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Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Army Shussei Nobori Cotton Banner and Small Japanese Flag From an Imon-Bukuro (Comfort Bag) Featuring an Image of a Geisha - 2 Items

Regular price $595.00

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Lot Available. When Japanese men left for their military service, community organizations such as the local branch of the Imperial Reservists Association (teikoku zaigo gunjinkai) and the Greater Japan National Defense Women’s Association (dai nippon kokubo fujinkai) organized various celebrations, culminating in send-off parades to wish the troops well as they marched off to the local railway stations or ports. These send-off ceremonies were called sokokai and the participants in parades carried banners with the names of the recruits on them. The Japanese term for banner is nobori, and the exact Japanese name for them depends on the slogan. Here we refer to them as “shussei nobori” or “Off To War Banners”.

They came in a wide variety of sizes, including some that were huge, though most commonly they are around five or six feet in length (150-180cm). These banners were usually made of silk or an early silk-like synthetic like rayon, though cotton was also used.

A Comfort bag (imon-bukuro) was a gift packet prepared by civilians to be sent to Imperial Japanese Military soldiers for the purpose of encouraging them. The bag contains comfort articles (慰問品, imon-hin) not issued by the Japanese Military, such as toiletries, dried fruits, canned foods, and letters of encouragement. Bags were prepared by schoolgirls or local patriotic women's societies. These activities were also made in Korea, which was then under Japanese rule, to encourage Korean soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Military.

The Examples In This Lot:
- Imperial Japanese Army “Off To War” Banner (36” x 12”): This appears to be a “generic” type of off to war banners. Many of these were produced to purchase and or to send to the young soldiers off, it was up to the presenter to write the names on them. The banner is in wonderful condition and features a faint, but beautiful image of a Japanese Helmet and Katana, a widely popular image to use on patriotic items. There are stains present on the banner, stains that coincide with an item having been carried by a person who fell on the battlefield. We cannot confirm the stains, but they are now faded to a rust colored hue.

- Rayon Silk Flag of Japan (19 ½” x 14”): This is a lovely little flag of Japan which appears to have been a part of the Imon-Bukuro comfort bag kits that were sent to soldiers on the frontlines. The flag, which also features the same rust colored stains as the banner, may have been carried by the same soldier. There are other stains, tearing and fraying along the edges with evidence of it having been possibly stitched to something else. The flag is of two piece construction with the “sun” being sewn into the center. There are faint temple stamps and other Kanji markings present but the best feature is the lovely Geisha that is present on the left side of the flag. The word geisha comes from the Japanese word “gei” meaning art and “sha” meaning person. Geishas are artisans and purveyors of traditional Japanese culture. Geisha women dedicate their lives to Japanese traditional arts and put their talents to use to entertain customers.

This is a wonderful pair of items and would be perfect framed next to each other. Comes more than ready for translation, further research and display.

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