I have owned this for 30 ears. A few days ago someone finally gave me some info on it as follows: "This is a japanese flag with the word "Noshiro" in hiragana. Im assuming this is from the Japanese cruiser Noshiro which served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II". Were these given to the sailors? I bought this in New Jersey and would love more info. All stitched together. no glue..