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Comfort Bag

Article about: Okay, I have a confession to make: I am a closet comfort bag collector! Yes, it's true and I think that the reason has to do with the artwork on the fronts of the bags as well as the often i

  1. #41


    MAP- I will be sure to post some of the photographs once I dig them out. They are interesting and really help to support what everyone has observed with regard to the Comfort Bags and their use. I don't know how to make something a "sticky" so perhaps if someone wants to do that, they can "get 'er done".

  2. #42

    Default Comfort Bag With Caricatures

    This is one of my favorite Comfort Bags, again because of the caricature artwork that takes up the entire front of the bag. In this example Roosevelt, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek are seen bobbing upon the ocean in a small dinghy. There is a cane positioned behind FDR (Roosevelt had polio earlier in life and could only stand with the aid of leg braces and a cane). The cane is shown flying a small flag that says, "SOS". He is also seen pondering his predicament with head in hand on knee. Churchill appears to be a bit perplexed as well as he hand gestures toward the Generalissimo. Chiang sits rigidly upright, glaring at his 2 companions. All 3 men have thought bubbles that undoubtedly spell out the situation. Each of the men has a character written in red placed upon his jacket. In addition the boat also appears to be named. I would guess that the name is not an inspiration to the situation! This is a rather large bag, similar to the 8.00" L X 13.00" H shown earlier.Comfort BagComfort Bag
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Comfort Bag  

  3. #43

    Default Unusual Comfort Bag

    I have been organizing some of my collection and I came across this unusual comfort bag. I added this one to my collection because of the nature of the artwork and because of the information written on the back of the bag. The front is interesting in that there are red dots across the top in the fashion of senninbari. You often find one-thousand stitch articles with either black or red dots stamped or pre-printed across the belt to indicate where the knot or stitch is to be placed. While this bag does not have 1000 dots, the sentiment is there. Below that is a nice, large red sun in the center. I don't think that we said previously, but the vertical black characters printed on the sun say, "Imon Bukuro". Below that illustration are a number of smaller black characters, a la senninriki, that are for the word "power" or "strength". The artwork on the reverse is done in the color green. There is a mountain range across the top, perhaps emblematic of Mt. Fuji, and a small grouping of pine trees across the lower aspect. Pine trees are literally symbolic of missing someone or "pining away" while a loved one is gone.Comfort BagComfort BagComfort BagComfort Bag

  4. #44

    Default Unusual Comfort Bag

    The approximate translation of the reverse is as follows: Northern Chinese Dispatch Army-Tianjin capture IDA Unit-Takagi Unit-Mr. Endou Yoshijirou. The bag was presented by the Waga-gun, Iwate Saraki Village. Today, Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China with a population of approximately 15,500,000 people; only Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are larger.
    Comfort Bag

  5. #45
    MAP is offline


    Very nice example! Fantastic!
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  6. #46

    Default Comfort Bag and Photograph

    I continue to come across Comfort Bags in my collection. Today I wanted to post one that I purchased over in Japan as well as a photograph of a group of Japanese soldiers in China opening their comfort bags. The comfort bag pictured here is an interesting, colorful version as it shows kokeshi dolls and small daruma figures. The standard characters for "Imon Bukuro" are evident on the bag.
    Kokeshi are simple wooden dolls that were first popularized in Northern Japan. They are normally made by hand and have straight bodies and large heads. Their simple features are painted on the figure and they are normally "dressed" in flower type patterns of black, red, and sometimes yellow.
    Daruma dolls are normally hollow, round figures primarily done in the color red. They are representative of the Bodhidharma, founder of Zen Buddhism. Weighted and rounded on the bottom, these tumbling dolls will always pop back up, even in the face of adversity. Persistence and a positive attitude in the face of hardship or failure is a characteristic of the daruma and which by the way, are also supposed to be typified by the military man in the field.

    MichaelBComfort Bag
    Last edited by MichaelB; 01-08-2017 at 01:27 AM.

  7. #47

    Default Kokeshi/Daruma Comfort Bag and Photograph

    This vintage photograph shows a group of Japanese army soldiers somewhere in China having just received and opened their comfort bags. They appear to be enjoying the goodies sent from home. If you look closely you can see the characters for "Imon Bukuro" printed on the fronts of the bags shown here. This image is part of a much larger photograph that is in my collection; I cut it down a bit in order to post it here.

    Comfort Bag
    Last edited by MichaelB; 01-08-2017 at 01:29 AM.

  8. #48


    Thank you Michael for this thread explaining the diversity of these troop "morale boosting" items . It is worthy and has been pinned to the topics list . Thanks also to all contributers .

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  9. #49

    Default Simple Comfort Bag Without Artwork

    Here is a small Comfort Bag made from a coarse, beige cotton material. They didn't get much more basic than this, although I have a larger version made from a pretty standard white cotton material with cotton tie strings, that lacks artwork.


    Comfort BagComfort Bag

  10. #50

    Default Comfort Bags with Sun motif

    I have seen 2 different styles of Comfort Bags that have a large red sun on the bag's front. One is more often seen than the other and is made from a white cotton material. This style of bag is similar to the one seen in the vintage photograph in the previous post #47. It has the standard 3 characters that say, "Imon Bukuro" on the front. The other bag is made from silk, yet looks much like the cotton version. I'll post an example of that version in the next post. MichaelBComfort BagComfort BagComfort Bag
    Last edited by MichaelB; 01-12-2017 at 01:18 AM.

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