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Old 03-11-2012, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City area
683 posts, read 1,869,092 times
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I'm a volunteer in the Collections Department at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Washington. We recently received a donation that includes photos taken aboard Japanese submarine I-401 when it was captured by an American crew in August, 1945. Also with the donation is a small reddish wooden box with leather handle. Inside are three 3X3" heavy paper/light cardboard pieces with color drawings of geishas - head and shoulders only.

They were sent by the son of the man who found them on the submarine. He has no info about what they are. We've guessed they might be something like pinup pictures or a version of trading cards but honestly, we have no clue!!

City-Data folks seem to know something about everything, so I hope you can help me find out what these are. Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:25 AM
 
7,104 posts, read 3,054,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindycat View Post
I'm a volunteer in the Collections Department at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Washington. We recently received a donation that includes photos taken aboard Japanese submarine I-401 when it was captured by an American crew in August, 1945. Also with the donation is a small reddish wooden box with leather handle. Inside are three 3X3" heavy paper/light cardboard pieces with color drawings of geishas - head and shoulders only.

They were sent by the son of the man who found them on the submarine. He has no info about what they are. We've guessed they might be something like pinup pictures or a version of trading cards but honestly, we have no clue!!

City-Data folks seem to know something about everything, so I hope you can help me find out what these are. Thanks!

So post the pictures............
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:03 AM
 
2,245 posts, read 3,799,847 times
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Speaking of *** submarines, how did they compare to the typical Gato class?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 8,482,827 times
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IJN coastal RO class were very primitive compared to the Gatos.(The USN DE England sank five of them within a few days interval) IJN fleet I-boats would be comparable to early Gatos in terms of performance but they did not age well as USN ASW improved. Too noisy compared to later USN fleet boats-improved Gatas as in the Balao class. I-boats could not dive as deep or quickly and fire control appears to have been pencil/slide rule as in early war boats. Silhouettes were too high even after the seaplane hanger was removed. Designed for a different type of war and not able to be adapted as other vessels were able to.

Still they torpedoed the Saratoga at least twice, sank the Yorktown, Wasp, Hornet, Liscombe Bay, Indianapolis. Sank more merchantmen than all of the Italian Navy submarines.

I-400 all the negatives of the I-boats but worse due to their size.

IJN did produce the Ha(? going from memory) boat which would be comparable the German coastal electro-boats. Extensive battery for speed or endurance underwater.

All this and more in Submarines of WW2 by Erminio Bagnasco. Great book which covers all the navies of WW2 and a bit of WW1 and interwar. http://www.amazon.com/Submarines-Wor...1562894&sr=8-2

To the OP, I recommend posting at the two most knowledgable sites regarding WW2 naval vessels:

www.steelnavy.com no registering is required as it is an open board.

Or
www.combinedfleet.com whose message board is here: http://propnturret.com/tully/

I believe you have to register for the latter.

Last edited by Felix C; 03-12-2012 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City area
683 posts, read 1,869,092 times
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Here's what I found out about the cards.

They cards were done by Nakahara Junichi .
A short bio:
He lived from 1913-1983. His father died early and he was raised by his mother and two older sisters. He loved making western dolls (French dolls) (thus, big eyes, instead of traditional oriental eyes). In 1928, he entered Japanese Art College and studied Western Art. In 1932 at the age of 19, he held a French-style doll show, which made him famous. He drew/painted cover pictures for SHOJO NO TOMO (Young Girls magazines), post cards, playing cards, posters, greeting cards, etc.

When WWII broke out, his arts (with big western eyes) were considered anti-patriotic and disappered from the stores. But sailor's family members put "Nakahara girl" in his IMON BUKURO (care bag) and sent him off to the war. After the war, in 1946, magagine SOLEIYU ( sunflower) featured Nakahara's arts> and became the biggest seller, giving the war-torn nation a hope. Some of work is show here:

junichi nakahara | Tumblr
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,467,482 times
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Interesting find... so they were basically more subtle Japanese style pinup girls?

I really wish the Navy didn't sink I-400 and I-401 after the war... they would have made incredible museum-ships today.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:03 PM
 
424 posts, read 568,225 times
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Wow, those are really ahead of their time.

How about contacting a university's Asian Studies department or one of the country's larger art museums, because those would be an interesting addition and something worth sharing, especially when we consider how popular manga has been over the past couple decades. Would give people another way of seeing Japan of the 1930s and 40s, too, especially given the contrast between the wartime sub and the big-eyed drawings that became symbolic of a resurrected Japan.
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