WWII Captured Japanese Battle Flag

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This  WWII Japanese “meatball” flag was acquired directly from the 306th Infantry, 77th Division veteran who liberated it on the Japanese occupied island of Cebu during the last days of conflict in WWII.

Many Japanese soldiers carried flags adorned with poems, words of encouragement, and patriotic phrases from family and peers.  Some were even decorated with artwork.  This flag has not only meaninful writings, but also a stylized depiction of Mount Fuji and a cartoon of an Imperial Japanese soldier.

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29 Responses to “WWII Captured Japanese Battle Flag”

  1. Ed Havrila Says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    The flag is great! Are you selling it?
    Thank you,

  2. Thanks for visiting RallyPointMilitaria.com. This flag is in my personal collection and not for sale.


    Chris Hughes

  3. That’s nice and being able to add some peytance to the item obviously adds to its credibility and value.

    I too have a IJA soldier’s battle flag taken from a fallen soldier on Kwajalein. The veteran that gave it to me gave me some of the background and I’m in the process of getting the Japanese deciphered. He even gave me a picture of himself taken on the island in 1944 holding the flag along with an entire photo album of pictures he took while he was there. He was a SeaBee and the designated correspondent for the SeaBee News so was allotted a camera and typewriter and took many, many pictures of some NSFW content.

  4. Sounds like you have a nice WWII Japanese flag / photograph group! Thanks for reading my article. Hopefully, your flag translation will reveal poignant and sentimental writings.



  5. Dan Boutwell Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 11:32 am

    My father was a Marine on Okinawa. He took this off of the battlefield from a fallen Japanese soldier. I’ve always wanted to know what it says. How is your translation coming? What would you advise me about getting mine translated?


    (see Saturday August 1, 2009 on this page.)

  6. Dan Boutwell Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I’m sorry, I meant see Wednesday July 29th…sorry

  7. Patrick Payne Says:
    June 26th, 2010 at 6:32 am

    We have a similar flag with one column of symbols or writing. How do you go about getting it translating, we have had no luck getting it translated by Japanese scholars.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  8. I posted my flag on the forum http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/index.php in their section on Japanese militaria and someone in the forum was kind enough to translate for me.

  9. I have one as well, which my uncle brought back from the Philippines in 1945. I would love to get the characters translated.

  10. I was able to get assistance with having my flag translated at Wehrmacht Awards

  11. I recently inherited one of these battle flags along with a Rising Sun flag. My late father was a Naval Medic assigned to a division of Marines. He never talked about the war, but I do know that he was on several different islands as well as Japan at the end of the war. The battle flag has both Japanese and English writing on it. What is the value for these? I would consider selling them or may just get them mounted and framed.


  12. The value of a WWII Japanese flags depends on several factors:

    1. Size
    2. Condition
    3. Provenance
    4. Quantity and Quality of writing (poems, personal prayers, etc vs generic or common slogans)
    5. Illustrations (Mt Fuji, tigers, soldiers, etc)

  13. As I continued researching these artifacts, I found several Battle Flags for sale on eBay. Prices ranging from about $100 to $300. In that case, I will get it mounted/framed and display it, as a remembrance of my dad.

  14. As an alternative, there is an organization in Japan that will help find the family of the fallen soldier, and work with you to return the flag to the family. My grandfather returned from Guadalcanal with a few of these battle flags. After a lot of consideration, I have chosen to keep the flag that I inherited, but display it in honor of both brave men.

    This organization can be reached at senbo-peace@senbotsusya.com

  15. how much a japanese sign flag is wourth

  16. Have you ever considered returning the flag to family of ths soldier?

  17. My father passed down a japanese “rising sun” flag that he got in Iwo Jima there is japanese writing on it. its in a fram with no glass or plastic covering it. i want to try and keep it in good condition. i’ve done research trying to find info on preserving and storing old flags and havent found much. i was wondering if anyone could give me tips or direct me to someone who could help. if you have any info you can give me please contact me at lehua_koontz@hotmail.com

  18. I have a meat ball battle flag my great uncle got of tarawa (dd214)with the usmc. it has writing that is coated in blood and sand. i would like it translated and would consider returning it to family if possible. it has been framed and well protected/preserved. from that soldier i also have some of his personal items including his wallet, collar brass and some currency. help wanted!!! Thank You!!!

  19. My grandfather also has one from a platoon of Japanese soldiers that he captured in the Pilippines. I also have a few pictures of him at the end of the War, sitting on the rubble in Hiroshima. It is absolutely an amazing piece of American history! I cannot wait until he passes it down to me so that I can have it matted and framed.

  20. Graham Brown Says:
    February 29th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I am a World war Two Vetran and I brought a japanese battle flag back From Okniawa. When I left they had not started fratizination and they kept the civilians in camps to protect them from the american soldiers. I understand when they did let them out., they started making these flags and selling them to servicemen for souvviners. My flag has two official japanese stamps on it and I have been told that withoute these stamps, they are a fake.

  21. Recently found a Japanese Battle Flag in the family cedar chest and need to know which way is up for framing puposes. It was brought back by my Uncle who was a Marine in WWII. Also found a headband and have not been able to locate any information on it

  22. robert hays Says:
    May 28th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I too have a meat ball flag covered in Japanese writing. Is it possible to know where it was captured from the writing ? I had it framed under glass years ago and it seems to be in excellent condition. It has three tears of about two inches each all the same size in the lower third that look like they may have been made by a bayonet. The tears are surrounded by what appears to be blood stains.

  23. Scott,

    Do you have a pic of this flag you can send me?


  24. Graham,

    Authentic Japanese flags exist without the stamp.


  25. Greg Botman Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I Have One to. Its Signed By The Marines Of Lima Co. 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment 2nd Marine Division. I Want To Sell It But I Have No Idea How Much It Is Worth

  26. Greg Botman Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Saipan, Tinian, Okinawa, Then Occupational Duty In Japan Is On It. Along With My Grandfathers Name And Rank In The Center Of The Meatball. The Other Marines of L.Company Surround It

  27. Sheila Harrison Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    My Dad who served in WWII in the Philippines brought home a Japanese Meatball flag, which he gave me years ago, there is no way I would consider returning to the family of the Japanese soldier after the hell my Dad went through. He passed away in 2010, since then I have had the flag framed by an upscale gallery. And as far as it needing a stamp to be authentic is crazy.

  28. Sounds like a nice looking flag!


  29. Check ebay completed auctions and compare the sold examples with yours. That should give you a ballpark.


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