Important Kwantung/Kanto Army Off To War "Bedsheet" Banner 0045

This smaller size Off To War Banner is commonly known as a “Bedsheet Banner”. It measures approximately 12.5″ wide X 34.” long and is made from plain white cotton cloth, similar to a bedsheet. All edges of the nobori were folded under and stitched. The lower corner edges were also folded under and stitched at angles (those have come loose), perhaps to accommodate a tassel, or simply to keep the edge neat looking.

The vertical lines of kanji characters say “Enlistment- Kanto Army Infantry. Mr.Sunami Kyoichi”.

According to Wikipedia:

The Kwantung or Kanto Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1919 to 1945.

The Kwantung Army was formed in 1906 as a security force for the Kwantung Leased Territory, and South Manchurian Railway Zone after the Russo-Japanese War, and was expanded into an army group during the interwar period to support Japanese interests in China, Manchuria, and Mongolia. The Kwantung Army became the most prestigious command in the Imperial Japanese Army, and many of its personnel were promoted to high positions in the Japanese military and civil government, including Hideki Tojo and Seishiro Itagaki. The Kwantung Army was largely responsible for the creation of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and was one of the main Japanese fighting forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937.

In August 1945, the Kwantung Army was engaged by Soviet troops during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. The Kwantung Army surrendered to the Soviets the day after the surrender of Japan and was subsequently dissolved. The Kwantung Army was responsible for many of the worst Japanese war crimes during World War Two, including the sponsorship of Unit 731, which performed biological warfare and human experimentation on civilians and prisoners of war.

This rare banner is small but is related to a historically important and named Japanese Army branch.


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