Sunday, March 27, 2011

Japanese Prefectural Flag Twins - Tokyo & Gunma: Part 7

Flag of Tokyo

Purple makes an appearance only twice amongst Japanese Prefectural Flags - Gunma and Tokyo. Both symbols have six points. The symbol for Tokyo looks a bit like a ships nautical steering wheel with six points, while six points of Gunma are are the end of the three 'crescent moons.'

Flag of Gunma

The symbol of Tokyo is an artistically modified Chinese Character for "East" which is a mixture of the root icons of "tree" and "sun"... for the rising sun appearing behind the trees in the east. Coincidentally Gunma also uses a kanji in the center of the three 'crescent moons.'

These two flags harmonize on colour and symbolism - accidentally or rather by destiny. There is a Sun on the flag of Tokyo and three moons on Gunma.

Mission Patch for
Akiyama's Historic Journey 1990

The most cosmic coincidence found in any flag pair that I have described can found here. The first Japanese Man to enter space was born in Tokyo, while the first Japanese Woman to venture beyond the wide blue yonder was born in Gunma.

Mukai's Mission Patch 1994
Historic Voyage for Japanese Women

Just as there was a space race to the moon between the USSR and the USA, there was a race to get the first Japanese National in orbit. The first Japanese space explorer was a Cosmonaut. The Soviets won this 'Space Race of National Histories' back in 1990. A Japanese Journalist - Toyohiro Akiyama was the first Japanese person in orbit.

However the first Japanese Woman in space was an Astronaut - Chiaki Mukai . She rode the USS Columbia into the heavens in 1994.

Enlarged Symbol of Gunma's inner Kanji
in the middle of the three 'moons'

Tokyo also has a more popular 'Metropolitan Flag' that is white with light green ginko leaf upon it. The purple Tokyo flag is older and reserved for ceremonial and very important events.


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