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WW2 Saipan KIA Japanese Officer Grouping from Vet


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Purchased this from a local dealer a couple years ago. Items included the Japanese flag, pocket watch, wax seal, photo of the Japanese officer and the propaganda papers... along with of course the dog tag of the Marine who brought it back, Henry Albert Woods. Apparently from what I was told all these items were taken from a Japanese Officer that Woods killed, and he sent them all home to his family. You can tell from the envelopes he states he killed the officer in Saipan in June 1944. I hope you guys enjoy! 
 

If anyone can somehow gather any information on Henry Woods (I tried looking him up when I purchased the items but had no luck) or know what any of the Japanese symbols mean please shoot me a message or leave a comment below.

 

Cheers, Luke

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Astounding grouping!!! If you have not had the flag translated, you can go to the link below, ask respectfully, and they will do it for free. This is a group of people conversant in the archaic Japanese kanji of that era. And then you can let us know!!!

Usually the kanji denote well wishes and the usual "Be brave in battle and humiliate the English and Yankees!" Also, there will be the names of the well-wishers. But, sometimes you can get other info, such as the name of the soldier. Good luck!

https://jref.com/forums/good-luck-flags-militaria.206/

 

Mike

Mike

HelmetWerks Military Helmet Restoration

https://www.facebook.com/HelmetWerks

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On 8/10/2020 at 6:14 PM, mcmike said:

Astounding grouping!!! If you have not had the flag translated, you can go to the link below, ask respectfully, and they will do it for free. This is a group of people conversant in the archaic Japanese kanji of that era. And then you can let us know!!!

Usually the kanji denote well wishes and the usual "Be brave in battle and humiliate the English and Yankees!" Also, there will be the names of the well-wishers. But, sometimes you can get other info, such as the name of the soldier. Good luck!

https://jref.com/forums/good-luck-flags-militaria.206/

 

Mike


Thank you Mike, I’ll post something on there later this week and try to keep this post updated if I get any feedback!

 

cheers, Luke

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It could just be me but the Japanese writing on the flag doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies. 

 

Here is one example. The patriotic slogan (盡忠報国) is written by 平井Hirai (surname) 英子 Eiko (given name) from Tokyo (東京)

 

 

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The next slogan (滅死奉公) a different name next to it, 松山 Matsuyama 春子 Haruko from Osaka (大坂) but seems to be written in exactly the same hand. 

 

The slogan Messhi Houkou (self sacrificing service) may have been written incorrectly as well. I have always seen with  (shi) self not  (shi) death

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Not that this means anything but another observation would be that the name on the flag (who it was presented to) 井上 Inoue 英治 Eiji doesn't match the name on the hanko (判子which is 中村 Nakamura 

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Nice group!  Hope you are able to find out something about Brooks-

My first impression of the flag was similar to Eric Queen's.  The writing is very consistent for what should be many different hands, suggesting this might be an in-theater counterfeit; an authentic flag with fake inscriptions.   If this is the case, I would not despair, as it is clearly from the war and seems to have  provenance, and as such would actually  probably be rarer than an actual Yosegaki Hinomaru, as strange as that may seem.   The other items are unquestionable and may be the only physical evidence of that man's life and death on Saipan.  Very heavy.

 

IMG-1349.jpg

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Eric Queen said:

Not that this means anything but another observation would be that the name on the flag (who it was presented to) 井上 Inoue 英治 Eiji doesn't match the name on the hanko (判子which is 中村 Nakamura 

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Yes so I posted it on a different forum to translate it and to what they were telling me this flag was a fake. Scripture was written by two people and yes the name on the flag does not match the name on the seal. Very strange that this came in a group. I was thinking the person that sold me this group just threw a fake flag in there to get me to pay more. I didn’t know any better at the time it just looked old so I went with it. Lesson learned for me that’s for sure!

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56 minutes ago, GMPETE said:

Nice group!  Hope you are able to find out something about Brooks-

My first impression of the flag was similar to Eric Queen's.  The writing is very consistent for what should be many different hands, suggesting this might be an in-theater counterfeit; an authentic flag with fake inscriptions.   If this is the case, I would not despair, as it is clearly from the war and seems to have  provenance, and as such would actually  probably be rarer than an actual Yosegaki Hinomaru, as strange as that may seem.   The other items are unquestionable and may be the only physical evidence of that man's life and death on Saipan.  Very heavy.

 

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I posted this flag on a forum. You and Eric are absolutely correct. You can check it out here https://jref.com/threads/flag-and-wax-seal-translation.159352/#post-924595

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I would slow down a little on that.  I think it is likely an 'authentic fake flag', and may indeed be an original wartime part of the group you purchased.

There is a lot of contemporary evidence for fakery in the services in theater during the war.  Witness the Leatherneck cover.  James Michener himself wrote about the Seabees fabricating things in his South Sea Tales.  Flags were very highly coveted and while not uncommon, not anywhere equal to the demand.

The quality of the writing on your flag suggests something more than just imitation, and perhaps a few Marine Japanese language specialists had a 'side gig'.   Either way, you may have gotten a treasure, just not the one you thought you were buying.  Or to be fair, maybe not the one the seller thought they were selling. 

And again, the photo, seal, and watch certainly belonged to a man who lost his life where and when they were collected.  

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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...slowing down myself, James Michener Tales of the South Pacific

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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I tend to agree with GMPETE's assessment. I don't believe it was done by a native hand but whoever did it was not writing mindless gibberish like you see on most of the "SeaBee" flags.

 

This person (or persons) was a student of Japanese IMO

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That is a great photo mcmike.  I have not seen that or anything like it before.  Love 'quality control' looking it over in the middle.  Wonder if it passed?

 

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, mcmike said:

Yes, straight-line penmanship with no flourish, but seems way beyond the usual "Seabee" variety. 

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Maybe a Japanese-American Marine forged this flag and traded it for a pack of smokes from the vet I got the rest of the grouping with? Lol

 

crazy to think that there is a ton of “Seabee” flags going around and some people think they are probably from a real Japanese soldier. Well I guess the flag would be, but the writing not so much. Thanks for the information guys!

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