2009年02月18日

A JAPANESE NEWSPAPER "IWATE NIPPO" (EVENING ISSUE) ON JANUARY 5.2005.


[Homecoming of flag as article left by departed for the first time in 60 years.]

Mr.Seiji Ito was born in Miyako, he died in battle (23 years old), in Borneo, Indonesia, just before the end of the Second World War. He was dispatched to the battlefield with a flag of the rising sun, and it returned to Japan 60years after the end of the war. Yesterday it was announced at the Miyako branch of Kita-Nippon Bank which belongs to the departed's office, and the persons concerned offered the prayer of repose of souls. The flag had been kept for a long time in Australia. In September 2004, it was returned to the bereaved family who live in Saitama. The article left by the departed which followed unfortunate fate arrived a peaceful hometown at last.

A writer Mr.Yasuhiko Kambe (38 years old, birth in Miyako, and living in Saitama) as the grandson of Mr.Saiji Ito (an elder brother of Mr.Seiji Ito) brought the flag to the branch, saying "I feel the departed wants to express his thanks and respect for the office which was indebted."

The flag is about 70 centimetre in height, and about 80 centimetre in width. It is written as "Long live Seiji Ito" at the lower right and "Iwate Mujin" (former Kita-Nippon Bank) at the right shoulder. The autographs for Mr. Seiji Ito by the officers of the day are surrounded the sun on the flag. All are clear hand, for example, the characters wrote as "Be brave" tell the strong belief of his safe return.

"I hear this flag was made of very high-quality silk, and it was in short supply when he was dispatched troops in 1943. Probably, the bank prepared it for him specially, and that was great consideration," Mr.Kambe said with his gratitude.

"I guess our officers of the day gave this flag with the pray of the safety for a promising youth. And I feel now a strong bond made the homecoming which passes considerably after the end of the war," the manager of the branch Mr.Kouji Ito said holding the flag.

The flag was found by an Australian soldier who fought against Japanese forces in Borneo, it had been kept by the Epping RSL in Sydney for a long time after the war. And it had been sat among their collection of memorabilia.

In November 1998, the relation of Mr.Seiji Ito and the flag had became clear by our report and the efforts of persons concerned. Mr.Kambe visited Australia in 2000, and he saw the real flag and has begun to exchange with the officers of the Epping RSL then. Last year, they accepted the demand for the return of it, and he visited Australia again to receive it in September.

"The return and homecoming was realized by a lot of favours. And in the day which I arrived with this flag in Miyako, I relieved and said automatically--the long dispatch for him is all over," Mr.Kambe said.

The flag will be kept by Mr. Kambe in the future. "This is my granduncle's keepsake and very important. This year is the turning point just for 60 years after the end of the war. I want to go on appealing the value of peace with this flag from now on," he said.

0501054.jpg
Photo: Mr.Yasuhiko Kambe (left) and the manager of the branch Mr.Kouji Ito, they held the flag. It tells us the value of peace 60 years after the end of the war.


Copyright(c)2005, IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Notice: This report was translated by Yasuhiko Kambe without IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD. If you want to see the real it (scanning image, written in Japanese), please click here.
posted by Yasuhiko Kambe at 22:37| Comment(0) | Iwate Nippo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

A JAPANESE NEWSPAPER "IWATE NIPPO" ON DECEMBER 9.1998, A SERIAL COLUMN "LAUGH AND WEEP BY REPORTERS IN 1998 (9TH)"


[Tragic story of war is handed down from age to age,--Making sure of flag of rising sun in Miyako.]

On November 18, we reported that the Australian veterans were searching the owner of a flag of the rising sun. We already had a telephone call on that day. "The relatives of Mr.Seiji Ito who was written on that flag are in Miyako now,"--a former local civil servant Mr.Taichi Saito (69 years old) called us. And then I visited a sister-in-law Ms.Ume Ito (83 years old) with Mr.Saito after I called her.

A room of her house was hung with a portrait of the late Mr.Seiji Ito who was in naval uniform. "He died in war in Borneo, Indonesia. The islands were a hard-fought field against the Australian forces," Mr.Saito said with his data then. And he surprisingly explained the informations of Mr.Seiji Ito in detail.

I heard then that the bereaved family of Mr.Seiji Ito received only an official report of casualty in war after he was dipatched in 1943. The explanation by Mr.Saito filled the long blank for Mr.Seiji and moved her to tears. It seemed to me that she relieved by the unexpected finding out of the flag as his keepsake.

