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Need help with WW2 Good Luck Flag

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Ajnthony

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I would like any and all help translating this WW2 Japanese good luck flag. Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Toritoribe

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I'm afraid to say this, but that's a poorly-made obvious fake. The signatures and slogans were written by someone who actually didn't know kanji.
 

Ajnthony

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Thank you for your response. I appreciate the information no matter how disappointing.
 

Ajnthony

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Would you agree with these translations?
 

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Uncle Frank

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Not that it's important , but the bright white color caught my eye. I have a flag from 1972 that friends gave me. It turned almost yellow in just ten years. I always wondered why , because it was stored in a box , out of sunlight and any moisture.
 

Ajnthony

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Not so white in person and is your 1972 flag made of silk?
 

Toritoribe

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Would you agree with these translations?
#9 is not a single person's name. The last two kanji are actually connected to #3, thus, #3 is supposed to be 為小林君征途, meaning For Mr. Kobayashi's expedition.

Here's just terrible ones among lots of mistakes.

For #3, there must be two separated horizontal lines, but the writer wrote it as a single stroke (red circle). The two strokes are omitted (green circle).
rin.jpg


For #20, the central vertical stroke must not cross the upper and lower horizontal lines. This kanji is changed to another one 申 due to this mistake, instead of the correct one 田.
den.jpg


For #1, the first two strokes clearly shows that the writer didn't know the correct kanji.
ku.jpg


And the worst thing is that all the signatures were written by the same hand.
 

Uncle Frank

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Not so white in person and is your 1972 flag made of silk?
Good point Ajnthony ! I always thought mine was linen , but Google says it's probably cotton. I should have thought about silk on WWII flags since it was common in Japan. Thank you for teaching me something I should have known.
 

Ajnthony

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I really appreciate all the information. I am a history teacher. I am always teaching my students to support claims with real evidence. What the people on this forum are including with their claims is real evidence. Not like other forums. I also suspected the handwriting was by the same hand. Again I appreciate all the responses no matter the disappointment. I suppose the rifle that came the flag is also not authentic.
 

Ajnthony

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Just out of curiosity what are the chances of grammatical mistakes? I know this is probably one of the flags bought thinking it’s was authentic or passed off as authentic but what are the chances not everyone had great handwriting?
 

Toritoribe

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There are only one patriotic slogan(武運長久), prefix (為), suffix (君), and just two words (皇軍 and 征途) on the flag. These are typical ones, and the writer just copied them. It doesn't require any knowledge about grammar.

Unfortunately, it's not the problem of good or bad at writing. The mistakes I pointed out are crucial ones. Natives or people who really know kanji never do these kinds of mistakes. (Incidentally, both Nagashima-san and I are Japanese.)
 

Ajnthony

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I really can’t thank this forum enough. Especially Toritoribe. This is a great example of how the internet can be a great resource for research. I remember the days of card catalogs and encyclopedias. This flag has a history. Unfortunately it seems not the history that stories have been told about it. If only relics like this flag could talk. Thanks again.
 

Uncle Frank

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I'm a gun nut , so your mention of a rifle caught my eye. Japanese rifles and pistols from WWII are very common here in the US. Even here in Maine , my local gun store had 4 Japanese pistols for sale there last week. My dad bought home a Japanese rifle and I played with it as a kid. In the 40's and 50's , you could buy the rifles for around $20 each. The NRA magazine "American Rifleman" had ads every month for military guns from around the world , most for under $50. They used to sell US made 45 automatic pistols for $40. Because ammunition for Japanese weapons in almost impossible to find , their value stays low and there are a lot of them for sale at local gun shows. Anyway , I imagine the gun you mention is authentic .
 

Mark of Zorro

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I'm afraid to say this, but that's a poorly-made obvious fake. The signatures and slogans were written by someone who actually didn't know kanji.

War is often described as "organized chaos". Its an apt description. To wit:

The IJA included Indonesians, Filipinos and others who would not know kanji. And that is not including the colonized civilians who might have reasons to make such a flag. They also might not understand the culture, including the culture of the good luck flag.

So yeah, though it seems unlikely, I can imagine some foreign IJA soldier making this for some unit of Japanese guys he considered his friends....or even some lover from a colony making this for a soldier that lost his real one.

