The Japanese silk prayer flag was carried by almost every Japanese
soldier in WWII.
The Japanese prayer flag was a common spoil of War trophy captured by
a US soldier in the South Pacific in 1942-1944 because they were made by
the hundreds of thousands and they fit into your pocket.
These signed flags were farewell presents and the text is like
signatures on a “best wishes” card, like you might give to a departing
employee. They are called prayer” flags only because the word
“prayer” is synonymous with “best wished”, wishing the soldier
everlasting fortune in their battle against the American imperialists
(the Yankee “Gaijin”).
In sum, Japanese prayer flags were a Bon
Voyage souvenir, carried by hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers
These signed Japanese flags are properly called
Yosegaki flags. Yosegaki means “gathered writing” in Japanese.
When the Kanji appears on the Japanese red dot national flag (the rising
sun, or “meatball” flag), the prayer flag is properly called Hinomaru
(sun orb flag) Yosegaki. The large signature is often soldier’s
Original WWII Prayer flags always show
signs of wear
Traditionally, the Yosegaki was given by family when soldiers went to
An original WWII prayer flag in excellent condition
has a 2010 value of $200. Beware of fake Japanese prayer flags.
A real Japanese prayer flag will have fixing and holes because it is 70