Original Japanese WWII Hand Painted Cotton Good Luck Flag with Many Signatures - 27" x 31"
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. 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 in small characters along the left side of the "sun" which reads Bu un Chou kyu Inoru ("A prayer that your military fortunes be long lasting.")
There are also a multitude of different signatures and phrases on the flag, written radiating out from the center, so they appear upside down or sideways. The handwriting style looks mostly the same, so most likely the person with the neatest and fastest writing was chosen to fill out the flag.
The flag measures approximately 27" x 31", and looks to be made of “loose” cotton. It has a red "sun" dyed into the middle, and the flag is in very good condition. This is the real deal: a genuine US GI "bring back"!
The flag itself has some water stains and small tears, as well as overall age toning. It also looks to have been crumpled up for a while, which has led to a very interesting staining pattern. 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 does not have any corner reinforcements or hanging ties, and does not appear to have had any previously.
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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