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Japanese Flag Identification

Article about: I scour Tokyo flea markets for WWII Japanese military memorabilia. Last month I came across a flag that Iíve never seen before. However, I instantly recognized it being similar to the Japane

  1. #1

    Default Japanese Flag Identification

    I scour Tokyo flea markets for WWII Japanese military memorabilia. Last month I came across a flag that Iíve never seen before. However, I instantly recognized it being similar to the Japanese regimental flags that were burned at the end of the war. I had a rough translation and it came back to a Youth Organization (military related) located in Tokyo. Iíve seen a few other examples with gold fringe, but my example has purple. I have read that the purple fringe is royal purple and was presented by the Emperor. Iím skeptical on this since my flag is of course civilian and the same Royal purple could simply not apply to non regimental flags. I couldnít find anything on the organization, or flag. Iíve thought about turning to a local museum here in Tokyo if I canít find any help online. Japanese Flag Identification
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Japanese Flag Identification   Japanese Flag Identification  

    Japanese Flag Identification  

  2. #2

    Default Youth flag

    Center:

    Sei/Youth

    Panel:
    世田谷区青年団
    Setagaya-ku Seinen-dan
    Setagaya Ward Youth Group

    羽根本町分団
    Hanegi-machi Bundan
    Hanegi Town Branch


    This was a youth group in Setagaya Ward of Tokyo.


    -- Guy

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for the reply. I can’t find any information on this group anywhere online sadly.

  4. #4

    Default

    These Youth Groups were purely civilian organizations and about 50% of municipalities in Japan still have them today, though the heyday of the organization was in the late 1940s when membership peaked at 4 million. These are the groups involved in organizing the township's summer festivals with the Bon Dancing and fireworks, etc.

    Youth group flags, unlike Youth Schools had no unified designs so you should still come across many more variants you had never seen before, but exotic as they may seem to a non-Japanese, like school flags that all schools still have today, these are civilian flags and not militaria.

    Purple is indeed regarded as an imperial color, but unlike the chrysanthemum crest, it was not forbidden from civilian use and is commonly seen as fringe color on flags, so that does not make your flag special in anyway.

    The Youth Groups for wards in Tokyo generally died down in the 1950s, so your flag may well have been in use until that time. At least the hand-written characters are pre-war style, so it would have seen use during the war as well.

  5. #5
    ?

    Default

    I like the sakura flag pole top.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote by Ryoyo View Post
    I like the sakura flag pole top.
    It matches your avatar!

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you so much for your reply and help. I had figured this may be the case. The seller didn’t know much English besides stating it was from WWII, but now I realize he meant that it was from around that era. I’m still very happy with the piece and what I paid for it.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Looks to be a nice set! Is that the original case we can see a part of?

    Regards

    Russ

  9. #9

    Default

    Yep! It’s an original case and it thankfully shielded the flag from most of the elements. The box is deteriorating pretty badly due to water damage and the henges were broken off when it was found and opened.

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