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"Cigar Fan, Made in Japan", US Flag for Victory in Japan

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2015 marks the 70th anniversary of VJ day, that and finding this forum made me go into my "Foot Locker" that Dad bought me as a kid... 50 years ago. I remembered having these items.


My Father told me that these were made in Japan, almost immediately after the war ended. When the troops would parade, the Japanese Civilians could be seen waving them. He joked that either they had made them to show their respect, OR they made them anticipating a victory. I remember that he was surprised at how quickly they appeared after the war ended. I have 5 of them, they are fragile. I remember taking apart a broken one almost 50 years ago and seeing Japanese newsprint used for the paper.


I would appreciate any further information that members might have on these. If any of the local museums are doing a VJ exhibit, I would like to see them in it.


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Thanks to an inquiry I counted the number of stars and strips on the Fan, did not think of that 50 years ago...


Fully extended, there are 13 stripes, and the stars are in rows of 3 in the folds. Looks like 48 stars on each half of the Fan, so two flags glued together?


A Cigar Fan here:





And I found an online image posted by a Museum,




with one that is very similar- and the flag shown predates WW-II and is from the 1920s. I know Dad got them at the end of the War.

Maybe some resourceful company stowed them away until the war ended and American flags could be distributed again by Japan?

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16011813507_87434ccedc_b.jpgFlag Cigar Fan


Another close-up of the Cigar Fan that is in working order. These are very fragile. I count 16 rows of 3 stars each on each of the two halves of the flag. I uploaded a high resolution picture on Flickr, can click on the small image here and get to the larger image.

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Generally, items marked "Made In" in English are an export item only and not sold locally. Chances are good these were made before 7 Dec. 1941 for export. They may have sat unused in a warehouse in Japan during the entire war.


Most everything made after August 1945 in Japan for Americans was marked "Made in Occupied Japan"




In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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Stored in a warehouse for the duration of the war, sounds like the most likely explanation.


I have a collection of immediate post-war Japanese camera equipment from the 1940s, it's interesting that Nikon marked almost everything including lens caps and leather cases up through lenses and cameras as "Made in Occupied Japan", but Canon chose not to mark the country of origin. I bought a Canon III with a Nikkor 5cm F1.5 lens on it, the Canon camera and case have no country of origin markings but the Nikkor lens is MIOJ. The seller told me it was from the estate of a serviceman.An early Leotax D-IV with an early 5cm F1.5 Simlar, bought by a US Officer ~1950 in Japan, has the "Made in Occupied Japan" on the camera body, but not the lens. The Canon 85/2 lens that came with it- nothing. Just to add- I soaked the Simlar lens in solvent for 4 days to loosen up the focus mount, after removing the glass. It had been in a storage container for 30 years. Works perfectly now.

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