Imperial Japan Army KIA Next of Kin Badge Document

I showed the KIA badge in my last post. Today I’d like to show the card/document that accompanied the badge.

japanese badge document

The cover shows the name of the badge in the center. To the right is the name of the prefecture stamped in purple (in this case, Niigata Prefecture) and the number of the badge, recorded by the Gunjin Izoku-kai. The number here is 11087. I imagine that if one had access to the Izoku-kai records, the information of each recipient is ordered by the badge number.

In addition, this document has an inscription in pencil that reads ‘Iwafune District, Onnagawa Village.’

Iwafune District had a population of only 7,000 as of 2008, so his village must have been rather small. Onnagawa Village was merged with others in 1954 and has since lost its status as a separate village.

The inside of the four-page document has the other relevant information:

japanese KIA badge

Here is a rough translation of the first page, row by row.

1. Next-of-Kin Soldier Badge, Record of Issue
2. Deceased Army Corporal Oshima Shouji. (mother)
3.  Oshima Yuki [actual recipient of the badge, in this case the mother as noted in the previous line]
4. The person named on the right has been awarded the Next-of-Kin Badge.
5. Showa 19 [1944] February 10th. Ministry of the Army

Note that this date denotes the date of the badge’s issue, not necessarily the date of the soldier’s death

The second page is almost always left blank, perhaps for privacy reasons. There are four columns after the title:

TITLE: Next-of-Kin badge, Record of Departed
1. Date of death
2. Name of departed as well as rank
3. Stamp of City/Town/Village Headmaster
4. Cause of death

On the reverse (not shown) it gives the order of who receives the badge. From the first, widow, children, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, etc. So in this case Oshima had no widow, children, or father, so his mother was awarded the badge.


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