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Japanese Good Fortune Flag with Bring Back Stamp


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That is exactly how the "Passed In the Field" stamp should look. ....And you are right, you don't see flags like this, properly stamped too often anymore. Most guys simply folded up the flag that they found and put it away into their packs or pockets. Every item, of course, was supposed to be inspected in the field but the fear of theft often made the regulation a moot point.

 

Mike

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I was lucky to get this flag. You almost never see a Japanese Good Fortune Flag with a Military Intelligence Inspection Bring Back Stamp.

Kaydees

Dwight Brown

kaydees@embarqmail.com

 

here is my helmet with the same stamp just for reference

 

 

post-186017-0-81009300-1579785937.jpeg

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I was lucky to get this flag. You almost never see a Japanese Good Fortune Flag with a Military Intelligence Inspection Bring Back Stamp.

Kaydees

Dwight Brown

kaydees@embarqmail.com

 

here is my helmet with the same stamp just for reference

 

 

 

Leo,

Nice item for any collection. Bring Back tags show an item as being authentic. I try to purchase items with the letter or stamp. I have several items.

Dwight

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I would add one admonishment to this discussion: "Bring Back" tags and papers to not unfortunately, show that an item is authentic. Vintage tags and papers can be "married" to an item, with no one the wiser. Paper tags can be purchased or created and stamped with present-day made stamps; even cloth items, etc. can be stamped in order to add a degree of "authenticity" to the piece. As authenticating Japanese items becomes more confusing, I would safely venture to guess that there will be an increase in the stamping of pieces, vintage and non-vintage, in an effort to better sell the item. Sadly, this only ruins the good pieces, while honestly doing nothing for the bad ones. "Buy the book before you buy the coin......" John Egger Spend time learning what you are buying, rather than simply throwing money after questionable pieces with stories.

 

Mike

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I would add one admonishment to this discussion: "Bring Back" tags and papers to not unfortunately, show that an item is authentic. Vintage tags and papers can be "married" to an item, with no one the wiser. Paper tags can be purchased or created and stamped with present-day made stamps; even cloth items, etc. can be stamped in order to add a degree of "authenticity" to the piece. As authenticating Japanese items becomes more confusing, I would safely venture to guess that there will be an increase in the stamping of pieces, vintage and non-vintage, in an effort to better sell the item. Sadly, this only ruins the good pieces, while honestly doing nothing for the bad ones. "Buy the book before you buy the coin......" John Egger Spend time learning what you are buying, rather than simply throwing money after questionable pieces with stories.

 

Mike

 

Mike, I believe in what you say about Bring Back documentation. I also believe that there are ways to bring you closer to authenticating an Bring back Document of Stamp. The Paper with Serial Number of the item being brought back and the paper make that item more authentic. As far as the stamp I have found that the Blue Light test is reliable as dating but does not actually mean that the item is authentic. The stamp could have been added during that period. I believe this Flag (by Blue Light Test) is Authentic. What do you think????

Kaydees

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Hi Kaydees-

Yes, I think that you are correct: for example, many times you will see a German Luger or a Type 14 Nambu pistol that have "bring back" papers. When the serial number of the pistol matches the serial number recorded on the papers, then it's likely that you have an authentic match. Similarly, you may sometimes see a Japanese NCO sword with its bring back papers. The serial number on the sword may have also been recorded on the papers so again, you have a match.

When "bring back" papers record a captured Japanese flag, they will normally say only, "1 Japanese.[anese] flag. If you have the good fortune to come across original "bring back" papers with a senninbari belt, the papers will normally only say, "1 Japanese.[anese] belt". Of course, once the item has been separated from its paper, there is no way of telling whether the "belt" is an actual senninbari or a uniform belt or something similar (I have even seen "obi" marked on the papers as "1 Japanese.[anese] belt. For the same reason, a flag might have been "married" with its papers somewhere down the line.

As an aside, there is an argument being made in some quarters that Japanese signed flags or senninbari should not be in the hands of collectors as these items were stolen from Japanese soldiers (living and/or deceased) and that unlike "real" military goods (pistols, rifles, binoculars, helmets, etc.), they fall outside the norms of the Geneva Convention on the taking of "spoils of war". Remember, that not all flags and senninbari were stamped with a "Passed in the Field" stamp because many men took the items and put them in their packs rather than having them examined. The fact that some contain that very same "Passed in the Field" stamp, is proof that these items were examined for military intelligence value and according to the Convention authorities of the time, deemed to be legitimate "spoils of war". Flags, by the way, have always been seen as being legal "spoils of war". What that means is that Allied service members who acquired these items, hold legitimate war souvenirs.

Because good luck flags have no serial numbers recorded on them and because many are being faked today (primarily over in Japan), the only way to tell whether a flag is legitimate is to determine whether it conforms to the mental check-list or opinion and criteria of the person who owns it and/or wants to buy it There are all kinds of flags available for purchase today and just as many opinions as to a flag's authenticity. Another admonition here too: remember that dozens of authentic WW2 era good luck flags are available for purchase in Japan at flea markets and other venues. These flags are often being sold by family's that no longer want them (that has been the norm for decades now) or care about them. Some come from Japanese military personnel killed in battle, while many never left the home country or if they did, came back home to Japan with their owners from overseas, safe and sound. Most of those flags while legitimate, will obviously not have a "Passed in the Field" stamp.

