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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was reading the Sunday paper for the Pittsburgh area today and stumbled upon an article about a granddaughter of a WWII vet who got in touch with the Obon Society. This is a non-profit group out of Oregon, I believe, whose only goal is to return Japanese flags/banners back to Japan to family members (or vets). They have helped hundreds of people (including this lady) it seems since its inception. I was wondering if anyone has dealt with them before. I’d hate to send them my flag and never get it back if they can’t track the family members down.
Anyone ever returned anything in their collection before or have a similar story or advice?

-Travis
 

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I am curious about this as well. I bought a Hinomaru Yosegaki for my sister's bday and want to let her know about this option in case she wants to attempt o return it.

I remember reading something about it awhile back and I believe they are only successful a fraction of the time.
 

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They have an interesting site, but they really don't say what happens to flags that can't be returned to a Japanese family. The Yasakuni Shrine would seem to be the logical place for these, but who knows? I have two of these flags, and I've thought of this, too.
 

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I read a story where a flag was returned to a nephew of the vet. A week later he had it for sale on Ebay.

Exactly !

No way in hell would I return any military artifact that our men fought and died for. It's called SPOILS OF WAR and it has been around since the time of the Romans and Carthaginians.

Some of these organizations might be profiting off items they cant return to their rightful owners.


This whole repatriation idea is about as lame as the do gooders who want to return General Santana's wooden leg to Mexico.............ask any true Texan how they would feel about that.
 

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Exactly !

No way in hell would I return any military artifact that our men fought and died for. It's called SPOILS OF WAR and it has been around since the time of the Romans and Carthaginians.

Some of these organizations might be profiting off items they cant return to their rightful owners.


This whole repatriation idea is about as lame as the do gooders who want to return General Santana's wooden leg to Mexico.............ask any true Texan how they would feel about that.
+1

We live in a world where guilt is a form of currency, the guiltyer we feel the more we give regardless of how little it makes sense.

Rod
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree, somewhat with the "Spoils of war go to the victor" mindset, but I try to look at every situation from both perspectives. Both sides had fighting soldiers that fought for what they believe in. If my family member got killed and I had the chance to reunite with his belongings It would mean a lot to me.

Anyway, I have decided to keep my flag and not give it to this society. They want the flag in hand (pics wont do) and they do not give it back if they cannot find family members. Even this would be OK if they found owners for most of their flags, but this simply is not the case. Finding living relatives with minimal information is extremely difficult. I say the risk/reward factor is just not there (I guess it is there for them though!).
 

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If it is true that their agenda is to make owning these flags illegal, then I want nothing to do with them. The fact that they will not return them seems to bear this out.
x2,

It begs the question of what they are doing with flags they cannot return. Are they destroying them or selling them ?

As to making them "illegal" I guess I don't understand that, (because it has somebody's name on it ? ), if that is the case, that (in their minds) could extend out to other items later on, that bear individuals names on them.
 

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Have the Japanese ever returned anything they took off captured or dead allied soldiers ? Lets start there 1st.


This giving stuff back really irks me, considering that Japan ATTACKED us. I'm supposed to feel guilty for their mistake, and give back something my great uncles brought home as souvenirs ?............to that I say B S !
 

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The majority of the items we collect came to us from the surrender at the end of the war. Most of those troops went home. If a weapon or other item came with a meaningful story of a soldier or sailor who died during the war and the story might give the family who lost him some solace, then it MIGHT be worth pursuing. But that is not the case for 99.99% of the items we collect. Add to that that the sons and daughters, who would really be the only people living that such an act would matter to are in their 70's now, if alive. Most likely, items would be returning to grandchildren, at best, and distant relatives, who like the ebay example, have no emotional ties to the original soldier. All in all, I'd say not worth the effort

There are great stories of pilots who have found and become dear friends with an enemy pilot who they fought in the war (An America & German, and an American & N. Vietnamese). Efforts like these have true meaning for those involved.
 
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