Original Japanese WWII Large Imperial Japanese Army Shussei Nobori "Off to War" Banner - 330” x 28 ½”
Original Item: One-Of-A-Kind. 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 a “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.
This example is approximately 330” in length with a 28.5” width. so it is about 27 1/2 feet long, and almost 2 1/2 wide, making it one of the largest examples that we have seen. The fabric is definitely rayon or some other early synthetic, and not silk. The characters have been hand painted, while the other designs look to have been printed.
Unfortunately due to the large size, we were not able to get a picture of the entire banner at once. There are some small holes in the banner, as well as some tears in the painted portions, as the paint makes the rayon delicate. It still has the fringe at the bottom, though the hanger at the top was removed, with the stitch holes still visible. We have been unable to translate the Kanji that is painted on it, making for a great research opportunity.
These made for a most impressive display and signified to everyone that a particular man was being celebrated for his induction into the military. Kanji characters on the nobori normally gave the name of the man going into the military, as well as the name of the person or organization sponsoring the banner. The artwork on each shussei nobori was generally chosen by the person purchasing the banner from a banner or flag store. Once selected, the name characters were painted onto the material by the shop owner.
Comes ready for research and display!
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