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Help identifying Japanese soldier? Iwo Jima


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#1 POFmilitaria

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:47 PM

Hello, I posted this flag in the Japanese flag section a few months ago.  I was lucky to find this flag at a militaria show in North Carolina this past summer.  The seller said it came out of a closed down veteran club.  It has been framed since 1956 and on the back are some very faint words written in pencil.  It reads "Iwo Jima, Ned P. Hobbs."  Sure enough I looked him up and Ned Hobbs served in the Army Air Force during the war and was stationed on Iwo Jima.  I assume he may have traded for it with a Marine?  Thanks to member Eric Queen for translating some of the Kanji!  The Japanese soldier who owned the flag was named Matoko Yoshioka.  吉岡信 = Matoko Yoshioka.  Are there databases or other resources I could use to find info on Yoshioka?  Possibly a picture or any info on him regarding his unit, service history, hometown, etc.  Thank you for any help!

 

Jacob

 

 

 

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#2 Rod

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 03:15 PM

Hi Jacob, 

 

It's great that you have the veteran's name and the name of this flag's recipient. Yoshioka Matoko may be remembered by his immediate family in Japan if any are still living. 

 

Here's family names from the flag: 

吉岡 Yoshioka 富子 Atsuko, Tomiko, Fuko – female

吉岡 Yoshioka ミヨ Miyo (incomplete, last katakana folded under) - likely female 
吉岡 Yoshioka 長子 Kazuko, Hisako, Takeko, Chouko, Nagako - female 

 

There are more Yoshioka names on the flag but I can't read them. If there's a hometown or district on the flag you may stand a chance of finding the family otherwise it's unlikely. 

 

Japan has no database of soldiers who served 70+ years ago. Serving Japanese soldiers were recorded in two places far as I'm aware. One was with their Company's internal affairs section, those records travelled with the company and were most probably destroyed in the field. The other was with their Rusu Unit (Home Affairs Unit) which managed the paper work, pensions, etc of soldiers serving overseas. Not many of those records seem to have survived. 

 

Japan lost over 20,000 troops conscripted into numerous units, besides the Japanese 109th Division, on Iwo Jima. Good luck searching, sounds to me like the flag has found a great home with you in the meantime!



#3 POFmilitaria

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 04:41 PM

Hi Jacob, 

 

It's great that you have the veteran's name and the name of this flag's recipient. Yoshioka Matoko may be remembered by his immediate family in Japan if any are still living. 

 

Here's family names from the flag: 

吉岡 Yoshioka 富子 Atsuko, Tomiko, Fuko – female

吉岡 Yoshioka ミヨ Miyo (incomplete, last katakana folded under) - likely female 
吉岡 Yoshioka 長子 Kazuko, Hisako, Takeko, Chouko, Nagako - female 

 

There are more Yoshioka names on the flag but I can't read them. If there's a hometown or district on the flag you may stand a chance of finding the family otherwise it's unlikely. 

 

Japan has no database of soldiers who served 70+ years ago. Serving Japanese soldiers were recorded in two places far as I'm aware. One was with their Company's internal affairs section, those records travelled with the company and were most probably destroyed in the field. The other was with their Rusu Unit (Home Affairs Unit) which managed the paper work, pensions, etc of soldiers serving overseas. Not many of those records seem to have survived. 

 

Japan lost over 20,000 troops conscripted into numerous units, besides the Japanese 109th Division, on Iwo Jima. Good luck searching, sounds to me like the flag has found a great home with you in the meantime!

Thank you for all the info, and for the name translations!

 

Jacob

 

Jacob



#4 Rod

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:42 AM

Apologies regarding "Japan has no databases of Japanese soldiers who served 70+ years ago"... I stand corrected. It seems there are lists of soldiers held by the districts they were conscripted into the military in. No idea how complete they are given the destruction rained down on Japan near the end of the war. From the Axis History forum Japan at War 1895-1945:

 

Post #13 "In Japan 兵籍簿 'Heisekibo' Army military service records are kept in the prefectural government. (Fukui prefectural office in the case of 辰巳善次郎) Unfortunately for the protection of private information, only the viewing of records by family members is allowed.

fontessa" 

 

http://forum.axishis...4aa12507097a14b

 

Cheers


Edited by Rod, 25 February 2019 - 06:43 AM.


#5 POFmilitaria

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:29 PM

Apologies regarding "Japan has no databases of Japanese soldiers who served 70+ years ago"... I stand corrected. It seems there are lists of soldiers held by the districts they were conscripted into the military in. No idea how complete they are given the destruction rained down on Japan near the end of the war. From the Axis History forum Japan at War 1895-1945:

 

Post #13 "In Japan 兵籍簿 'Heisekibo' Army military service records are kept in the prefectural government. (Fukui prefectural office in the case of 辰巳善次郎) Unfortunately for the protection of private information, only the viewing of records by family members is allowed.

fontessa" 

 

http://forum.axishis...4aa12507097a14b

 

Cheers

Thanks again!




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