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Twin Flags Senninbari

Article about: Hello all,I thought I would share some photos of a nice Senninbari I recently acquired.I like it because it has several interesting things about it that make it a little different than the v

  1. #1

    Default Twin Flags Senninbari

    Hello all,I thought I would share some photos of a nice Senninbari I recently acquired.I like it because it has several interesting things about it that make it a little different than the versions normally seen.This is the first in my collection to have two national flags incorporated into the design of the 1000 stitches.The flags are crossed above the characters Ki Buun Chokyu "I Pray Your Military Fortunes Are Everlasting" Flanking each flag and carefully wrapped in a festive colored fabric are two small coins that have been carefully sewn onto the belt for good luck.They are approximately 2 cm each and do not have the center hole you normally see in coins that are sewn onto these belts,hence the fabric covering to contain them.Another nice feature is a small shrine stamp applied between the two flags in red ink.
    The material is not the white cotton material used in the other Senninbari in my collection but a nicer quality white silk. Between the layers of the belts fabric there is a small pocket/pouch for personal items that pinches closed when the belt is secured around the waist.Last but not least,sewn between the layers of fabric is a paper currency note that from what I understand,was intended by some families to be used to pay for the fallen soldier or sailors remains to be returned to his homeland if... he was found. It was a bit difficult to photograph but you will get the idea.It may be impossible to discern because of all the red threads on the inside of the belt,But I would love to see an example of the currency if anyone can and has an example they could share. Regards,Geoff

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    You always manage to get your hands on the most facinating pieces.
    Thanks for sharing!! I find it very interesting.
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

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    Way to go Geoff, You must of found yourself a great source!!! Because you are coming up with some amazing items

    Semper Fi

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    The coins used were either 5 sen (with hole) or 10 sen (without hole), both symbolizing surpassing the unlucky numbers of 4 and 9, which had the same reading as "Line of Death" and "Desperate Battle" respectively. The reason for the bill in the belt sounds like another fantasy myth to me, as no one would think of slitting open these things from a dead comrade. Taking clippings of fingernails or hair (difficult with an army haircut) had been the respectable way to return the fallen to their families since Samurai days.

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    Very nice friend.

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    Terrific example of a different senninbari- quite colorful! Regarding the paper inside, I would offer another explanation on whether money was placed inside senninbari. Few examples that survived the War and that were returned to Japan are found with bank notes inside them, although I have come across them. Following the War, the Japanese economy was in a shambles, and the American Army of Occupation took its own time in helping the Japanese people to re-build it. While that dragged on, many Japanese citizens found themselves virtually homeless and quite often without food. Larger notes in the form of paper currency would not have been a luxury left inside a senninbari to go to waste. Even the very small 5 and 10 sen coins that may be found at times sewn to the senninbari were sometimes removed, and used. While most paper artifacts encountered inside 1000 stitch belts and other forms of senninbari these days are personal notes or ofuda, bank notes have been seen. For an interesting example, I recommend for review the senninbari photographed in my book on page 227. That belt contains a handwritten note that says on the outside envelope, "Please Open". A partial translation of the letter found inside says, "In case of death, for your troubles, one hundred yen in gratitude. Kamada Usaburo, eldest brother, Yamazaki District, Shiso County, Hyogo prefecture, Toshiro, born September 20, 1906" It even included the name and address of the relative where the body should be sent if found. I am sure that there were regulations against giving ones address as well, but it was done nevertheless and quite often

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    Here is a link where you can see what various Japanese 100 Yen bank notes look like. These are from 1935:


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    Thank you all for the kind comments and very informative discussion! After following the link provided by MichaelB I became more curious as to what type of bank note was inside the Senninbari, so I took a sharp set of scissors.... Just Kidding! I decided to put an led light inside the pocket in the belt to see if I could get a better look at the note. I believe I have been able to identify the artwork and denomination on the money. I have included a photo of the note for opinions. If there is a consensus that this indeed is the correct note I will attempt to obtain one similar to it to mount with the belt when I have it framed.All opinions are welcomed.Anyone happen to know how long LED blindness lasts?? Regards,Geoff
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  9. #9
    MAP is offline



    Once again you find a "wow" item!

    And also, a great thread with great info!!! Thanks Nick and Michael!!
    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  10. #10


    Well, the world really has become smaller with the advent of the internet.After I posted the photograph of the bank note I found online I did a little digging and lo and behold with a click of the mouse I obtained the same bill I found the picture of on line! It must have been quite a sacrifice for a family to send money off with the soldier especially if they were not wealthy. Now I will wait for a sale to have it framed with the belt.Regards,Geoff
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