*** World War II Japan home front care packages for soldiers at the friont

World War II: Japanese Home Front--Care Packages for Soldiers at the Front

World War II Japan care packages
Figure 1.--Here we see Japanese girls working on care packages including rag dolls for soldiers at the front. Thy were seen as a kind of talisman. Notice the mesage sashes.

Japanese civilians during World War II prepared packages for servicemen in the far-flung empire Japan conquered during the first 6-monhs of he Pacific War. This may have also been the case for the war in China, but we know it occurred during the Pacific War. Unfortunately, we have not been able go find much information about these packages. And given the huge logistical problems Japan faced we are not sure to what extent they were delivered. We also are not sure what they included. We do not know if they included food which was what many of the soldiers needed most. We believed they included headbands (hachimaki 鉢巻), a symbol of effort or courage. There might be a post card with an encouraging note thanking them for their service and devotion to the emperor. These objects might be signed by family and friends. We also note rag dolls being sent as kind if talisman (figure 1). Another item might be a senninbari (千人針, 'thousand person stitches') -- a belt or ornamental strip of cloth stitched 1,000 times and given as a Shinto amulet. We also see sandals. Perhaps even some of carp wind socks/banners we see on the previous page. One image shows a pile of these packages wrapped in white paper for delivery. And were an elongated uniform size. We note these packages being referred to as care packages, but this may because of the American CARE packages sent to people in Europe and Japan after the War. We do not know what the Japanese term was. These packages were prepared by families for their loved ones, but we also notice organized groups (both women and school children) preparing these packages to be sent to service men in general as a morale booster. We have no idea how the recipient were chosen. Thus would have all bee early in the War, because by late 1943 the Japanese logistical system began to break down as American submarines began to destroy the Japanese merchant fleet. Mail services also were affected.


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Created: 1:09 PM 6/3/2024
Last updated: 1:09 PM 6/3/2024