A Large World War II Period Imperial Japanese ‘Meatball’ Good Luck Prayer Flag c.1935


Origin: Japanese
Period: Mid-Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1935-40
Height: 28.75 inches
Width: 42.5 inches

The good luck in battle praying flag army with leather applied corners and fabric cords, signed in black ink with the names of the soldiers and good luck idioms for the soldiers such as devotion, bravery and loyalty survives from World War II period Japan.

Wonderfully tactile and soft to the touch there is much discolouring with red staining on the white areas as well as dark staining there are several fairly small holes only a few millimetres in size, a couple of which can be found within the red circle, the corner leather sections and cords largely intact. The flag would look superb framed.

The Good Luck Flag, known as hinomaru yosegaki 日の丸寄せ書き in the Japanese language, was a traditional gift for Japanese servicemen deployed during the military campaigns of the Empire of Japan, though most notably during World War II. The flag given to a soldier was a national flag signed by friends and family, often with short messages wishing the soldier victory, safety, and good luck.

Whether hung or framed this is a wonderfully evocative artifact of military history from the land of the rising sun.