Again, unlikely. But its a strange world and strange things happen.

I agree it was definitely the same person who wrote it all. And it is said that Allied soldiers would take authentic but plain Japanese flags and turn them into fake good luck flags to sell. Especially American Seabees were said to be infamous for this.

So yeah, it could be an authentic WWII fake....an interesting piece of history in its own right.
 

Toritoribe

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I'm not going to offend you, but actually it's impossible that those people wrote signatures as Japanese names instead of their own names as if pretending Japanese people in that situation. Korean people had/forced to use Japanese names, but they could write kanji since they were educated in Japanese style. I believe that's a fake to make money, as usual.
 
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The woman does not sign this flag.
Because the name of the woman at the time has much "hiragana " "katakana", the names are different.
The woman sews "one thousand stitches" and sends it to a soldier.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I'm not going to offend you, but actually it's impossible that those people wrote signatures as Japanese names instead of their own names as if pretending Japanese people in that situation. Korean people had/forced to use Japanese names, but they could write kanji since they were educated in Japanese style. I believe that's a fake to make money, as usual.

If that was directed at me then you clearly do not understand what I wrote. Not understanding the culture of the luck flags, a foreign person might put the names of the people on it to whom he or she was gifting it (not signatures). Such cultural misunderstandings are very common in the world.

Anyway, yes, I too think its probably just another fake made for profit, but the Asian theater of WWII was not just some interesting time in history, it was a major upheaval with madness in every facet. There are other possibilities that may seem more remote today than they actually were then.
 

Mark of Zorro

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Korean people had/forced to use Japanese names, but they could write kanji since they were educated in Japanese style.

I do not understand why you singled out Koreans unless you think Japan only colonized or occupied Korea during the Pacific War. Japan colonized or occupied Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Mariana, Caroline and Marshall islands, Burma, Malaysia, Macao, New Guinea.....and that is just a loose incomplete list of names both modern and dated.
 

Mark of Zorro

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The woman sews "one thousand stitches" and sends it to a soldier.

This too. If its directed at me you don't understand what I wrote. But hey, the both of you are proving how easily misunderstandings arise. I never said a woman signed it. I suggested a foreign, colonized woman may have made it, perhaps as a replacement for a lost or destroyed one. Not very likely but could be possible in a time as crazy as a world war.
 

Toritoribe

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I do not understand why you singled out Koreans unless you think Japan only colonized or occupied Korea during the Pacific War. Japan colonized or occupied Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Mariana, Caroline and Marshall islands, Burma, Malaysia, Macao, New Guinea.....and that is just a loose incomplete list of names both modern and dated.
Have you ever heard 創氏改名?


Among those countries/areas, only Korean people forced to use Japanese names, so it can be possible that Korean people wrote Japanese names. However, they knew kanji, so it's not applied to this flag. That's what I meant. Makes sense?

I suggested a foreign, colonized woman may have made it, perhaps as a replacement for a lost or destroyed one. Not very likely but could be possible in a time as crazy as a world war.
So, you've never seen any real hinomaru yosegaki where a non-Japanese wrote Japanese names, and you're just talking about possibility after all, right? Hope the OP is satisfied with your hypothesis...

I am a history teacher. I am always teaching my students to support claims with real evidence.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I am a history teacher. I am always teaching my students to support claims with real evidence.

Then you should be able to appreciate the difference between me claiming a fact, which would need real evidence, and claiming a possibility, which doesn't.

That's what I meant. Makes sense?

I understand what you meant. But you still don't understand what I meant.

If someone is merely copying a list of names, its not them writing a signature or writing their own name. What part of replacing a lost or destroyed good luck flag do you not understand? What part of creating one with the names of a unit someone wanted to gift it to is confusing you? Yes I know that neither are the culture of the good luck flag, but that is the point....confusion on the part of colonized foreign people.
 

Toritoribe

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And possibility is just possibility after all. You can say anything in fiction. The problem is whether people can believe your story or not without any evidence.
 

Mark of Zorro

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And possibility is just possibility after all. You can say anything in fiction. The problem is whether people can believe your story or not without any evidence.

I am not asking anyone to believe any story except the story that the world is not always so simple.
 
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