Welcome to Fortunes of War Militaria


! 10-21-18 ! Today's additions to the website included a number of Japanese Good Luck Signed Flags, a Japanese Signed Parade Flag in its original carrying bag as well as a fine Off-To-War Banner. Many of these items came from our recent trip to the MAX Show in Monroeville, PA as well as from Japan. FOWM

! 10-19-18 ! I updated the "Good Luck Signed Flag" category of the website today. There are a number of new good luck flags up for perusal; one has quite a few most interesting air service/pilot related slogans on it. This heavily marked flag is visually, a very beautiful example; thank you for having a look. In addition, I added a shrine/temple stamped flag with 8 large red seals placed strategically around the red sun center. Thank you for having a look...and keep those messages coming! FOWM

! 10-7-18 ! Today I added a very nice Japanese pilot's scarf to the "Militaria Consignment" category. The scarf is mine, but since there was no other appropriate category to locate the item, I added it there. I will also be listing a very nice Good Luck Flag that probably belonged to a pilot to the website. It contains numerous, "flying related" and "Defend the Sky!" kinds of slogans. Thanks again to everyone for staying in touch....MB

! 06-19-18 ! I am pleased to announce that Elm Grove Publishing of San Antonio, Texas has agreed to publish my latest book, Battle Carried: Imperial Japanese Tiger Art Good Luck Flags of World War Two . This book is the second in a series that examines the subject of World War Two era Imperial Japanese good luck signed flags. While the premier volume introduced the reader to not only hinomaru yosegaki (good luck flags), and senninbari (one-thousand stitch amulets), this publication covers the specific history, meaning, and cultural context of tiger imagery as it was used to decorate good luck flags. Through an extensive use of color pictures; woodblock prints; and rare vintage photographs, the book provides illustrations along with their English translations of some of the rarest, and most highly sought specimens of tiger art flags. From the aspect of human interest, numerous examples have been identified to their soldier, sailor, or airmen owners. As an iconic concept, practically no other animal served to inspire, motivate, or galvanize the World War Two era Japanese populace behind the Asian ideal of what it meant to be a warrior, than the tiger. More details to follow; stay tuned!

Further Website Details Please note: For those who want to offer their Good Luck Flags, One-Thousand Stitch items or related Japanese World War Two era militaria, please consider us when thinking about a consignment option. Fortunes Of War Militaria may provide exposure for your items to a broad range of collectors. It's a really process! If interested, please contact me here for further details. Regards, Dr. Mike

Welcome to Fortunes of War Militaria! This website is an outgrowth of my interest in the study of Japanese World War Two era military history, and of its material culture. More specifically, we present Japanese good luck signed flags, one-thousand stitch/good luck articles, off-to-war banners, and other items that pertain to Japanese World War Two era military send-off celebrations. In addition, we include post-war G. I. souvenir of service flags, and other flag related items of the period.

As my appreciation of and passion for Japanese good luck signed flags (hinomaru yosegaki) and one-thousand stitch belts (senninbari) grew, I was disappointed by the lack of primary research material available on the subject. That void led me to write the book, Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts released in 2008 by Schiffer Military Books. The publication's release caused a burgeoning of interest among a disparate group consisting mainly of military and art historians, textile aficionados, and militaria collectors. Following this, inquiries and/or the desire to obtain authentic items started to come to me from all over the world. This site developed as a natural progression in the search for genuine items. It is my intention that the goals of the novice as well as the advanced collector will be satisfied.

Michael Bortner

More About Japanese Militaria

The Book
This is the first book of its kind that focuses solely on IMPERIAL JAPANESE GOOD LUCK FLAGS AND ONE-THOUSAND STITCH BELTS and answers many of the questions collectors have.  click for full text

Japanese Good Luck Flags
The World War Two era Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flag was a gift given to a departing soldier, sailor, or airman.  click for full text

One-Thousand Stitch Belt
The Japanese Senninbari, or One-Thousand stitch amulet of protection, evolved in its form over time.  click for full text

Off-To-War Banners
World War Two era off-to-war banners, also known as shussei nobori in Japanese, are quite colorful and come in various sizes.  click for full text

Feature Photo Image Gallery
This vintage wartime photo shows a man posing outside, his "Good Luck Flag" or Hinomaru Yosegaki suspended from a wooden pole. Notice the thick and bold vertical kanji ideograms that characterize this  click for full text


Specialists in:

Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags, One-Thousand Stitch Belts, Banners, Amulets of Protection

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