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160902-0003 - Soldier with Signal Flags


Outside Meiji 1900s Unknown

Drawing of a Japanese soldier with semaphore signal flags (手旗信号) representing the letter A or number 1 standing in front of a military pontoon bridge (仮橋).

The Japanese flag semaphore system was adapted to the Japanese language. Because the Japanese writing system has about twice as many characters as the Latin alphabet, most characters take two to three flag displays to complete.

The display motions do not follow the rotary dial system used for the Latin alphabet but represent the angles of the brush strokes used in writing the katakana syllabary.

From a series of military life printed by the Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (凸版印刷株式会社印行) for the secretariat of the Minister of War (陸軍大臣官房).

Kjeld Duits Collection
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Imperial Japanese Army, Military Life Series, Toppan Printing, armed forces, art, boats, bridges, conflict, infantry, military, military equipment, people, semaphore, signal flags, soldiers, uniforms, unrest, war
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