Item:
ONSV22MAX190

Original Japanese WWII Hand Painted Cloth Good Luck Flag with Many Signatures in Storage Tube - 26" x 32"

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Just purchased from a Pacific War collector at a military show! This hand painted cloth flag is marked with battle quotes, usually phrases such as "Banzai", and "Good Luck for Bravery". As with most good luck flags, it is marked with 久 長 運 武 祈 written right to left across the top, which reads Bu un Chou kyu Inoru ("A prayer that your military fortunes be long lasting.") As a rarity, this flag also comes in an original Storage Tube, which is how they were purchased before being decorated. It looks like the tube has been used to storage the tube when it is not in use, and it has Japanese markings around each end.

There is also a multitude of different signatures and phrases on the flag, written radiating out from the center, so they appear upside down or sideways. There are various different handwriting styles visible, so this was definitely done by multiple people. We can even see some "grass writing" style Japanese cursive being used.

The flag measures approximately 26" x 32", and looks to be made of rayon, and early synthetic silk cloth made from wood. It has a red "sun" made from a piece of red rayon sewn into the middle, and the flag is in very good condition. This is the real deal: a genuine USGI "bring back"!

The flag itself has some water stains and small tears, as well as overall age toning. The writing is still quite legible, and this would make a fine display piece for a wall or glass table, or a translation project. The flag still retains its leather corner reinforcements and two hang ties attached to each. The tube shows some damage, but is still solid, and measures 13 3/4" in overall length.

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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