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Hinomaru Yosegaki

Yamatogokoro

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Hello and thank you for welcoming me on your forum.

I have always been interested in WW2, Japan and it's culture since I am a child. WW2 because if affected my family quite a lot, like many, and ever was a conversation subject between the elders at sunday's table. Japan because, well, I lived m'y childhood during the blossoming of anime and manga in France. Not speaking about some movies who influenced me a lot like Empire of the Sun, Merry Chrismas MIster Lawrence, Tora ! Tora ! Tora !, to just name a few.

I could never dream about securing any Japanese artefact from the war, living in Europe, for many years until internet made it possible.

As you know, it also rime with the revival of fake flags with the increase of interest world wide. Unfortunatly I never had a chance to learn Japanese. But I realize it is often decisive to be able to tell fake from original.

That is why I would like to show you this flag. I believe the material is period and the kanji are pretty convincing to me. Looks like several hands were involved. But as we know it not enough to be sure of anything those days. That is why I would like your opinion about it, and maybe a partial translation if anything is worth enough to be underlined ?

I was able to spot the usual "武運長久" from left to right. And maybe something about America (?) "米" / "美".

But I don't have enough knowledge to tell if it is indeed the country's name, or only a part from another word. Please let me know your opinions from the pictures. If you need better ones I would be glad to provide some.

Thank you very much for your help and interest.

Best regards,
Mat.
 

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Toritoribe

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米 indeed can refer to America (美 is the one used in Chinese), but they are a part of people's names there.

I'm skeptical about the authenticity. Some signatures and slogans were written by someone who actually didn't know kanji.
 

Yamatogokoro

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Thank you for landing a hand Toritoribe. That's why I couldn't find a match with the usual slogans about America.

How common are such "mispelling" (if it is the correct word to describe what you spotted) in Japanese ?

Could it be attributed to the fact that most people spent less time at school in the 20' / 30' than today ? Or is that too far fetched ? I often find mistakes in old French documents. Like postcards from soldiers. The occurrence of mistakes drops a lot in official document but it happened.

Is it a valid comparaison ? As I understand that in Japanese, a mistake in the number of stroke and their order may have more dramatic consequences than a mispell.

I dare asking as I noted your skepticism rather than a certitude.
 
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mdchachi

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Even a first grader wouldn’t write 田 the way it was written here. You can see for yourself. See correct stroke order attached.
 

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Toritoribe

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Thank you for landing a hand Toritoribe. That's why I couldn't find a match with the usual slogans about America.

How common are such "mispelling" (if it is the correct word to describe what you spotted) in Japanese ?

Could it be attributed to the fact that most people spent less time at school in the 20' / 30' than today ? Or is that too far fetched ? I often find mistakes in old French documents. Like postcards from soldiers. The occurrence of mistakes drops a lot in official document but it happened.

Is it a valid comparaison ? As I understand that in Japanese, a mistake in the number of stroke and their order may have more dramatic consequences than a mispell.

I dare asking as I noted your skepticism rather than a certitude.
Here's just obvious ones.
kanji.jpg
 

Yamatogokoro

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Thank both of you.
Yes 君 looks sick here ! On the other hand, I have reviewed many flags and I noticed 武 is very seldom written in it's academic form. Or at least presents lots of variations from a flag, and a hand, to another. Painting on screen isn't an exact science too.

Moreover, most of the kanji are fine. So I don't understand why a faker would have take is time for the details of the smallest one, while messing the main slogan.

If we consider calligraphy oddities, then these flags are fakes too :
 

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Toritoribe

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Yes 君 looks sick here ! On the other hand, I have reviewed many flags and I noticed 武 is very seldom written in it's academic form. Or at least presents lots of variations from a flag, and a hand, to another. Painting on screen isn't an exact science too.
Well, I, too, have been reading countless hand-written kanji in my whole life so far. I don't know what you mean by "academic form", but I know the differences among Regular script (楷書体), Semi-cursive script (行書体), Cursive script (草書体), etc., and permissible variations in each script.

Moreover, most of the kanji are fine. So I don't understand why a faker would have take is time for the details of the smallest one, while messing the main slogan.
As I wrote, those are just obvious ones. There are so many questionable ones there. The writers copied kanji from correct ones. Some works well, but some doesn't, since they actually didn't really know kanji. This is exactly why obvious fake flags are sold only outside of Japan.

Here's the most recent similar example.

If we consider calligraphy oddities, then these flags are fakes too
What parts do you think are "odd" in those flags?
 

mdchachi

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If we consider calligraphy oddities, then these flags are fakes too :
As Toritoribe says, handwriting or calligraphic writing is not the problem. It's when very basic norms are not followed when writing that it would indicate that the flag is probably fake. Even calligraphy which may look like illegible scribbles to you and I have standard styles and ways of writing.
 

