could we have a look at the whole thing? There is a Tokyo (or Mitsubishi) aresenal mark on
This is the front facing surface of the tin/box/container where one word is etched on either side as shown in the earlier photos. The dates and other words are on flat side. The tin opens up to by pulling the end of the handle, there does not appear to be any additional markings inside the tin. There are the two words on the bottom end, as shown in the original set of photos
Thank you for helping identify the mark! It seems quite interesting, and led me down a rabbit whole just then (the mark is somehow related to a factory that produced rifles/bayonets?).
 

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Toritoribe

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It could be so. You can see three horizontal lines under the mark. It's the first kanji of Mitsubishi (三菱).

There also is another kanji 高 near the handle. It can be the abbreviation of many words, so it's hard to know what it means there.

As explained in the site Majestic-san provided, the manufacturing function of Tokyo Arsenal (東京砲兵工廠) was transferred to Kokura Arsenal (小倉陸軍造兵廠) in 1935. The same mark was used also there, so your item might be manufactured in Kokura Arsenal.
 

mdchachi

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Japan didn't occupy New Guinea until WW2 in 1941 so I would guess post-1935 / Kokura Arsenal.
 
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My guess is that "三高(sankou)" is "旧制第三高等学校(kyūseidaisankōtōgakkō')".
The current Kyoto University Faculty of Integrated Human Studies and Okayama University School of Medicine.
This may be a souvenir rather than an equipment of the Japanese Army.
This is because the act of engraving military action records on supplies from the military is subject to punishment.
 

Majestic

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The date of Shōwa 18 makes this a 1943 item. Or, the owner made his scratchings in 1943.

I still don't know what the item is. I know its some kind of canister, but I have no idea if its for food, or matches, or... ??
 

Uncle Frank

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It reminded me of things like lamps and cookie jars they made a lot of after WWII , made from used brass artillery shells.

basl.jpg
 

Laoto

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I was talking about the inscription, not the item itself.

The mark doesn't look like Tokyo or Mitsubishi, though.;)
View attachment 47732
The 4 circle mark is a very common logo used after Nov 1933 by Kokura army arsenal. Often seen on J bayonets. Looks like the J GI used it as a diary. The 2 large kanji is Hisshou! Victory !/Success! Just not sure but obviously a container for necessary item/s and probably carried on a belt(flat side against the body). Nothing wrong with the inscription either. But little difficult for these 78 year old eyes 👴
 

Laoto

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The 4 circle mark is a very common logo used after Nov 1933 by Kokura army arsenal. Often seen on J bayonets. Looks like the J GI used it as a diary. The 2 large kanji is Hisshou! Victory !/Success! Just not sure but obviously a container for necessary item/s and probably carried on a belt(flat side against the body). Nothing wrong with the inscription either. But little difficult for these 78 year old eyes 👴
The 4 circle logo was used simultaneously by Tokyo & Kokura thru 1935 after which Tokyo arsenal's logo changed.
 

Laoto

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My guess is that "三高(sankou)" is "旧制第三高等学校(kyūseidaisankōtōgakkō')".
The current Kyoto University Faculty of Integrated Human Studies and Okayama University School of Medicine.
This may be a souvenir rather than an equipment of the Japanese Army.
This is because the act of engraving military action records on supplies from the military is subject to punishment.
IMO, 三&高 are arsenal inspector / proof marks and no relationship to above mentioned school. Also, may have been a reg prohibiting defacing military issue but exceptions exist. Just my opinion having collected samurai katana along with J militaria since 1971. An old vet back in 78' said "until you've seen it all you don't know it all". Don't believe any of us have seen it all and I know none of us know it all but keep learning as knowledge does equate to power. Just my ramblings 👴
 

Toritoribe

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I, too, think that it might be hard to interpret that 三 and 高 refer to a single compound word, judging from the position of the two kanji. Kanji marks often used to show manufacturers the arsenal outsourced to, so the two kanji could be the abbreviations of manufacturers, just in my opinion.

Nothing wrong with the inscription either.
拾 and 出 are variants, but what do you think about kozato-hen in 陸?
 

Toritoribe

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I realized the two variants, but couldn't find 陸 written there, so I asked the opinion about it to the one who said "Nothing wrong with the inscription".
 

Laoto

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I realized the two variants, but couldn't find 陸 written there, so I asked the opinion about it to the one who said "Nothing wrong with the inscription".
I realize the radical is not perfect but we understand the character 陸. I just feel a non Japanese writing this would write the kanji as shown in text books and don't find it that terrible BUT, I am no scholar of kanji ! Maybe calligraphy was not his best subject ? Don't know but I'm sticking to this being a military issue container from Kokura arsenal with later inscription by a Japanese. Just wish I could tell you it's intended purpose.
 
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