Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Japanese Prefectural Flag Twins - Shimane & Nigata: Part 9

Flag of Nigata

The flags of Shimane and Nigata make a pair. Their background colours are a similar tint - brownish/red. Both flags have golden emblems that have lobed 'four leafed clovers.' The golden 'four leafed clover' of Shimane is centered and large, but the 'four leafed clover' of Nigata is at a 12:00 o'clock position in a double ringed circle.

Flag of Shimane

Shimane and Nigata are coastal prefectures along the Sea of Japan facing Korea/Mainland Asia. Another geographic harmony is that both prefectures are connected to two sacred 'satellite islands.'

According to Shinto Tradition in the beginning of the world, eight sacred islands fell from the divine spear tip which became the eight scared islands of Japan. This included the three big islands of Honshu, Kysushu, Shikoku, and five smaller islands of Awaji, Sadoshima, Okishima, Ikishima, Tsushima. There are hundreds of smaller islands surrounding the four big islands of Japan, and the chances that two prefectures that align by flags would also align with one of the sacred original eight is quite uncanny. Sado-shima is a part of Nigata Prefecture, while Oki-shima is a part of Shimane Prefecture.

Map of Shimane and Nigata with Sacred Satellite Islands
Two dedicated Naval Commanders of World War II were originate from Shimane and Nigata: Admiral Yamaguchi and Admiral Yamamoto. Admiral Yamamoto was born in Nigata, while Adimiral Yamaguchi hailed from Shimane. Both men were outstanding leaders for their nations. Yamaguchi served his country in the Pacific Campaign and died at the Battle of Midway aboard the aircraft carrier the IJN Hiryu - (Flying Dragon). He was one of Japan's brightest naval commanders and instead of escaping to fight another day he chose to go down with the carrier.

Admiral Yamamoto is the more famous name who helped plan the strike at Pearl Harbor and he was the Commander in Chief of the Imperial Combined Fleet. But after the Battle of Midway, Japan went on the defensive. In 1943 Yamamoto was shot down while in an airplane that crashed in the Northern Solomon Islands.

Coincidentally these men studied abroad in the United States during the 1920s, and at Ivy League Universities. Yamaguchi studied at Princeton University while Yamamoto studied at Harvard. Odd as it may seem Yamaguchi and Yamamoto were both Ivy League alumni.

Yamamoto Right, Yamaguchi Left with Ivy League Arms


CLICK HERE to see a video about Japanese Flag Pairs

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