What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

WW2 Japanese flag

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Hello,

This is my first post here. Forgive me, if this isn't the right place to post this.

I have a WW2 flag, that has quite a bit of Japanese writing on it. I have absolutely no idea how to translate it, or even where to begin.

If someone could point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it!

Perhaps I could Email pictures of the flag, to whom ever would be interested.

Thank you,
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,524
Reaction score
1,417
Feel free to post a few pictures here. The last 5 or 10 flags posted here have been fakes(according to the writing on them). It seems there was a thriving business everywhere in all branches of the military of making and selling fake war trophies for people to take home. It would be nice to see a real Japanese flag , maybe yours is it.
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Feel free to post a few pictures here. The last 5 or 10 flags posted here have been fakes(according to the writing on them). It seems there was a thriving business everywhere in all branches of the military of making and selling fake war trophies for people to take home. It would be nice to see a real Japanese flag , maybe yours is it.


I will try to upload photos, when I get home later today. For some reason, I can't upload them from my phone.

I'm 100% sure that this flag is authentic. I acquired it from a military dealer, who is very trustworthy.

It was signed by 22 U.S. Marines. I've actually been able to track down relatives of the men who signed it.

I'll make sure to pictures online as soon as I can. I would love to know what the Japanese writing means.

Thanks,
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,524
Reaction score
1,417
I have one from 1970 that my friends signed for a going away present. The material it's painted on fades and ages so bad , it looks like something from WWII. We have some good people here that are very helpful with war items. Because they are 13 hours ahead of our time zone, it usually takes a couple of days to get answer posts back. Careful going home and welcome to JREF.
 

nekojita

先輩
Joined
14 Jan 2009
Messages
1,660
Reaction score
440
Can't see anything at the moment. If you're having trouble with the images try using a third party site like tinypic to upload them,then link here.
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Hopefully, you can see these:
17098417652_a20ecba9ff_b.jpg


17099939465_069a85220d_b.jpg


16912160438_12fcccc87b_b.jpg
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
I figured it out!

I can take close up pictures if you need a clearer view of a certain point.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,255
Why did you photograph the back side of the flag instead of the side with the writing on it?
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Why did you photograph the back side of the flag instead of the side with the writing on it?
Haha, sorry about that. The side that I photographed, was the side that was signed by the U.S. Marines. I have been sending pictures to their families.

I will take a new set of photographs, right now (of the correct side).
 
Last edited:

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,328
Hello UssWorden,
The phrase written in large characters at the top (祈武運長久) read right-to-left, means "good luck in battle" or "prayers for good luck in battle" basically. It is a phrase commonly seen on these kinds of flags. The phrase at the right of the flag (vertically written) says "Congratulations xxx (blocked out) on joining the force/troop" (祝XXX君入隊). Its odd to see names blacked out. I've never seen it before, at any rate. The rest of the flag has bits and scraps of phrases, as if someone were practicing writing on the flag. Usually you see names and phrases radiating out from the red disc. On this flag I can see two names (Yanase, Hattori) but on the whole, the flag and the writing looks similar to some of the fake flags we've seen lately. Seems a lot of servicemen picked up fake flags from somewhere and brought them back to the States. Maybe they thought the flags were authentic when they got them.
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
What do you think the odds are, that it's legitimate?

Is there a possibility that it's real, or is that completely off the table?

Thank you, for taking a look at it.
 

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
I wanted to add: This flag is not the same as the "good luck" flags, that Japanese soldiers carried. I can't remember exactly what the distinguishing factors are, in determining this.
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,328
Well, bear in mind that the fakes we've seen seem to be contemporary with the time - I mean, they were apparently souvenirs brought over from Japan immediately after the war. Maybe some enterprising Japanese war veteran was making them in his garage. Maybe some Chinese guys saw a business opportunity and began churning them out. Who knows?
I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility that it is something more than a souvenir. The obvious fakes we've seen had things like Tojo Hideki's "signature" on them, and/or all of the writing on the flag is obviously done by the same hand. Some of the writing on your flag looks like it was done by one hand (the bottom left quadrant), but in other places the writing is different. And you don't have any obviously dumb phrases on the flag (like "World War 2" or some other phrase that would be out of place on a Japanese flag). So, I can't say for sure what your flag is, but I would have to say it looks a bit suspicious.

There is also the name of some principal (can't read the name) on the flag.
One of the phrases in the bottom left: 見敵心殺 I've never seen before. Google is telling me it means "search and destroy".
Edit: Another odd phrase on there 討伐奸敵 - basically destroy all enemies, I guess, but it is as uncommon as the one above. I've never seen either of these phrases on a Japanese flag. Starting to think it may be a Chinese counterfeit.

Wondering if it could be a flag given to a kid upon joining a sports team, and the flag has been doctored up to look like a war souvenir?
 
Last edited:

UssWorden352

後輩
Joined
10 Apr 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Ok, I appreciate the information. It's disheartening, to hear that it's possibly not 100% ligament.

If I wanted to investigate the flag further, what would be the best course to take? The optimist inside of me isn't ready to give up. I'm tracking down the families of the men who signed it. I've found 3 of them, so far. They actually had combat experience in the battle of Iwo Jima (I found their Muster rolls and spoke to family members). A part of me was hoping that it was captured during the battle. At the very least, the men who signed it fought there.

none the less, I respect your opinion, and I appreciate you taking the time to help me. I'd rather know that it wasn't 100% authentic, than remain ignorant.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,317
Reaction score
3,467
見敵必殺 is a slogan of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
また、一方でイギリス海軍に大きな影響を受けていたため、戦闘においては好戦的な姿勢を尊び「見敵必殺」を旨として積極的攻勢の風潮があった。
大日本帝国海軍 - Wikipedia

The symbol written after "principal of a junior high school" would be kaō. It's odd to write only kaō without the name, anyway. Furthermore, although the name of the junior high school is also written on the left side of the flag(the spirit of ** junior high school), the character that represents the name of the school is obviously different from the right one. There are some other family names on the flag; Horimoto, Koga, Ōnishi, Morita or Ihara.

The signatures/phrases were written when the soldier who was given the flag joined the force/troop, usually at the soldier's home town. Most of the signers would not go to the war. (FYI, these family names are quite common in Japan. It's impossible to find out their descendants just by these family names.)

I agree with Majestic-san. Probably that's fake, at least highly suspicious, since all the signatures and phrases seem to be written by the same person to me.
 
Top Bottom