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Named WWII Japanese Army Haversack / Reconstruction Use
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A very interesting World War II Japanese Army haversack. The bag shows typical signs of carrying and use in the field. Embroidered in kanji on the shoulder strap is the name and number of the soldier who carried the bag: "Matsuda 8-2-3-2". Additionally, written in ink in Japanese on the bag's shoulder strap is "Mitsuo Matsuda City Public Junior High School". The name of "Mitsuo Matsuda" is also written on the bag cover, but in stylized English language lettering, and it is written under the cover as well. It seems that Mitsuo Matsuda's father carried this haversack as a soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War and brought it home with him when the war ended. Later, when Mitsuo Matsuda began attending school, he was given his father's wartime Army haversack to use, most likely as a book bag. The inked notations were then added to the shoulder strap to identify the boy by his full name and his school. The lad's full name was also written on the bag cover, but this time in English, the language of the American military forces that were then occupying Japan. The end of the war brought the period of reconstruction in Japan, and the Japanese people made numerous changes to their lifestyle and culture to adapt to the American military occupation. The widespread learning of English was one of those changes, and the Matsuda "Army haversack and civilian school book bag" reflects a period in Japanese history that spanned both the Second World War and the reconstruction of the nation in the wake of military defeat.