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Need Help Identifying Japanese WW2 Hachimaki

Article about: Hi, I have this WW2 hachimaki that was given to me by a WW2 US sailor who traded it for cigarettes with a Japanese POW. Has anyone ever seen this exact one or know how to figure out what uni

  1. #1

    Default Need Help Identifying Japanese WW2 Hachimaki

    Hi,

    I have this WW2 hachimaki that was given to me by a WW2 US sailor who traded it for cigarettes with a Japanese POW. Has anyone ever seen this exact one or know how to figure out what unit it may have come from?

    It has blood splatter and sweat stains on it, indicating the soldier wearing it was probably engaged in combat. It is in good condition, considering the age, having been kept for the past few decades in a glass covered frame.

    I am wondering both what unit the soldier might have been in that was wearing it and what the value of might be. I am also working to figure out what the text means. I will update this thread when I find out.


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    Thanks

  2. #2

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    "The top kanji is 班 han, which means squadron or section. The bottom two kanji are 氏名 shimei, which together mean name.
    Looks like you've got yourself a name tag."

    I will try to get a more in depth explanation for what the bottom two symbols mean. I don't quite understand that part.

  3. #3

    Default

    Based on the layout and the text, it seems that it was made so that a soldier could write their unit and name on the bandana. In the first box it says "Team," and in second box it says "your name" with blank spaces to the left which could be to fill in. Otherwise it doesn't really make sense. However they haven't been filled in which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

  4. #4
    Rod
    Rod is offline
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    Quote by Hachimaki View Post
    "The top kanji is 班 han, which means squadron or section. The bottom two kanji are 氏名 shimei, which together mean name.
    Looks like you've got yourself a name tag."

    I will try to get a more in depth explanation for what the bottom two symbols mean. I don't quite understand that part.
    That's a good explanation, there's nothing more to know about the kanji.

    I could be wrong but this looks like a navy towel to me.

    Rod

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks, Rod. I thought it was a headband of some sort. It has sweat marks as thought it was wrapped around someone's head. I also am curious about what looks to be blood splatter. It doesn't look like it was used to wipe dirt/blood like a towel would be, as they only blemishes are scattered spots. Do you suspect this would have been worn by a crewman on a ship that surrendered or more likely a Special Landing Force soldier?

  6. #6

    Default

    I agree that it is a towel.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  7. #7
    Rod
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    It's certainly an item a surrendered sailor would be allowed to keep. Without a photograph or supporting documentation there's no way to know which branch of service its original owner belonged to. Regardless, blood and dirt are natural 'been there' things to find on an item like this. It could easily have been used as a head covering or bandage under the circumstances. I wish I could trade a couple of cigarettes for one like yours!

    Rod

  8. #8

  9. #9
    ?

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    This is properly called a "tenugui" 手拭い and they can be used as a towel or hachimaki. So everyone is right here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenugui

  10. #10
    Rod
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    Nice Dave, way to pull it all together!

    For what it's worth, a 'maki' is a wrap. Japanese soldier's puttees are called makikyahan, sushi seaweed wraps are maki and hachimaki are head wraps.

    Cheers guys!

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