Imperial Japan & Nazi Germany: Axis Badge

Japanese today often like to forget that their nation was allied to perhaps the most vilified figure in recent memory, Adolf Hitler. However, during the war years, Japanese seemed to  be proud of the alliance. A variety of badges, pins, postcards as well as magazine articles were produced to commemorate–and celebrate–the connection between the two countries. Italy, too, was the third country to sign the Tripartite Pact, but the power of Nazy Germany overshadowed Italy.

There are a variety of Axis badges remaining, but they are expensive and highly prized by collectors. I’d like to introduce one here.

obverse

obverse

Above is a hawk, prized in Japan for its militant nature. Below are the flags of Japan and Nazi Germany. And below those flags is an enameled Japanese flag within a life preserver.

The reverse:

reverse

reverse

The faces of Emperor Hirohito (I think–perhaps it is the prime minister), Mussolini, and Hitler decorate the reverse. The inscription reads ‘Japan/Germany Anti-Comintern Pact Commemorative, Showa 11 [1936] November 25th’ and at the bottom ‘with the approval of Italy.’

Again, as with so many of the badges from Imperial Japan, one wonders how these badges were distributed. Since this is a general inscription and a popular-type design, I believe it was a kind of commemorative badge sold in department stores.

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Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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