Yamatogokoro

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Indeed but all humans make mistakes.

In the first flag I shared in my last comment, on the top left, the slogan "serving the nation with utmost loyalty", loyalty "忠" have been written with a mispelling.

In the second one, which was signed by very high ranked people, isn't the top slogan "everlasting fortune in battle" missing a stroke in "久" ?

Yet, even a noob like me is able to decipher the sentence. That's why I am surprised you don't consider to double check your first thought by considering the meaning of the kanji instead of stopping to their shape.

Again, I consider myself a total rookie when it comes to kanji. I deeply respect your opinions and I am thankful that you already took time to help another military begger with zero post on your forum. Not even being a first grader, I can show you how it looks when I try to reproduce a kanji and conclude, whoever write on the flag, even if not perfect, knew kanji far better than I ever will.

Moreover, the flag you kindly linked was obvioulsy written by a single hand, which is obvioulsy not the case here.

I know we can't compare Oriental and Western mind too often. But you know some people write faster than others. For example. Imagine several of your employees were conscripted at the same time, and you have to start 10 yosegaki for their coworkers to sign. Maybe your strokes won't be as accurate on the 10th one than the first.

It is a wild guess. Just throwing what cross my mind in the air. You have the level of knowledge to confirm or overturn such theories. I don't. But I feel like I am only wasting your time. I understand such things don't interest everyone and I already abused abused of your patience a lot.

Thank you again.
 
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bentenmusume

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Yamatogokoro said:
Indeed but all humans make mistakes.
And what Toritoribe-san is saying is that it is easier for a native speaker who has read countless examples of cursive Japanese script throughout an entire lifetime to tell what is written by a native and what isn't.

It's not about comparing the "Western mind" and "Oriental mind". It's the simple and obvious fact that people who don't understand a language or a writing system are more likely to make not just any mistakes, but repeated mistakes of a certain kind that make it clear to a native that the person who wrote it is unfamiliar with the language.

To reverse the analogy: Don't you think that you would be better qualified to judge whether a certain document in English was written by an English native or was a fake produced by someone with only a passing knowledge of the language compared to, say, a Japanese person who didn't really know English? That you would be better able to judge if the writer was using the typical sort of shorthand (or making the typical sort of sloppy mistake) that you might see from a native, as opposed to the sort of repeated awkwardness that makes the document come off as completely non-native?

You keep saying "misspelling" as if this is akin to a simple typo or slip-up, but it's more like writing a "G" backwards or upside-down ("⅁") or writing a "Q" so it looks like "Ø". There are some mistakes that natives just don't make, especially not over (and over and over) again.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm beating a dead horse, but I just thought it was worth making this point clear. People here aren't jumping to conclusions out of some eagerness to shoot you down or declare the flag a fake. To an inexperienced eye, all shorthand or mistakes might appear equal, but to someone who knows a language inside and out, the distinctions are more obvious.
 

Toritoribe

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In the first flag I shared in my last comment, on the top left, the slogan "serving the nation with utmost loyalty", loyalty "忠" have been written with a mispelling.
Yes, that's a typo, but the kanji written there are all correct, unlike the ones in your initial post.

In the second one, which was signed by very high ranked people, isn't the top slogan "everlasting fortune in battle" missing a stroke in "久" ?
That's a good example of "permissible variations". It's not a lost of stroke, but just a possible result of writing style. The 久 in the thread I linked above is not so. People who really know how to write 久 never do that mistake. The writer did the mistake due to lack of the knowledge about the correct form of the kanji.

There is a signature of the 35th chairman of the House of Representatives 岡田忠彦 on the same flag. He had a very characteristic way of writing 忠彦, especially 忠. You can see the shape in the picture below is the same as yours.
Okada.jpg

You can check the authenticity also by their 花押 since it's harder to copy 花押 correctly than usual kanji. This is a typical way of checking if it's a fake or not.

Moreover, the flag you kindly linked was obvioulsy written by a single hand, which is obvioulsy not the case here.
That's not the point. The key is how people copy kanji wrongly just from the shape of it if they don't really know the correct way of writing it.

Anyway, it's totally your choice whether to stick to your own idea or to listen to our opinions. You can believe what you want to believe after all.
 

michael ross

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I dont understand something on this forum??? I read over and over, Guys from all over the world post pictures and ask for members here to translate there items. When they get a reply back that they dont want to hear or there item may be fake the want to argue the matter?? If they were such experts they wouldnt be asking for help. Nobody like to admit they made a mistake or in there mind just got ripped off but bottom line there is a huge market for ww2 memorabilia and if you can take a $10 flag and sell it for $250 on ebay ,people will for sure make fakes and some of the are darn good. Its been going on with nazi collectables for years and now you see more with japanese items. Thanks again guys for taking your time to translate even if all you get is stupid people arguing with you in the end

Mike
 
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