TYPE: Kimono
CONDITION: in superb shape.
NOTES: Very rare.
REFERENCE EXTERNAL LINKS: How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it.

ITEM ID: 1486
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Tripartite Pact Axis Alliance Kimono

Tripartite Pact Axis Alliance Kimono with Nazi flag and flag of Italy.

Japan is represented by a red star rather than the Rising Sun. This five-pointed star was the symbol of the Hokkaido development commission of the Meiji imperial govt. It is still on the Sapporo beer can.

The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on September 27, 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary November 20, 1940), Romania (November 23,1940), Bulgaria (March1, 1941) and Yugoslavia (March 25, 1941) as well as by the German client state of Slovakia (November 24, 1940). Yugoslavia’s accession provoked a coup d’état in Belgrade two days later. Germany, Italy and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia. The resulting Italo-German client state, known as the Independent State of Croatia, joined the pact on June 15, 1941.

The Tripartite Pact was, together with the Anti-Comintern Pact and the Pact of Steel, one of a number of agreements between Germany, Japan, Italy, and other countries of the Axis Powers governing their relationship.

The Tripartite Pact was directed primarily at the United States. Its practical effects were limited since the Italo-German and Japanese operational theaters were on opposite sides of the world, and the high contracting powers had disparate strategic interests. As such the Axis was only ever a loose alliance. Its defensive clauses were never invoked, and signing the agreement did not oblige its signatories to fight a common war per se.

Scholar Clemens Büttner noted that, “The swastikas on the German flag are inverted, and I also wonder about the green German flag. Was that done for stylistic reasons?”

Scholar Natsue Hayward replied, “Maybe they didn’t know exactly? Swastika was taken from Hinduism and Buddhism symbol.”

Scholar Seba Stian replied, “I believe this is on the right track. The “inverted” Hakenkreuz, i.e. the original Swastika has been used in traditional Japanese Buddhism up to the present day. This mistake therefore becomes very understandable. On the other hand, European people for example are also not always very sensitive about interpreting the meaning of the “spin direction” correctly. There is this story when the British occupying force in Hamburg after the end of the second world war forced the students of Prof. Schubrings Indology seminar to remove all Nazi emblems from the books in the library. Unfortunately they where also forced to remove the Swastika decorations from books of the Indian tradition (i.e. Buddhism, Jainism and so on) simply because the people in charge didn’t know any better.”

Scholar Jann Williams commented, “It’s interesting that Japan is represented by a red star rather than the rising sun. I’ve been reading that pentagrams were worn by Japanese soldiers to ward off evil. This usage is probably different here; the recent military history of Japan is not a subject I’m very familiar with.”

Scholar Kevin Kelly replied, “I believe the five-pointed star was the symbol of the Hokkaido development commission of the Meiji imperial govt. It is still on the Sapporo beer can. I learned that on a trip to Hokkaido.”