Arawasi contest #8

Monday, 30 April 2012


Last month, right after we put up on our blog our series of articles regarding the Hinomaru, the national marking of Japan, there was immediately a negative reaction in a certain message board. It seems that some did not read what we wrote but chose to troll and growl for omissions or "mistakes" that they think we made. Clearly some consider the internet as a big classroom, and themselves as teachers correcting other people's work. "The eyes are open the mouth moves, but Mr Brain has long since departed" - Blackadder

In the previous parts of the series we provided evidence of how and when the Hinomaru was adopted as the national marking. The photo below shows another accident involving a Maurice-Farman with hinomaru. It happened in March 1916 in Shiba, Tokyo and the pilots Tongu and Abe unfortunately did not survive. Another proof that the Hinomaru was adopted as the national marking as early as 1916.

We also tried to explain what the star and other markings might signify. Our main focus was to provide as much evidence as possible to disprove the earlier notion that the star was an early IJAAF marking. A new and rather ridiculous suggestion was made that the IJAAF was "trying" something. So let’s phrase what a certain "researcher" fantasizes: Japan had adopted the Hinomaru as a national marking by 1916. Quoting D. Thorpe: "The Hinomaru…has a deep-seated significance to the Japanese, being of divine origin and implications." But suddenly and for no apparent reason other than to stick it to the Navy or to "try something", they started painting some of the planes with a star in a white circular background. But then they realized that this marking was exactly the same with the one the Bolsheviks had adopted so they said  "chiksho / damn" and went back and painted their planes with the original Hinomaru. Sounds plausible?

It seems that in our previous article a significant detail went unnoticed so allow us this time to quote directly from Putnam’s "Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941" p.10:
"The Army was the first to initiate a modernization programme with the purchase of war-surplus Nieuport and SPAD fighter aircraft in April 1918."
This means that the aircraft the Japanese imported from France were not all brand new and many of them already carried various markings, insignia and some even camouflage.
In part #2 we showed a photo of a Nieuport 81 with what looks like ex-White Russian roundels. Here we include a close-up in the serial number to help French aircraft experts identify it.

Here’s another photo, this time of a camouflaged Salmson 2A2 with French tail markings and colors (blue, white, red) . (Perhaps French national colors was something else the IJAAF tried!)

Before we move to the next part of this series we would like to include another extremely interesting photo. The Nieuports and other old Army aircraft, once they were replaced with new aircraft and modern types, were given to civilian schools. In this photo of a camouflaged Nieuport an Iron Cross is prominent under the top wing. Highly unlikely a civilian school to paint such an insignia so perhaps IJAAF was trying German markings too! More on this particular aircraft in the following part.

Our conclusion was that at least some of the aircraft imported from France were intended to be exported to Russia and were diverted to Japan. This was taken to mean the star marking aircraft. We were actually talking about the planes with the White Russia roundel. But ofcourse on message boards where there is constant censorship and whoever disagrees with the owner is banned, as the members of this blog are, serious discussion is wanting.
  As can be seen in pt#2 and #2b, the French aircraft that were exported to Japan, arrived with a variety of markings indicating previous owners. We believe that it's incorrect to isolate the star as an early IJAAF marking and we also believe that the definitive answer regarding all these markings is probably somewhere in the French archives where the origin of the aircraft exported to Japan is recorded.
  We still hope to hear criticism, suggestions and your thoughts and contributions to this very interesting subject in a friendly and constructive manner.

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