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Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

Article about: Conclusion following Translation I am very happy! The information provided by you forum experts is consistent with the translation’s I have obtained via Elance and some positive identificati

  1. #21

    Smile Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Conclusion following Translation

    I am very happy! The information provided by you forum experts is consistent with the translation’s I have obtained via Elance and some positive identifications have been made.

    Conclusion 1) The helmet is indeed IJN and most probably a relic of the Battle of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, 25 August – 7 September 1942. I have the name of the soldier.

    As you will all know, this battle is famous as the first time the Japanese military were comprehensively defeated on land in WW2. The translator (Ludwika S.) identified the helmet as belonging to Nakatani Kenichi of the 5th Kure Special (Naval Landing Forces). The 5th Kure Special Naval Landing Force fought at (and was all but wiped out at) Milne Bay as referred to at 5th Kure Special Naval Landing Force - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    By the way, in the back of the leather helmet harness (where Tom had told me to look for a small anchor symbol) I found the Kana (fuze mark) for 'Kure' (looks like a J with a long top bar) – as seen in the table of Kana and Kanji provided earlier by zwerge).

    My grandfather (RAAF) was stationed at the Milne Bay aerodrome sometime around the time of the battle so that's most likely where he got it, even found it. His album contains photos of Japanese equipment (such as a bogged tank) labelled as being at Milne Bay, and he probably went exploring in his spare time.

    Conclusion 2) The senninbari possibly dates from the early period of the senninbari tradition, and in my opinion belonged to a career soldier who served in the Sino Japan wars. Perhaps he later served in the South West Pacific, or passed it to a family member who did. The name of the lady who made and gave it is now known.

    This belt has been ‘dated’ to the Taisho period (1912-1926) and was made by Teramachi Yoshiko. If the original wearer participated in the Sino -Japan wars it would tie in with the now antique Chinese coins I posted pics of previously (with holes in their centres). If these are over 100 years old (according to Walkwolf) they would have been in circulation in the period 1910 onwards.

    It is quite possible that the chinese coins were themselves lucky amulets (or Sino war booty) added to the belt after the original Japanese coin. My grandfather may have removed them all from the belt (accounting for the two coin sized tear holes in it) because the two Chinese and one Japanese coin in his war souvenir collection are unique within it.

    The following explanations are the direct notes from the translator.

    ".......Helmet:

    Inside cloth cover: First line as a whole: 呉五特甲水

    呉五特 = 5th Kure Special (it's Naval Landing Force, but that's not included in the text)

    The following two kanji are unclear, possibly they are also abbreviations to some longer words.

    甲 = first class; can also mean "helmet"
    水 = water

    There's a dash between those two kanjis, which makes no sense. It appears to belong to the bottow kanji "water" (水), which would make it into "eternity" (永), but still doesn't tell me anything, so I'm not sure which one is more correct.

    [That is also discussed below]

    The second line of the kanji on the helmet cover is a name.

    中谷顕一 = Nakatani Kenichi

    The same name, as well as "5th Kure Special" is written on the leather lining (inside the helmet). Between those two lines is "one" (一) and "small" (小), which I would assume are other abbreviations.

    The kanji next to <S> is probably the size of the helmet, <S> 大 = big

    Senninbari Belt:

    The large kanji on the senninbari belt are:

    義勇 (giyū) = heroism
    奉公 (hōkō) = service (e.g. for the country)

    Except for the first two characters, the handwritten kanji is a girl's name:
    寺町美子 = Teramachi Yoshiko

    The two kanji before the girl's name were a date (sort of). Here is the full kanij (as handwritten);

    大正 寺町美子 = Taisho Era, Teramachi Yoshiko

    It said Taisho ("big justice"), which was an era in Japan between 1912 and 1926. This would mean the senninbari belonged to someone ever since that time.

    As for the "first class" and "water", I think they may be abbreviations, like:
    "First class (unit of) water (island division)" or something like this. In the West it's popular to abbreviate using only first letters, (U.S.A., G.B.) and in Japan they abbreviate using first kanji, i.e. "sun" -> "Japan" (full name "sun rising"), "center" -> China ("center land"), and so on.
    That is why I think "first class" and "water" are abbreviations, and possibly they would make more sense if someone can inform us about the exact structure of the Imperial Japanese Navy. "

    End of translation..............


    Current questions:


    I'm wondering if there is a Japanese WW2 roll of honor, like the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have for our side, as it might be the most likely way to track down details of the original owner of the helmet?

    Can anyone shed any light on the abbreviations "first class" and "water"?

    ................

    I have since found more kanji inside the harness. Some time I'll transcribe that onto paper and have them translated too. They are practically impossible to photograph.

    I've also ordered the war service records of both my grandfathers from the National Archive of Australia.


    Best regards to all, and I hope you find this interesting. I think its fascinating and I am delighted that so much has been established in such a short space of time.

    Paul

    PS The character below says "Justice", part of "Big Justice" = Taisho period
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #22

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Excellent researching! It makes a superb helmet and relics even greater!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  3. #23

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    wot a good read that was.i think these relics are fantastic

  4. #24

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Just great Paul.. Really enjoyed the read. Enhances your items so much more knowing the history and being able to wonder about the circumstances of their discovery etc..

    Josh

  5. #25
    ?

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Interesting added info. As to finding out further info. about the sailor who was issued the helmet, I think that this would be extremely difficult to say the least. The only significant listing of IJA/IJN personnel that I know of involves those who have been enshrined at Yasukuni Jinja in Tokyo, and those records are not open to the public. You might want to inquire with the archives in Australia about any paperwork that they may have concerning the 5th Kure SNLF. I think that they have a major source of enlisted/officer info. available for the 3rd Kure SNLF, but that may have been a fluke during the war with the info. preserved from destruction. Who knows, they may have other paperwork that would be helpful, I could not say.

    Tom

  6. #26

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Thankyou all for your comments and I'm very pleased you have enjoyed reading about all this.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Hi Tom

    I am almost can't believe this...... the Australian war memorial have


    " a battalion nominal roll for the Kure 5th Special Naval Landing Party. The commander was Lt Col HAYASHI Shôjirô. The list contains details of approximately 1000 soldiers, including rank, name, service number and status. This unit was part of the Japanese force that was repelled from Milne Bay in August - September 1942."

    O my god. They have a smaller platoon document fromthe 1 st company also.

    I'll order a copy!!!!!!!

  8. #28
    ?

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Very cool, keep us posted!


    Tom

  9. #29

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    Hello Tom and others

    I wonder if you can give me any advice? The Australian War Memorial have two sets of a 5th Kure Special Naval Landing force Battalion Nominal Roll (about 1000 names) in Kanji. They don't have any one who can read Japanese in their records section. All that is said is that one roll includes unit, rank, name, service number and previous posting and is 88 pages long. The other roll includes unit, rank, name, service number and status and is 74 pages long. I could order both but the photocopying fees add up. The descriptions of the contents of each roll may only be approximate also.

    If you were to get only one copied, which one do you think would give the most information about the role of the soldier who owned my helmet during the Milne Bay Battle?

    They also have some 5 page interrogation reports of a foot soldier from the 5th Kure Specials and that sounds really useful so I'll get that too.

    Best regards

    Paul

  10. #30
    ?

    Default Re: Japanese helmet, machine gun damage, japanese text inside cloth cover, translation?

    I certainly found this thread very interesting.
    Very poignant pics of the helmet and the damage.
    The prayer belt is a chapter in itself.
    I always found the history of them and the effort that went into them very interesting.
    Thanks for posting these relics.

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