Original Japanese WWII Hand Painted Cloth Good Luck Flag Named to and Recovered off of Mr. Matsui Kyoichi by Captain James A Morgan, 10th Armored Division - 33” x 28”

Item Description

Original Item: One-Of-A-Kind. This hand painted cloth flag is marked with battle quotes such as "Banzai", and "Good Luck for Bravery". As with many good luck flags, the flag is marked with the Japanese phrase 久 長 運 武 祈, which reads Bu un Chou kyu Inoru ("A prayer that your military fortunes be long lasting.")

It is also signed with the names of many friends and family. The flag measures approximately 33” x 28”, and is made of what appears to be early rayon silk or something similar, with the red "sun" dyed into the middle. Overall the flag is in good condition and is the real deal: a genuine USGI "bring back"!

The writing is still clearly legible, and this would make a fine display piece for a wall or glass table, or even a translation project. The flag was presented to Mr. Matsui Kyoichi. We have not been able to locate any information on either Mr Kyoichi.

Accompanying the flag are a few printouts which are from the Denton Record Chronicle in 1991. It shows a few war time era images, but the main image on the front page is of Mr. Morgan holding up the same exact flag as this one here. The newspaper clipping is unfortunately incomplete but what is present describes a little bit about the flag and how it was translated by Dr. Tae Guk Kim, a member of the journalism department at the University of North Texas at the time. He states that “there was no indication of where or when it was signed, but the 57 male signatures were probably from schoolmates”.

Mr. Morgan states in the column that he obtained the flag after a battle oon the Amiralty Islands in the Pacific. He stated that “We were searching the soldiers for any kind of intelligence stuff we could find” and that “I could have got it interpreted then, but I was afraid to because I was afraid i’d get it taken away from me”. He went on to say that other members of the armed services would take more than they were supposed to. “Some of our boys would take a pair of wire cutters and get the gold from their teeth”.

He continues on about a few more stories, one very interesting one about how he saved a lost battalion. He tells the story as “we got the message that the second was lost and was carrying about 20 litter caesars (injured soldiers)”. In addition to the injuried, the battalion had already buried a number of the dead soldiers. Radio contact was eventually made with the lost battalion and he told them to stay where they were in the jungle, and at nightfall to fire a machinegun burst of tracers straight up so contact could be made. He stated that “the first burst of machine gun fire we spotted and I sent a platoon out”. The platoon took telephone wire with them the entire four miles to the battalion in order to maintain communications.

This is a wonderful flag with tons of research potential. Comes more than ready for 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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