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Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

Article about: Hi all, great forum, lots of good info. My grandfather was a 1st Sgt. USMC (3/8), and returned home after Saipan when his tour was done. I recently acquired a captured flag that was passed d

  1. #1

    Default Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    Hi all, great forum, lots of good info. My grandfather was a 1st Sgt. USMC (3/8), and returned home after Saipan when his tour was done. I recently acquired a captured flag that was passed down so the provenance is solid, along with an album that he made postwar, plus he had brought home a sword, and a "hari kari" knife. The knife is long gone, the sword and the flag are in my possession. The sword is late war issue, and it's manufacture has been gleaned already from a kindly sensei in San Francisco.

    The album that my very detail oriented grandfather assembled (he died in 1961), contains a chronological order of pictures from the three places his unit fought on, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and lastly Saipan. I'm guessing that the three items (sword, flag, knife) were acquired on Saipan and smuggled home, as he would not have to lug them all over the Pacific theater and was heading stateside for good.

    Inside the album, immediately after his Saipan pictures (many of which are stock military photos in pristine condition), are two pages of photos that were removed from some other album, containing pictures of Japanese soldiers, loved ones, what appears to be a military unit, etc. etc.

    I've always thought that these relics were just located on the battlefield and taken home, but it's possible here, that this is a captured officer's belongings, that were stripped from him after surrender, and not necessarily from a dead soldier.

    He took great care to mount these pictures, and to preserve the sword and knife, and now I would like to glean what I can however I can. Unfortunately it is impossible to post on the wehrmacht forums, for reasons unbeknowst to me, which seems to be a good place to get the flag translated. They just will not allow me posting privileges and queries to the email address have gone unanswered so I give up and come here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Here are the pics:










    SWORD:






    This piece of paper was folded into thirds lengthwise and was inside the hilt of the sword, presumably to firm up the sword inside the handle, it may just be scrap, or a receipt. The sword was late war issue, and the main reason I believe (along with the location of the pictures in the album) that all of this was from Saipan.


    These are the pics from the album that I believe are relevant to the sword and/or flag, some have writing on the back too, some appeared to have been mounted in an album, possibly that the soldier was carrying:









    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't know if anyone can, or will, but if the above can be posted to the Japanese Militaria forum Japanese Militaria Forum - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forumson Wehrmacht awards for interpretation, that would be a huge favor. Thank you for any assistance in this.

    Mark
    Last edited by mark miller; 03-13-2011 at 05:01 AM.

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    A great group of items Mark and welcome to the forum.
    Unfortunately I can't read the Kanji on the flag so can't help at all but I hope someone will be along shortly to provide the answers you seek.

    Here's an interesting link you might find useful: Kanji Translation

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    Quote by Adrian View Post
    A great group of items Mark and welcome to the forum.
    Unfortunately I can't read the Kanji on the flag so can't help at all but I hope someone will be along shortly to provide the answers you seek.

    Here's an interesting link you might find useful: Kanji Translation
    Thank you kindly for the reply Adrian, I do know that the grouping at the top is a standard saying 武 運 長 久(pronounced bu-un cho-kyu). This translates to something along the lines of “continued luck in battle.” That's about as far as I got. I know there are folks online who may assist further in this regards, and will keep this updated as I find out more info as I'm sure it may interest others or assist them in the future with their own identifications.

    Mark.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    Try this site,have fun. teri`s nambu world
    Last edited by zwerge; 03-13-2011 at 03:49 PM.
    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    Hi all, some time back I had enlisted the aid of a sword hilt markings expert in deciphering the makings of the sword in my possession, which was later confirmed (for free) by a sensei in S.F. California.

    As stated, there was a receipt of some kind, folded narrowly and which was placed into the hilt of the sword, presumably to firm it up. I had forgotten I had this receipt translated also when he did the sword originally. After another perusal, it appears the receipt is for silk in bulk, specifically rope/cord/string. I had thought it may be for the flag, but it isn't. I believe this was a receipt that the sword dealer had, for silk which was used to wrap the handle, which was used to firm up the blade. The blade was manufactured at Takayama prison by Masahiro Hattori, perhaps the handle was fitted later? It is an officers sword, it would seem to me the collection of pics etc., which appear to be removed from an earlier album, would be more likely to be carried around by an officer. Now, this particular receipt, has a part that reads: "Etsumi Sen Mino Seki Eki-Mae (In front of the Mino Seki station on the Etsumi line). Another part says, "The town of Seki in Gifu prefecture". I'm surmising that since this is located in a rail station, that the officer perhaps purchased the sword while outbound, or lived in the area? FYI, the sword which I have, was manufactured one province over from the location of this store that is listed on the receipt. (Hida province and Mino). So that locates the sword, near the receipt for the silk used to wrap it. I'm just guessing that when more is gleaned from the flag, and the pictures (which I've removed from the album today and am in process of scanning), we will find they are all in the same area... Should be interesting regardless. Thanks for the links and the help all. Mark

    Middle

    Circled kanji

    繭Ken (N4087)
    糸Shi (N3492)
    店Ten (shop)

    Kenshi ten (Silk thread store)

    Right hand side
    岐Gi
    阜Fu (Nelson#4977)
    縣Ken (N1362 – prefecture)
    関Kan, Seki (N4958)
    町Cho (N2995 – town)
    Gifu-ken Seki Cho
    ( The town of Seki in Gifu prefecture)



    Top line on bottom
    Reading from right to left
    線Sen (N3590)- line, 美mi, 越etsu
    前Zen (N595), 駅Eki (N5199), 繭Ken (N4958), 濃No (N2711), 美Bi (N3658)

    Etsumi Sen Mino Seki Eki-Mae (In front of the Mino Seki Station on the Etsumi line)

    Bottom line on bottom
    Reading from right to left
    披Hi (N1874), 店Ten, 送So (N4683), 運Un (N4725), 同Do (N619), 共Kyo (N581), 繭Seki (N4958)

    Seki Kyodo Unsho Ten hi (Seki co-cperative shipping store)


    Second column with circle chu
    Chu in circle
    清Shimi (N2605)
    水Zu
    製Sei (N4249)
    糸Shi (N3492)
    池Chi, Ike (N2489)
    田Da (N2994)
    工Ko (N1451)
    場Jo (N1113)
    入Ju (N574)
    Shimizu Seishi Ikeda kojo ju
    (Inside this package is silk ito made by the Ikeda artisan workshop of the Shimizu manufacture)

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Hi, new to forum, trying to get help with Grandfather's captured Japanese WWII flag.

    Hi Mark.
    The paper inserted into the handle may not be simply a means of firming up a wobbly grip.Its possible its in there to protect the owner as a good luck charm.

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