The accompanying document has the name of the badge on the cover. Here is a
translation of the rows:
1. Niigata [Prefecture, stamped in purple. These were usually stamped with a
prefecture name, which indicates where the soldier was from]
2. Document #11087
3. War-Bereaved Badge, Record of Issue
4. Iwafune District, Onnagawa Village. [in pencil]
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.
And here is a rough translation of the first page, row by row.
1. War-Bereaved 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
4. The person named on the right has been awarded the War-Bereaved Badge.
5. Showa 19  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. There are four columns after the title:
TITLE: War-Bereaved 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 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.
On the left: KIA badge given to bereaved family.
On the right: Yasukuni KIA enshrinement badge. Given to the attendees when their loved ones were
enshrined. The numbers can be matched to the Yasukuni record books (published twice a year through
the war years) and then the recipient's name and hometown can be established. These books are
somewhat hard to find.
Above the two registration numbers is the date. This one says Showa 14  Spring.
The enshrinement ceremonies were held twice a year, in spring and autumn.
The cherry blossom badge itself is aluminum.
War-Bereaved badge. These were given to the next of kin when a soldier died on the battlefield or when he died from a
sickness or injury when a soldier. However, in the latter cases, the badge could only be received when the soldier died
within 3 years of his sickness or injury.
The obverse has a cherry blossom with pebbled background on a plain blossom shape. The reverse is plain, inscribed
The metal may be silver. Established in August 1931 by the War-Bereaved Association.
This is an interesting example because the case is cardboard, not the usual paulonia wood. The box inscription
matches the badge so it is an original box. Although I'm not sure, perhaps this was a late-war issue when they were
trying to cut costs.
The interior is the same as the wood box: yellow felt bottom with metal hook from which the pin is suspended.
The KIA badge was awarded by the government-sponsored Izoku-kai. This group was under the auspices
of the Ministry of Welfare. In addition to the badge, the war-bereaved family received a pension (the value of
which depended on the soldier's rank), a one-time payment, a governmental award payment, funeral
expenses, free (or sometimes discounted) railway pass, and help for school tuition for school-age children.
Rare post-war KIA badge award document. The pre-war
documents were printed on heavy stock paper, but this one
(dated 1948) is just a slip of paper. I guess things were a bit
subdued in the years immediately following defeat.
Translation: 'Record of Awarding the KIA Badge, Tottori
Prefecture, #4951, Deceased, Ex-Army Heichou [the rank
right above Private 1st Class] Hamada Yoshio, Hamada
Teru [a woman's name, so probably his widow or mother].
The person named to the right will receive the Bereaved
Family Badge, Showa 23  June 25, Fukuin-chou
Historical note: The Fukuin-chou was a government
department that dealt with the remaining military matters.
There were two divisions, one for the Army and one for the
Navy. The Fukuin-chou was established on June 15, 1946
and abolished on October 15, 1947. The Army division was
absorbed into the current Ministry of Welfare and the Navy
into the Prime Minister's Office.
I guess that even though the department had been
abolished, they had to use the stock of printed slips,
therefore this paper is dated after the abolishment of the
See another example dated Showa 22  below.
KIA pension award document. This shows that Iwata Kagi was the
wife of Ryusaburou and she received 20,000 yen on Showa 28
 April 6th for the KIA death of her husband. However, the
reverse shows that the wife received 10,000 yen, the father 5,000
yen, and the second oldest daughter 5,000 yen. (The eldest
daughter had either died or had reached adult age.)
Inscribed 'Okayama Prefecture, Death from a Disease at the
Front, Bereaved Family Badge.' Both the badge and the case
have this inscription.
WW2-era Killed in Action war death commemorative plaque. Very rare item. Hardly ever seen.
Inscribed 'Great East Asia War Participant, North China Dispatched to different area, Shantung Province,
Chouzan Prefecture, Meritorious War Death, Age 21.
[??] Hospital, Glorious and Loyal Warrior, Army Private First Class Sakamoto Shigeo.'
The obverse has the imperial mum and a golden kite. The reverse has the four main islands of Japan,
cherry blossoms, and two kanji that mean 'Eternal.'
The metal plaque weighs about 470 grams. It measures 17 cm by 11.5 cm.
Award document for the KIA cherry blossom badge. This is dated Showa 17  August 1.
Given to the wife of Army Captain Takeuchi Sadahiko. The wife's name was Masa. The stamp
on the cover (top right) shows that they lived in Hiroshima, and the badge number was 6991.
No other personal information was recorded.