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Japanese soldier flags, World War II

Last modified: 2004-10-23 by
Keywords: soldier flags | japan | world war ii | thousand stitch flag |
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The following question was received by FOTW:

My Dad was in Japan in ww2 and brought back a Japanese flag. I was told that the Japanese soldiers would carry the flag folded inside their shirt and the flags were brightly painted with pictures and family names and/or prayers. I was also told that after the war, the U.S. men on the ships returning home from Japan made duplicates of these flags for souvenirs . I believe that I have one because on the bottom of the material is printed "U.S.N. Could you tell me more about these flags?

I heard that it was popular for Japanese soldiers to bring folded national Hinomaru with family names and prayers for luck in the war and a thousand-stitch flag which is long piece of cloth with one thousand red thread stitches sewn by one thousand women. This was worn by soldiers as a good-luck belt to protect them against bullets during WWII. In some cases flags with brightly painted strong animal like a tiger or dragon were used.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 26 February 2002

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