Rare Bullet Proof Vest Packed with Coins-Large Japanese National Flag on the Reverse
This Bullet Proof Vest is made from a heavy, two-ply cotton material. The reverse of the vest has a large-ish (13.” high X 9.” long), silk Japanese National Flag sewn across the shoulders and extending down to the mid-back. Stretching across both sides of the front of the vest, someone has carefully sewn row upon row of coins or metal slugs. Vests similar to this one were made as gifts for the men going overseas and were thought to protect the wearer from harm from a bullet strike. You can imagine the actual physical damage done to the wearer when a bullet hit and/or penetrated the vest! The front is closed by 3 well secured mother of pearl buttons. Stains across the back indicate this was likely worn in the field.
Bullet proof vests were professionally manufactured by companies during the War and those with means often purchased them for their loved ones going overseas. Others made bullet proof vests from high quality materials like this one, and privately gave them to either friends or family members as departure gifts. They are now becoming quite scarce.