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Translating a WWII flag from Sasebo

Article about: Thank you in advance for your help. My father brought this flag home from WWII. He was among the first Navy troops to arrive in Sasebo in September 1945. He did not get this from a Japanese

  1. #1
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    Default Translating a WWII flag from Sasebo

    Thank you in advance for your help. My father brought this flag home from WWII. He was among the first Navy troops to arrive in Sasebo in September 1945. He did not get this from a Japanese soldier, but rather from a Japanese family. For the last 70 years he has wondered what it says.

    I understand that generally these flags contain good wishes from family members to the soldier. But in this case it was not taken into battle by the soldier, but left at home.

    Can you see anything on this flag that is unusual... or different than the typical well wishes? Also, are sketches like this eagle unusual?

    In the close-up pictures I have numbered what I believe to be different phrases.

    Thank you. I know my father will appreciate learning about this.
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  2. #2
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    Carl very nice flag. also welcome . Gary

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    Hello Carl and welcome to the forum!
    We do have members here that will be able to assist you. They may not be able to make a total translation, but they will help.
    You may need a little patience as they are not on line all of the time.
    It appears to be a very nice flag!
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  4. #4
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    Welcome. Great flag. I suspect that "eagle" you refer to is actually a representation of the mythical golden kite, a bird and messenger of the kami as described in the ancient Japanese chronicle Nihon Shoki, which helped Emperor Jimmu defeat his enemies in battle. Tiger images are much more often found on these flags.

    Regards,
    Stu

  5. #5
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    Stu,

    Thanks for the Golden Kite info. As I was typing my original post I was thinking to myself, "I bet that's not an eagle..." Thanks for explaining it!

    Carl

  6. #6

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    This flag has way too much work to translate.

    Main aphorism aludes me ... literally:
    円心報國
    Enshin Hōkoku

    円心 Enshin = "center of the circle" -- but I have NO clue as to its nuance here.
    報國 Hōkoku = "devote oneself to service to the country." This is usually seen combined with "Seven Lives Dedicated to the Country" 七生報國.

    The name under the eagle is Inoue Shōzō
    昭三

    To the right of that is "Miyashō" -- I do not know it's meaning [Literally it means "Palace merchant"].
    宮商

    The 2-kanji writing to the left of Inoue's name -- I don't know.


    --Guy

  7. #7
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    Guy,

    I realize that there is a lot of writing on the flag. I don't expect anyone to dedicate a lot of time translating everything. I'm just hoping for a few things I can pass on to my father.

    I presumed that many of the items were names (signatures). Thank you for the items that you have translated. I very much appreciate it.

    Carl

  8. #8
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    Default Close up of more artwork

    I was just now looking at bigger versions of my flag photos. Although it is hard to see in my original posted photos, there is a sketch of a helmet on the left side of the flag.

    When I look closely at the helmet, I can see that there is an anchor on its side. Would this indicate that the soldier was in the navy?
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  9. #9
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    It could as a Navy helmet does display an anchor rather than the Army star. Supporting that, in my view, are the double attachment points on the scabbard to which the hangers of the sword belt are connected. A Navy officer sword, called a Kai-gunto, has two such points whereas the bulk of the Army officer swords, called Shin-gunto, have one.

    Regards,
    Stu

  10. #10
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    Here is another connection to the IJN: #7 is a Navy Captain's signature
    Beautiful flag btw, I wouldn't be surprised if your inbox is getting full.


    Tom

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