Original Japanese WWII Hand Painted Cloth Good Luck Flag - 32" x 28"
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Just purchased as part of a large Pacific War private collection. This hand painted cloth flag is marked with battle quotes such as "Banzai", and "Good Luck". As with most good luck flags, the top is marked with 久 長 運 武, which reads Bu un Chou kyu ("May your military fortunes be long lasting."). There are severak additional kanji to the right of this, which we have not been able to translate. It is also signed with the names of many friends and family. The flag measures approximately 32" x 28", and is made of what appears to be rayon cloth, and early form of synthetic cloth made from wood, with the red "sun" a separate dyed into the middle. Flag is in very good condition and is the real deal: a genuine USGI "bring back"!
The flag itself has some small stains and holes, as well as overall age toning closer to the edges of the flag. The writing is still quite legible, and this would make a fine display piece for a wall or glass table. The imitation leather corner reinforcements are in good shape, with their original hanging ties, though the gold coating has mostly flaked off.
Ready to display!
The Good Luck Flag, known as hinomaru yosegaki (日の丸 寄せ書き) in the Japanese language, was a traditional gift for Japanese servicemen deployed during the military campaigns of the Empire of Japan, though most notably during World War II. The flag given to a soldier was a national flag signed by friends and family, often with short messages wishing the soldier victory, safety, and good luck.
The Japanese call their country's flag hinomaru, which translates literally to "sun-round", referencing the red circle on a white field. When the hinomaru was signed, the Japanese characters were usually written vertically, and radiated outward from the edge of the red circle. This practice is referenced in the second term, yosegaki, meaning "sideways-writing". The phrase hinomaru-yosegaki can be interpreted as "To write sideways around the red sun", describing the appearance of the signed flag. This particular example completely unique is written in old KANJI the writing are mainly Japanese names of this soldier's family and friends with quotes and phrases.
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