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Tojo Flag Alert !

Article about: Hi All, Would like to give a heads up on this piece. I was browsing through this site and stumbled upon this Tojo Flag. Flying Tiger Antiques Online Store: WWII Small Japanese Hanging Flag w

  1. #1

    Default Tojo Flag Alert !

    Hi All,

    Would like to give a heads up on this piece.

    I was browsing through this site and stumbled upon this Tojo Flag.

    Flying Tiger Antiques Online Store: WWII Small Japanese Hanging Flag with Kanji

    Here are the descriptions:

    "SUBJECT: This is a small Japanese hanging flag with kanji, or characters. The characters may have been added around the red sun against a white field as a good luck wish or patriotic message, or for another reason.

    VINTAGE: Circa World War II.

    SIZE: Approximately 25-3/4 in height and 16 in width (not including foam board); ties are about 2-1/2 each.

    CONSTRUCTION/MATERIALS: Silk or muslin with inked details.


    MARKINGS: None.

    ITEM NOTES: This flag is shrink-wrapped and pinned to a piece of foam board. It will be shipped unwrapped and folded without the foam board, unless arrangements are made for pick-up or special shipping to preserve the shrink wrap mounting. This is from a Japanese collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. VGEX09 LBIEX8/11

    CONDITION: 8 (Excellent-): The flag has been well-preserved with very light wear.

    GUARANTEE: As with all my items, this piece is guaranteed original."


  2. #2


    So what makes this Japanese flag a fake . Gary

  3. #3


    Hi Gary,

    These are called "Tojo Flag". They were mass produced after the war by some enterprising people (during occupation of Japan). Souvenir for the G.I.

    The characters were not written by Japanese at all.

    The reason we call them "Tojo Flag" because Japan's wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo (東條英機)'s signature is on the flag. (Not signed by him, of course)

    Hideki Tojo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are few different kind of characters. This example is 東條英 (Same pronunciation, but with Chinese Simplified character).

    Red circle below.

    Many collectors thought they were original Japanese Flags and turned out they were made-up flags.


  4. #4


    Some other examples:

    The following examples doesn't even have Tojo 's name:


  5. #5


    This is some great information. It has always been difficult to get a lot of information on Japanese war trophies. Unless someone can read Japanese many times these items are very easily faked. I have always treaded lightly due to this. I have a friend that will buy anything Japanese but he has bought a lot of fake or GI made items.
    Is the red stamped seals also usually a dead give away as a fake?

  6. #6


    Taka thank you for explaining these flags . Gary

  7. #7


    Here's what Tojo's actual signature looks like:

    Tojo Hideki


    Image source

  8. #8

    Default Update to Tojo's Poem

    Found it!!

    古 人 今 人 若 流 水
    "Our ancestors and we as streams."
    Tojo Hideki

    This is from the Chinese poet Li Bai's poem, "Toast to the Moon"
    把 酒 问 月
    作 者 : 李 白

    青 天 有 月 来 几 时 , 我 今 停 杯 一 问 之 。
    人 攀 明 月 不 可 得 , 月 行 却 与 人 相 随 。
    皎 如 飞 镜 临 丹 阙 , 绿 烟 灭 尽 清 辉 发 。
    但 见 宵 从 海 上 来 , 宁 知 晓 向 云 间 没 。
    白 兔 捣 药 秋 复 春 , 嫦 娥 孤 栖 与 谁 邻 。
    今 人 不 见 古 时 月 , 今 月 曾 经 照 古 人 。
    古 人 今 人 若 流 水 , 共 看 明 月 皆 如 此 。
    唯 愿 当 歌 对 酒 时 , 月 光 常 照 金 樽 里 。

    Li Bai: Toast to the Moon
    Li Bai of Tang Dynasty
    Translated by Laijon Liu 20090301

    When the moon shall be bright?
    Let me hold up my cup to ponder.
    Human can never pluck the moon,
    But she always goes with our step.
    Shines as a mirror over red palace,
    And thru the green mist she glitters.
    The night wraps around from sea,
    And dawn disappears into clouds.
    White rabbit grinds in all seasons, (1)
    And goddess lives without a friend.
    This moon is not of ancient times,
    But it once shone upon ancestors.
    Our ancestors and we as streams,
    And together we looked up to her.
    I can only sing and pour my wine,
    And wish she often shines into my cup.

    Last edited by ghp95134; 11-27-2013 at 10:43 PM. Reason: formatting

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