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1928 Japanese Army Minister Shell Casing Presentation
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The shell casing was given a decorative fluted top edge and it was nicely inscribed with gold kanji, which reads"As eternal as heaven and earth" and "Winter of 1928". The kanji also states "Calligraphy by Army Minister Shiragawa Yoshinori". Shiragawa was born into a Samurai Class family in 1869. He graduated from the first class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1890. He was promoted to full general in March 1925, and he subsequently served on the Supreme War Council from 19261932, serving as Minister of War from 19271929. In 1932 he was made commander of the Shanghai Expeditionary Army but, after only two months in command, he was killed as a result of a bomb that had been set by an activist in the Korean Independence movement. The casing is approximately 9 inches tall with a base diameter of approximately 3 5/8 inches, or 90 millimeters. The casing is in dark, uncleaned and unpolished brass, with some age verdigris around the base and on the bottom. The primer plug remains in the base of the casing. The top was decoratively fluted, creating an article that was likely intended to be used as a vase for flowers (cherry blossoms would be the logical choice). It's not know what would have merited the presentation of the piece, but it must have been something extraordinary.