Product Description: This is a very attractive and near-perfect example of a silk Japanese flag. It is a textbook pre-1945 production piece, made of typical silk, with a printed red sun disk. It’s a perfect display size, 27 by 32 inches. On the hoist end, the small gold-colored corner reinforcements remain intact, with a couple of holes from having been flown at one point. The overall condition of this silk Japanese flag is excellent. There are a few areas of minor yellowing, and some extremely light soiling, but no holes, major stains or other damage. The red color of the sun disk remains vibrant, giving this a striking appearance. There are the expected creases from having been folded for decades. This silk Japanese flag is a great representative example, that makes for an eye-catching display.
Historical Description: The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner with a red disk at the center, representing the sun. It is most commonly known in Japan as “Hinomaru,” the Circle of the Sun. The first historical reference to this flag was in the year 701; the oldest surviving example predates the 16th century. Starting with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the Hinomaru flag became an important patriotic symbol, and in 1870 it became the national flag used by the Imperial Navy and by merchant ships. The Navy also used, as its ensign and war flag, a version of the sun flag, called the Rising Sun flag, that featured 16 red rays emanating from the central disk. Both the Hinomaru sun flag, and the Rising Sun flag, were very important in Imperial Japan and during World War 2. Soldiers were traditionally given signed examples of the Hinomaru flag bearing the signatures of friends and family, along with short patriotic messages wishing them luck. After WWII, use of the traditional Japanese flags was restricted, though these restrictions were later eased. Japanese flags were eagerly collected souvenirs for American servicemen in the Pacific, and genuine wartime examples remain very collectible today.
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