1940 Japanese Ship Launching Commemorative Paperweight

The most common ship-launching ceremony commemorative items are certainly postcards. They are small, inexpensive, useful, and therefore popular items. They sell well. Other items were available for purchase (or were perhaps given to participants) as well, including bottles, sake cups, paperweights, etc. Today I’ll show you a paperweight I found recently.

This commemorates the completion of a WW2 commercial ship. The inside label shows detailed specs of the ship, and the box is labeled ‘Japan/China Commercial Vessel, Kobe-maru Completion Commemorative, East Asia Ocean Transport Corporation.’ The paperweight is inscribed ‘Japan/China Commercial Vessel, Kobe-maru Completion Commemorative, East Asia Ocean Transport Corporation, Showa 15 [1940].’

This transport company was established in 1938. The Kobe-maru had a very short career. She was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki and launched  in June 1940. On a commercial trip between Nagasaki and Shanghai (300 km east of Shanghai, 31 ° 27’N/124 ° 24’E), she collided with a Japanese mail transport ship and sunk within 30 minutes. 875 people were aboard. 80 passengers and 15 crewmen perished.

Here are the two paper labels:

And here are close-ups of the inscriptions on the paperweight:

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Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 2:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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