Black light testing is simply one test that might lead a collector to determine that any cloth item has issues. It should never be taken as the sole arbiter of an item's authenticity. Some legitimate items, when exposed to various chemicals, most notably laundry soaps or detergents, will shine under a black light. That is why I always say, if you want to collect flags, examine a lot of them at the shows. Ask lots of questions and compare notes on what you have been told. Buy once you feel confident that the flag you have interest in is similar to the authentic examples that you have studied in hand.

 

Mike

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Hi Kaydees-

Yes, I think that you are correct: for example, many times you will see a German Luger or a Type 14 Nambu pistol that have "bring back" papers. When the serial number of the pistol matches the serial number recorded on the papers, then it's likely that you have an authentic match. Similarly, you may sometimes see a Japanese NCO sword with its bring back papers. The serial number on the sword may have also been recorded on the papers so again, you have a match.

When "bring back" papers record a captured Japanese flag, they will normally say only, "1 Japanese.[anese] flag. If you have the good fortune to come across original "bring back" papers with a senninbari belt, the papers will normally only say, "1 Japanese.[anese] belt". Of course, once the item has been separated from its paper, there is no way of telling whether the "belt" is an actual senninbari or a uniform belt or something similar (I have even seen "obi" marked on the papers as "1 Japanese.[anese] belt. For the same reason, a flag might have been "married" with its papers somewhere down the line.

As an aside, there is an argument being made in some quarters that Japanese signed flags or senninbari should not be in the hands of collectors as these items were stolen from Japanese soldiers (living and/or deceased) and that unlike "real" military goods (pistols, rifles, binoculars, helmets, etc.), they fall outside the norms of the Geneva Convention on the taking of "spoils of war". Remember, that not all flags and senninbari were stamped with a "Passed in the Field" stamp because many men took the items and put them in their packs rather than having them examined. The fact that some contain that very same "Passed in the Field" stamp, is proof that these items were examined for military intelligence value and according to the Convention authorities of the time, deemed to be legitimate "spoils of war". Flags, by the way, have always been seen as being legal "spoils of war". What that means is that Allied service members who acquired these items, hold legitimate war souvenirs.

Because good luck flags have no serial numbers recorded on them and because many are being faked today (primarily over in Japan), the only way to tell whether a flag is legitimate is to determine whether it conforms to the mental check-list or opinion and criteria of the person who owns it and/or wants to buy it There are all kinds of flags available for purchase today and just as many opinions as to a flag's authenticity. Another admonition here too: remember that dozens of authentic WW2 era good luck flags are available for purchase in Japan at flea markets and other venues. These flags are often being sold by family's that no longer want them (that has been the norm for decades now) or care about them. Some come from Japanese military personnel killed in battle, while many never left the home country or if they did, came back home to Japan with their owners from overseas, safe and sound. Most of those flags while legitimate, will obviously not have a "Passed in the Field" stamp.

Black light testing is simply one test that might lead a collector to determine that any cloth item has issues. It should never be taken as the sole arbiter of an item's authenticity. Some legitimate items, when exposed to various chemicals, most notably laundry soaps or detergents, will shine under a black light. That is why I always say, if you want to collect flags, examine a lot of them at the shows. Ask lots of questions and compare notes on what you have been told. Buy once you feel confident that the flag you have interest in is similar to the authentic examples that you have studied in hand.

 

Mike

 

Mike you are 100% correct in everything you have stated. I have two Good Fortune Flags. One with the Bring Back Stamp and one without. I feel both are Authentic. I have been looking for an Authentic Japanese Battle Flag but have not found one that I felt was Authentic.

You are correct in that there is an organization that takes the flags donated and tries to marry these flags with the family. I contacted them a couple of years ago about finding the families of the flags I have. They told me I could send them the Flags and they would try and locate the families of the flag. I asked them if the families could not be located would I get the flags back and they said no. The flags became the property of the organization. Because of this, I did not send them my Flags.

I also have an American Flag, that was suppose to be captured from the Philippines on March 1943 by a Japanese Lieutenant and confirmed by his Commander. The flag is an Authentic Era Flag and show wear. The stitching is loose. I have been told that it might be authentic and may not. The writing is in Kanji but backwards.

Thanks for the reply,

kaydees

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Hello Kaydees-

Yes, about 5 plus years ago they used to post a very low (I think that it was around 10% or so), return rate to the family of flags on their website. Again, if memory serves me, that has been taken down. So for example, if they return 10 out of 100 flags to a relative (hopefully that relative didn't sell the flag in the first place to a collector!), that means that 80 flags are not returned to the family. Someone or some thing, somewhere is accumulating a very nice collection of good luck and related flags.

 

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

That is absolutely right! NHK did a special on this subject a few years ago. Their cameras showed the inside of the small office, while they interviewed an official about flags being returned. He stated that flags are rarely given back to family's based upon the lack of available documents, information and financial resources. He also said that the flags generally do not have enough information on them that would allow the family's to be discovered. Flags that find their way into the hands of collectors are often being better taken care-of in some instances, than the flags being stored by the government overseas. NHK showed flag-filled cardboard boxes, with the flags being dumped across the desk top into a pile during the interview.........

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