Japanese flag from December 7th 1941
20 November 2022
Description

It’s a Japanese flag that, according to my stepfather, was removed from the body of Lt. Takeshi Hirano, the pilot of a Japanese Zero that (with 307 others) Participated in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, 1941. My stepfather was a military survivor and was attached to “Fort Kam.,” and also the Motor Pool at the time. This becomes important because this is the spot where Lt. Hirano, after strafing nearby Hickam Field, misjudged the distance and slammed into the ground (killing himself instantly) and coming to rest against the side of Fort Kam., adjacent to the Motor Pool. According to my stepfather, he (and others) took items from the cockpit of the plane, to include this flag. The blood of the pilot is clearly visible, as is grease from the plane. I’ve tried to have the flag translated, but as Japanese has changed over time I was not successful. I would like to know if the pilot’s name is on the flag, or if it’s possible to tell the origin, authenticity, and value, if possible.

Dimensions

24 1/2" x 30"

Provenance

It’s a Japanese flag that, according to my stepfather, was removed from the body of Lt. Takeshi Hirano, the pilot of a Japanese Zero that (with 307 others) Participated in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, 1941. My stepfather was a military survivor and was attached to “Fort Kam.,” and also the Motor Pool at the time. This becomes important because this is the spot where Lt. Hirano, after strafing nearby Hickam Field, misjudged the distance and slammed into the ground (killing himself instantly) and coming to rest against the side of Fort Kam., adjacent to the Motor Pool. According to my stepfather, he (and others) took items from the cockpit of the plane, to include this flag. The blood of the pilot is clearly visible, as is grease from the plane. I’ve tried to have the flag translated, but as Japanese has changed over time I was not successful. I would like to know if the pilot’s name is on the flag, or if it’s possible to tell the origin, authenticity, and value, if possible.

Acquired from
Inherited
For sale
Maybe
Answered within 2 days
By George O
Nov 22, 21:35 UTC
Fair Market Value
$2,000 - $4,000 USD
Suggested Asking Price $3,000 USD
What does this mean?

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry.
The presented object appears to be a WWII Imperial Japanese flag with a measurement of 24 1/2" x 30". The flag could be made from silk or cotton. It is written with text in Kanji characters. These are two longer texts and not signatures of the members of a military unit. These are probably two poems, prayers, or patriotic texts. Such flags which were taken as trophies by GIs were recently offered and sold on the international auction market.
The provenance of Pearl Harbour
This piece is in good condition and no severe damage is visible in the images provided.
A fair market estimation would be between 2.000 to 4.000 USD if the provenance to the battle of Pearl Harbour could be trackable. Usually, such flags which are not connected to famous persons or battles sell for around 200 to 400 USD.
This estimate is based on actual recent past recorded auction sales of comparable items. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and may vary.

With kind regards,
George

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