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Japanese World War Two Relics

August 31, 2011
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While it’s interesting to see American war relics, it’s utterly fascinating to see Japanese stuff.

The Pacific War Musem, a private operation on Guam, has some of the best WWII ephemera I’ve seen.  It’s well laid out with an entire wing devoted to the Japanese.

Beside the usual collection of armament, they had a large collection of the bits and pieces of a Japanese soldier’s life.

I got a huge kick out of this landing craft control – labeling in both Japanese and English.

I guess they wanted to make it easy on us when we overran their defenses.  Hop in, read the controls and drive.

One of the interesting parts of this museum was the color commentary which came with each piece – where it was used, how it was obtained, etc.  In some instances, the people killed by a specific weapon – or operating a specific weapon – were mentioned in the display.  This made the war much more immediate and real than a simple set of specs.

There was a display of Japanese POW art, also.

They were touching in a way.  Human nature is to demonize an adversary; these paintings on bedsheets tell a different story.

Japanese POW artwork surprised me.

That being said, the stuff I like is mechanical in origin, preferably with a motor – or previously attached to something with a motor.

The highlight of the museum for me?  Easy.

The remnants of a Japanese light bomber, pulled from the jungle of Guam about 18 months ago.  The plane did not auger in when shot down, rather it had a dead stick crash landing which spared most of it from major damage.

The rest of the plane is still in the jungle, awaiting recovery.

Holes and tears in the fuselage bear witness to its demise.

It’s items as this which give me chills.  Real history – not from a book.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2011 12:13 pm

    Awesome displays of wartime stuff, Chuck.
    Of course, I am a guns-and-airplanes kinda’ guy.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Greg P. In WV, where the only relics we have are cars parked in from of mobile homes…

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 31, 2011 4:55 pm

      Thanks! But wait! If you keep reading the blog, they’ll be more!

  2. Jennifer permalink
    November 3, 2011 10:58 am

    I have about 8 pieces of POW art from Guam. Any idea on how to find the value on them? My husband’s grandfather was a guard and traded cigarettes for the artwork. Several are very large. One of the smaller pieces is signed by I.I. Sobe. I haven’t been able to find out anything else about these. Thankfully my husband’s grandfather is still alive to give me the stories behind each piece.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      November 3, 2011 3:27 pm

      Jennifer –

      Thanks for writing in.

      As with any antique or collectible, value is a combination of supply and demand. I did a little research, and there does not appear to be much of a market for Japanese POW art. I don’t know if it has a following in Japan, as soldiers were expected to die with honor; 18,040 died on Guam alone. The only publid sale of POW art that I could find was a set of five going for $150 – they went fast, so at $30 a piece, I’m guessing the price was low. Best bet would be to contact Bruce Herman at and ask him. I’d be curious myself, as this was art conceived and executed during a time of great pain for the artist.

  3. lewis sexton permalink
    May 27, 2013 11:35 am

    Hi. A few years back I found a WWII chest that had 2 maps folded in a 48 state US FLAG. 1 is Japanese the other is a map drawn in pencil Very detailed. Both maps are of the island of Saipan
    I have never found a copy in any book or web site of these maps. I’m looking for help on what I can do with them. They should be seen. Please get back to me thank you for reading.
    Lewis sexton

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      May 27, 2013 11:38 am

      I can check with my friends on Guam and get back to you.

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