Seems like these things are all over the place, I was walking around the corner from my house a while back and saw one framed on someone's living room wall through their front window. I suppose it speaks to the power of aesthetic appeal, but a war trophy is still a war trophy, and the fact that there's a market for fakes is both curious and disturbing to me.
Kudos to the families and the Obon Society for facilitating the returns. I didn't know about this non-profit, but it's a good resource for anyone looking to repatriate the flags: Obon Society | Family to Family
Kyodo published an article on the Obon Society and on the efforts of the Ziak family to repatriate Yosegaki flags. So far, they have returned 200 flags to their families in Japan, but 900 more are still waiting.
Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon (Photo credit: Kyodo)
"We put together the most efficient returning system in the history of Japan," said Rex. With the help of the Nippon Izokukai, Obon Society was able to operate "at 100 percent" and deliver 31 flags in three months at the end of 2017. But after years of clocking in seven-day work weeks and returning a total of more than 200 flags, Obon Society's search for families has "run out of gas."
"We have run out of resources to continue at this rate -- the money, the support," said Rex. "After working toward this for nine years and having this system set up that's so efficient, it's just heartbreaking for us. But we have no other recourse." While Obon Society continues to receive four to five Yosegaki Hinomaru a day, there are already 900 flags in their possession that are currently under search -- a process that "can take anywhere from months to years to find the family."
Obon Society hopes to obtain consistent funding to soon resume its search operations and someday hire three full-time and several part-time employees. They hope to continue working with the Izokukai to eventually return 2,000 flags. Rex Ziak has wondered whether they could one day work as a subcontractor for the Japanese government.
The whole article is full of hypocrisy and mendaciousness about the Second World War. This whole mixture of guilty conscience and questionable satisfaction on both sides, I really like to puke! While one side tried to dominate half of Asia, the other retaliated with nuclear weapons to prove itself and the rest of the world how "indomitable" it is now. After three generations you should also have the courage to finally draw a line. In any case, the symbolic return of these old rags will not change history.
There will come a time this will no longer be news. One lucky nephew (in his 80s) received his second Yosegaki Hinomaru.
Soldier's nephew in Japan receives second WWII souvenir flag
A Japanese man has received the second "good luck flag" carried by his late uncle into battle during World War II. Hisashi Abe an 80-year-old resident in Yokohama City, received the flag, which was signed by the soldier's friends and family after it was mailed from the United States last week.
Two years ago Abe received the first of Masamoto Abe's "Yosegaki Hinomaru" national flags through the cooperation of the Obon Society, a nonprofit organization that in nine years has returned more than 200 flags to Japanese families who lost relatives in the war, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. "Just one flag was enough to surprise me, but I'm totally astonished because I've got another one," Abe said.
The flag is in good condition with no significant damage and Abe said he can recognize the names of relatives on it. "I bet my uncle treasured this, thinking of them." However, he rued that none of the relatives would be able to see the flag. [...][/SIZE]