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Fortunes Of War

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  1. It is difficult to place a value of any kind on this flag as the photograph only shows half of it. There is no way of telling the condition on the other half, or what might be written there, so no reasonable value could be determined. Returning flags to Japan is an interesting proposal as many examples that end up in the hands of U.S. collectors today are actually coming from sellers in Japan. The perception of this is a bit of an oxymoron. Some Japanese members in government have attempted to pass legislation to ban the sale of good luck flags, etc. on public auction sites in Japan in an effort to thwart the continued sale of these war souvenirs. As noted by Bob, groups in the U.S. have been more successful in having eBay, prevent some of these items from ever coming to auction. Another item that I have not seen offered on eBay in quite some time are senninbari (small toy 1000 stitch belts for G.I. Joe collectors are sometimes offered. I see that as another irony!) Anyone who wants to send a flag back to Japan should be able to do so, however, it's very difficult to find an actual family member (they do sometimes locate the family). If no family member is sourced, the flags are sometimes sent to a local shrine, if that can be identified; with no shrine or temple seal, that too is highly unlikely. Otherwise, I'm not sure where these "returned" items go. A movement has evolved over the last few years to place them into what are called, "peace" museums. Mike
  2. Awesome translation job on this badge Eric! I have never seen this style of kendo badge (with star). It's interesting to note too that there appears to be remnants of brown paint on both the front and back of the badge. The standard army kendo version with hinged pin, has the same color of paint on it as well. Similarly, the submarine qualification badge and others, utilize the same brown paint in places as well. Mike
  3. Hey, I totally understand about trying to lift the liner pad. I have seen the leather tear sometimes when an owner tries to lift that, in search of the Showa date stamp. In any case, a very nice looking Type-90 helmet. Thanks for posting. Mike
  4. Nice looking helmet with what appears to be uncut tie strings. It looks as though the painted kanji characters for the name have been removed and I don't see the painted size character (Large or Small) that is normally found on the rear flange. Can you see the size there anywhere? Were you able to lift the front liner pad in order to read the Showa date? Thanks for posting. Mike
  5. HI Dirk- That's an interesting story. I'm not sure that you would be able to find too many other people with those kind of credentials, to mount your flag. Again, nice job and thank you for sharing it with us. Mike
  6. Dirk- Sorry to take so long to reply; I have been laid up the last week-plus. This is a really nice looking, very typical good luck flag. It sounds as though the conservator did the mounting work, just as it should have been done. Sometimes sewing the silk to a stronger backing is necessary, in order to preserve long-term, the integrity of the silk flag. It is a process that has been done for a long time and while it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, is the standard of preservation in some instances. This is another reason to be thankful for private collectors and for their best efforts. Many, if not most museums , have such small budgets, that their collections languish and are not on display. The cost to properly preserve is simply too high. My hat goes off to you for taking the time and making the investment, in order to "do it right". Mike
  7. I wanted to post another tiger senninbari vest. This example has its 1000 stitches or knots made from red cotton thread. In combination with the white cotton material of the vest, the red and white color combination provided good luck to the wearer The knots run in rows, all across the front of the material. As each knot was added, it was believed that there would be a compounding of good luck, sort of an exponential increase in protection. The colorful tiger is painted in red, orange, orange-brown, black, gray and white colored inks or paint. Written horizontally in kanji, across the neck is the slogan, Ki Buun Chokyu or "I Pray Your Military Fortunes Are Long Lasting." The rather scribbled lines of characters, just to the right of the tiger's back, are a poem that speaks about "being a shield for the Emperor." There is also a date but the year is a bit fuzzy to read; the rest says, "July 28th...." Mike
  8. Hello Dave and Bob- I have to agree with the both of you. It's hard to imagine that someone would really have worn this into the field but I would be the last person to argue with the various stains upon the material. This vest was there and it was worn. I have two others, each different and more interesting than the other. I will try and post another in the next day or so. My nicest vest really is a work of art, Bob. There is gold leaf paint or something similar painted on it. The tiger literally lights up when you see it, it's that fine. In any case, my interest in senninbari and especially those with painted tigers, continues un-abated. Very happy to share here........Have a great weekend! Mike
  9. This tiger painted senninbari vest is done in black, gray and white colored ink. The vest is a senninbari, with the knots being sewn across 2 front sections of the vest's lower left- and right-hand sides. The woman who stitched the knots, made them in the shape of 2 lotus blossoms. There are multiple lines of kanji inked across the back. The snarling tiger is standing upon a rock outcropping and is making his move downward, on the hunt. The characters up by his ear are for the slogan, "Certain Victory!". Down near the tiger's tail are the characters for the mantra, Samuhara. This Shinto mantra offered protection from harm, to the wearer, especially from harm in battle. The characters near the tiger's nose say, "Divine Powers for Earnest Wishes", while the long line nearest the tail say, "Praying Everlasting Battle Fortunes for a Victorious Imperial Army Soldier!" One of my favorites...............! Mike
  10. Great belt Bob! I don't think that I have seen that many coins sewn to a belt either. My guess is that he was going for a little bit of the "bullet proof" effect too. The coins look like a combination of 5-sen and 10-sen coins. Mike
  11. Very nice Bob. Tie strings seem to be the most popular among collectors because they are easier to adjust on a mannequin display. Belts that fasten with buttons may be too tight or too loose to fit correctly around the waist of a mannequin. Senninbari without tie strings are also correct (many were made without them). These were simply wrapped around the waist and tucked inside the pants. Standard service belts or sword belts were then cinched up and held the 1000 stitch belt in place. Mike
  12. Hands down, nice flag. I don't see a dedication but has the slogan, Buun Chokyu or "May Your Military Fortunes Be Long-Lasting" written vertically down the left-hand side. There are a ton of names signed on the flag and the corner tab appears to have kanji characters printed on it. They normally give the name of a company that has provided the flag (donated or sold). Newspapers of the day often gave away flags as advertisements. You might also see shrine names sometimes printed there as well. Yasukuni Shrine sold or gave away many flags during the war. Mike
  13. Eric- Man, I'm sorry that I missed this posting earlier. At this point I'm just one of many to chime in with, "That's a beautiful helmet!" .....But it is!!! Thanks for sharing. Mike
  14. Wow, Bob! Very nice, custom inked tiger senninbari!! Does the belt have ties or buttons to close it? Many senninbari or 1000 stitch belts lack ties altogether. The red circles were normally made by kids with a round stamp and red ink (anyone could theoretically do that, however). Kids were often less skilled with making knots, so they were often tasked with counting out 1000 circles. Afterward, women would take the unfinished cloth belt to busy places (outside department stores, train depots, etc.) and have other women knot them up. According to custom, only women made the knots/stitches. Sometimes the belts lack the 1000 knots and sometimes they have more. My guess is that whomever made the circles, lost count. The key, of course, was to just have many, many knots. The more stitches/knots, the greater the compounding of good fortune. Mike
  15. Probably the best thing to do with German and German related items is to begin a thread or post over on the TR side of the website; this site is for Japanese items. The "Moderator" may move this over there anyway....... Mike
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