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Japanese Flags (yet another) - Please help clarify if fake

CalvinJH

Kouhai
27 Jun 2015
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Hey all,

I have a couple of flags which need to be clarified, are they genuine or fake? I'd really appreciate some speedy replies.

I've been wanting a genuine some time now to frame, but its hard to work out what is real and what is fake.

I appreciate the help!
 

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At even the most casual glance the top one is laughably fake. It says "Japan"in the middle and seems to be surrounded entirely by train station names....all very poorly written. You took the photo with the flag turned wrong way up, by the way.
 
At even the most casual glance the top one is laughably fake. It says "Japan"in the middle and seems to be surrounded entirely by train station names....all very poorly written. You took the photo with the flag turned wrong way up, by the way.

Haha yeah I had suspected that, I started to try to translate bits myself and noticed that pretty quickly.
Any idea on the second? They are from the same lot.
 
Too many slogans, and too few signatures comparing to it.
Some of slogans/signatures seem to be written by the same person(s).

I bet it's fake.
 
Thanks guys, appreciate the help - any idea on these?

They also seem to be covered in slogans, not many signatures.
Unlike the second flag in your initial post, signatures are on each slogan in the first one, and there are almost only signatures and just only one or two slogans in the second and third one. The first and second one might be genuine, but the third one is a terribly-made fake. The fourth and fifth also seem genuine.
 
Unlike the second flag in your initial post, signatures are on each slogan in the first one, and there are almost only signatures and just only one or two slogans in the second and third one. The first and second one might be genuine, but the third one is a terribly-made fake. The fourth and fifth also seem genuine.

Again - I appreciate your help, I do have one final flag in my own collection - I'm pretty sure its fake, what are your thoughts?

I believe the other item is a Tenugui?
 

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Hello CalvinJH,

As others have mentioned, the first flag (the rising sun flag with the train station names) is a very poor fake.

The second one seems to be a fake as well; primarily becase of some repetitive phrases done by the same hand 轟沈 (gōchin), 忠勇 (chuyū), for example. I can't say with 100% confidence that it's fake...there is a chance it's authentic, but if its showing up on the same site with other fakes, I'd avoid it. It is not a bad fake because of the impressive mix of names and phrases, but usually with so many things on the flag you would see some hint of who it is getting sent to, and who/what group is sending it (you'd see something like "good luck Mr. Tanaka, from all of us at Mitsubishi Steel, Nagoya branch"). I don't see anything like it on this flag. Its just a canvas for a bunch of random phrases and names.

The first two links to the flags at Stewart's Military Antiques are broken, and the flag at the third link looks like a very anemic fake. I would avoid that shop as they either do not know what they are selling, or worse, they are trying to sell fakes to people.

The fourth flag (Griffin Militaria) looks quite good, and has the sort of dedication that one usually (though not always) sees. Impressive collection of signatures and phrases radiating out from the center, and a variety of writing styles. Looks like the real deal. And looks to be in pretty good shape.

The image of the fifth flag (also Griffin Militaria) is showing the wrong side of the flag. I don't like this one as much as the previous flag. It seems to have the same suspicious jumble of patriotic phrases done in a suspiciously similar style, as the second flag in this post. The phrases are placed somewhat haphazardly around the red disc. I could be wrong. It could indeed be genuine. But my gut feeling is that of all of these flags the fourth one seems to me to be the most credible.

Good luck!
 
Actually the fifth one might be OK, too. Its also got a dedication written on it (Mitsui Mining...something like that), and it looks like its being presented to someone named Harada.

Edit = Figured it out: Mitsui Sunagawa Mining (三井砂川鉱業所) dedicated to Takeshi HARADA (原田猛).
 
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Thanks for the reply Majestic, what are your thoughts on the one I already own (the one seen with the hacimaki)? Fake?

I actually ordered the fourth one, which you said was most realistic. I'm hoping its good and should last a long time as its cotton.

I've spotted some more over the last few days:

Here's another in Silk from Griffins:
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WWII Japanese Signed Silk Flag - Military Antiques, Collectibles World War I, World War II, America, Germany and Japan - Griffin Militaria

Here some more form eBay, the seller has some other nice flags (which are real), any idea if these are fake?