Then Mr.Saito gave me a book which he wrote, "This present is instead of my name card," he said. The theme of it is casualties in war. "War is no romance. We never must forget the casualties," he wrote so in the preface to the book. It told his appeal of the misery of war and appeared his determination.

The Australian veterans hope to return the flag while they have kept it for years. A historian researches into casualties in war. And the bereaved family keep on holding their memorial service for 50 years after the war, --I felt then that each sincere way of life seemed to linked.

On the next day we reported the finding out of the owner of the flag, we received a fax from a granddaughter (living in Tokyo) of Ms.Ume Ito. The granddaughter watched the report on our website, and she saw that her relative has been moved by the flag.

"I often heard the story of Mr.Seiji when I went to Miyako in my childhood. I still remember that I heard it with a deep impression then," she wrote. The young generation will hand down the gravity of war by new media from age to age.

(Written by Kei Fujiwara, the manager of the Miyako branch.)


Copyright(c)2005, IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Notice: This column was translated by Yasuhiko Kambe without IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD.
posted by Yasuhiko Kambe at 22:23| Comment(0) | Iwate Nippo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

A JAPANESE NEWSPAPER "IWATE NIPPO" ON NOVEMBER 19.1998


[It was proved that "Mr.Ito" of flag of rising sun is Mr.Seiji who was born in Miyako.]

Yesterday it was proved that the owner of a flag of the rising sun which an Australian veterans association in Sydney have kept is Mr.Seiji Ito who was born in Miyako City. And he brought it when he was drafted in 1943, but he died in war, Borneo, Indonesia, just before the end of the war. A sister-in-law Ms.Ume Ito (83 years old) lives in Miyako City now, and she waits for the return of it for the first time in 55 years." Although his body and bone did not return to home, his keepsake is unexpectedly found. I relieve now," she said.

A former local civil servant Mr.Taichi Saito (69 years old, living in Miyako City) read our report of the search for Mr.Seiji Ito yesterday, and he identified that person is Mr.Seiji Ito. He found out by his data of the soldiers who were drafted from Miyako for his historical reseach of war (he had ordered the data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, etc) that Mr.Seiji Ito was the second son of the late Mr.Uhachi Ito.

And then he contacted to Mr.Ito's bereaved family in the afternoon yesterday, a sister-in-law Ms.Ume Ito made sure of it. "The person is infallibly Seiji Ito. We received only an official report of casualty in war--according to the report, he died on August 3, 1945--, with several of hair and sand. I feel the long blank for him is filled now," she said with deep motion. Although Mr.Seiji had the elder brother and the younger brother, both already passed away.

"The proof in which Seiji lived appears for the first time in a half-century, and I am with deep emotion now," the Ume's eldest daughter Ms.Masako Yokoyama (60 years old) said. "Japan and Australia fought in Borneo. I guess an Australian soldier kept carefully the flag across countries," also Mr.Saito who had visited Ms.Ume Ito said imaging of the journey of the flag.

Mr.Seiji Ito was born on July 11.1922. He joined "Iwate Mujin"(former Kita-Nippon Bank) in 1939, after he graduated from a youth school. In June 1943, he joined the Yokosuka marine corps by draft, and he went to the battlefield three months later. There are the characters "Iwate Mujin" on the flag, and the coworkers of the bank wrote their words of best wishes for him on it when he was drafted.

The search for Mr.Seiji Ito was begun by Ms.Fusae Harada (the executive director of the educational foundation "ICET", in Sydney), since she was consulted about the flag with a member of an Australian veteran association in Sydney. And then she asked for cooperation the Morioka Central Private High School what will begin the studying abroad by the support of "ICET".

"I am very glad that it was proved the bereaved family of the owner of the flag. Next year, our students will study in the high school in Sydney in January. We will can keep it instead of the bereaved family because our teachers will go together then. And we will want to cooperate if it may be able to help," the assistant principal of the high school Mr.Yoshikazu Nakada said.

"The bereaved family of the flag was found, and that is really good. I was not able to remember him, but the Australian people had kept it well for a long time. I thank them so much now," An once coworker Mr.Seizo Murai (95 years old, living in Morioka City) said with his emotion, and he wrote his words of best wishes on the flag.


Copyright(c)2005, IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Notice: This report was translated by Yasuhiko Kambe without IWATE NIPPO CO., LTD. If you want to see the real it (scanning image, written in Japanese), please click here.
posted by Yasuhiko Kambe at 20:31| Comment(0) | Iwate Nippo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
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