Captured Good Luck Flag

In Japan those good luck flags are called “Yosegaki Hinomaru”. This one was captured on Saipan.  “Yosegaki Hinomaru” where presented to soldiers when entering military service or before being sent of to battle. Usually family members,  friends and  comrades signed the silk flag with their names, sometimes also with prayers and good luck messages. As you can see a lot of well wishers have signed this flag! The slogan on top is found on many flags of this kind. It reads “Buun Chokyu” (May Your Military Fortune be Long Lasting). On the right side is the name of the soldier who owned the flag. I have not been able to get a full translation of the name. It ends with with Taro-kun (his first name) but i am unsure about the last name, maybe it is “Hattorishou”. The ending “kun” ist used in the Japanese language to address younger men and it is less formal than “san”, so it could have been a young or young looking soldier. Or maybe it is just what his family and friends kept calling him. This of course is just speculation.

The flag was captured by US Soldiers during the battle of Saipan and they added “Saipan June 15 1944 – July 9 1944” to the center of it. The letters were cut out of cardboard and later stitched to the flag.

Close up of the letters added by US Soliders

Leather reinforced corners

Marines with a captured good luck flag. You can see the slogan “Buun Chokyu” written on top (the Marines are holding the flag upside down).

If you want to learn everything about good luck flags i can wholeheartedly recommend the book “Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts” by
Michael A. Bortner.

~ by m1pencil on February 6, 2010.

5 Responses to “Captured Good Luck Flag”

  1. That last photo has my grandfather in it! He is the middle man, top row. I actually have the original. He was a propeller mechanic with Marine air group 33 on Okinawa. Where did you find the photo?

  2. Wow! Very interesting! Not sure anymore where i found the picture. I will remove the photo if you are not OK with it being on my blog?

  3. No, it’s fine! I was just a bit surprised (and excited) to see my grandpa on a blog. Wish I knew what happened to that flag, tho.

  4. Thanks! Yes, would be fantastic if you would have that flag. But still you have a very nice photo of your grandfather 😀

  5. Came across this while reading through your blog (which I’ve just joined). My father had a Flag which he probably got at Saipan. There is no way to know now as they sent it back to the family of the flag owner, and he has been deceased 13 years. (Of course they didn’t tell me till I asked about it years later. They had given most of his gear to my sister) Somehow, probably through the 4th Div association that flags could be returned to the Jap soldiers family. I don’t even have a picture of it. As with many he never talked about his service till the 1980’s.

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