Japanese flag in Monroe County may be repatriated

By Rex Wilgus/Monroe Journal

AMORY – Military historian David Trojan was visiting the Amory Regional Museum recently when he noticed a Japanese flag in one of the displays with writing on it. Upon further investigation, it turns out the flag is authentic and was given to Mr. Husaji Kogure by his family, friends and others before his deployment in the army, estimated at 1944 or 1945.

Trojan, who is from Columbus, and Amory Regional Museum Bo Miller have been in contact with the Japanese embassy to see about returning the flag to Kogure’s family.

Trojan, who is retired from the US Navy, spent about two years in Japan.

“I have friends there that I contacted to have the writing translated,” he said. “We found out the man’s name and what some of the writing says.”

He said it was a Japanese warrior tradition to give a soldier a flag before battle.

“In the US, we have a tradition of forgiving,” he said. “We like to return things like this. Not all countries are that way, but we are.”

Miller said the flag was donated to the library in 1976 and has been on display ever since.

“I’ve contacted the Japanese embassy in Washington to see about getting it back to the man’s family,” he said.

The family may or may not want it back, he added. As well, it may not be possible to find the man’s family.

The flag is made of silk.

In Japanese culture, it is not considered improper to write on a flag.

Click video to hear audio