Boy’s kimono with lucky thread balls (temari) and bullets


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Young boys are depicted with army helmets, some of them are sitting on large-sized temari, lucky thread balls that Japanese mothers traditionally make for their daughters as New Year’s gifts. The characters on the chests of the boys carrying the Japanese flag read “shingun”, which loosely translates to “God’s Army” but its meaning is more nuanced – “divine, celestial, fantastic, imperial”- referring to the forces of the Mikado, the Emperor. The standing figures whose outfits depict fighter planes carry the flag of Manchukuo. All these cherubic warriors are shown against an endlessly repeating background of red, blue, and white bullets.

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