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I must say I don't really have a good impression of the flag in the pictures with the hachimaki. It looks like it was made according to some formula. No dedication, no slogans or other words with the signatures, a sort of sameness to the signatures... Looks a bit ordinary, and the more of these I see, the more more they start to look like somebody is cranking them out in some garage somewhere.
The other 3 from Griffith look OK. I mean, the first two are pretty simple (and simple usually means easy to fake) but they don't look like obvious fakes to me. They have a dedication on them, and if I were paying big money for them I would research them a bit more, but on first glance... they look OK. The third one looks nice: differing signature styles, dedication, even a date next to one signature. Looks like it might be legitimate.
 
The Hachimaki seems to be funny,

too Short to be true? as common Hachimaki started from 30 cm x 90 cm.

Others Hachimaki are subject to the item.

Hachimaki are made by ladies at the camp to send off Kamikaze pilots. Rare ones are made from blood and others are made from paint but the measurement are the same. (For the common ones).

I've found one Cherry blossom Hachimaki made with 10cm x 180cm

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I cant comment much on the Hinomaru flag as I am still on the process in learning on which are real or which are fake. Much research are needed to identify the flag but you could use the basic to identify.

1. the tip of the flag. (where the hinges are sewed with harden material to hang the flag )
2. The writing style.
3. Too clean (this may be a late war flag or repo flag) (Which means the flag did not went for war, thus it kept in the closet until the grandsons found it and sold it) or a repo (done recently). refer to No1.
4. Never buy a discolored Red sun disk! (it may be real, it may be fake) because SeaBees produced hundreds of fake Hinomaru for solider to purchase because they did not get a chance to captured a Japanese flag?
5. Else fail, ask here and in the meantime, refer back to No.1. As the Tip of the flag never tells lie.
6. People do say that put it under a blacklight? If it glow like a Christmas tree, you know the answer... BUT! still, a genuine flag may glow too.

As i said, a genuine flag needed a ton of work to identify the authentication.
Try the simple 6 steps first or you could always post here for help.
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Now, to answer your latest question, the bottom 4 flag seems to be good.
1. The Silk flag from Griffins seems to be OK,
2. and 3. seems fine.
the 4th flag look OK.
 
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Btw, Good buy on your "Katana drawing Hinomaru"

I would say its a genuine piece.
If*, Majestic would not felt the trouble and help you in identify "are there any ladies name on it"
because thats a impression Signed by solders on the battlefield (My wild guess)

PS: Congratulation in winning the flag as I am one of the Bidder who BID on that flag on Ebay.
 
In this flag (third from the series in post #12) there are a few female names. Looks like it is dedicated to a Toshio Shibata. Many of the names on this flag have the somewhat unusual surname of Yūzaki (勇崎). I wouldn't fetishize these things too much. I seriously doubt any of them would have been signed on the battlefield, as they are more or less dedicated to soldiers by workmates or classmates as the soldiers are heading off to the war. It would be pretty impractical and strange for a soldier to receive one of these from his fellow soldiers in the midst of the war.

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4. Never buy a discolored Red sun disk! (it may be real, it may be fake) because SeaBees produced hundreds of fake Hinomaru for solider to purchase because they did not get a chance to captured a Japanese flag?

How do you know it was the SeaBees?
 
How do you know it was the SeaBees?

First of all, alot of reading are needed
From the August 2001 issue, pages 212 - 213
Need help! Japanese WW2 Flag
http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/umrcourses/ge342/SeaBees-Revised.pdf
Fake Japanese flags - MISC / UNKNOWN - U.S. Militaria Forum

and many many more....
this link are my "quick research just to provide link" for general idea on Seabees made fake flags.


The Seabees (Seabee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) were famous for making fake flags to sell/trade to rear echelon troops. Many examples are documented over on WAF.

Compared to the Original Hinomaru, Seabees size may differ as I heard from a WWII VET, they did mention that they cut out a parachute silk and use a bucket bottom to color or drew the red circle

Secondly, Knowing the size might help. Seebee flags tend to measure in 20" to 26" range while on Japanese personal flags the short side is often in the 28" range and the long side up to 38" or 40". Not hard and fast but one general indicator.
 
2 of those 5 links don't say anything about Seabees making fake flags (in fact, the most authoritative ones), and the other 3 are just people saying 'I heard they do.'

That's extremely weak evidence.
 
CalvinJH I purchased the 2nd Griffin flag - named to Mr Hada...I just post pictures for translation help....FYI
 
So, do you think this one is fake? Its the one you posted from Griffins. I purchased it - I have another post on this same flag. Thanks for the input - don't want to get burnt.
 

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