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Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

Article about: Hi guys, Recently acquired this WWII Japanese flag. I was told by someone that there are multiple slogans on it, two of which are "May God prosper your arms" and "Long live Im

  1. #1
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    Default Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    Hi guys,
    Recently acquired this WWII Japanese flag. I was told by someone that there are multiple slogans on it, two of which are "May God prosper your arms" and "Long live Imperial Japanese Army", but he said there were others that he was unsure of. I just wanted to see what you guys thought of this flag, and if anyone can help with any more translations I'd GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks!






  2. #2

    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    Nice flag! It appears to be authentic as it looks as if many different people have signed it (note the differences in handwriting style).

    These are commonly known as prayer flags. The friends and family of a Japanese soldier would sign their names, write words of good luck, prayers asking to protect the soldier (many prayers were to protect specific body parts), and patriotic slogans.

    The big kanji characters tend to be the soldiers name, and the slogans, prayers, etc. The smaller characters tend to be the names of friends and family who signed the flag.

    As so many Japanese soldiers carried these, they became a popular souvenir for Allied troops. It should be noted that these flags were often carried by Japanese troops folded up in a tunic pocket. These flags are often found with battle damage and blood stains.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    I don't speak/ read Japanese, but I have a friend who does. It tends to be difficult to make out many of the names, but he should be able to help with the slogans, prayers, etc.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    A nice original flag.Gizmo82 has given you a basic description of what you have. Asking for a translation of all the names is a tall order and also impossible as not all of the kanji are readable. Frankly, a translation of the names would really not mean much unless one of them was famous, which is very unlikely.
    BOB

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    Thanks so much for all the info Gizmo, I really appreciate it! Bob I definitely understand, I don't want to know the names but just any slogans or prayers or sayings that may be on it, if possible. Any help with that from anyone is appreciated, no matter how small. Thanks again,

    Nick

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    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    Aside from a lot of individual signatures, you have a few slogans in there as well: A couple of the usual suspects pop out, including "Loyalty and Bravery" as well as "praying for your everlasting fortune in battle". A phrase (or mantra rather?) that I find interesting can be found at the 12 o'clock position of the flag from the sun -- it says SAMUHARA which is supposed to protect the soldier from bullets, etc. While not found on all good luck flags, this phrase can be found periodically on both flags and senninbari. Hope this helps!

    Tom

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Signed WWII Japanese Flag - Translation?

    Wow that's really neat, no one had mentioned that part to me yet. Thanks so much Tomp for taking the time to translate those things for me!

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