Original Japanese WWII Hand Painted Good Luck Flag - 29" x 32"
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". As with most good luck flags, it is marked with 久 長 運 武, which reads Bu un Chou kyu ("May your military fortunes be long lasting.") across the top above the "Sun". To the right of this is the character 祈, which means "Prayer", so this particular flag is praying for good luck in battle. There is writing radiating out from the center, which are usually the names of friends and family.
The flag measures approximately 29" x 32", and looks to be made of rayon, and early synthetic cloth made from wood, which somewhat resembles silk. It has a red "sun" dyed 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 stains and small holes, 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 corner reinforcements as well as the hang ties are missing, though the stitching is still partly present.
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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