ANONYMOUS JAPANESE SAILOR. World War II Photographs and Cigarette Packet; ca. 1942-1945. .1 cu. ft.
The Japanese sailor who possessed these photographs and cigarette packet served in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska during World War II. A U. S. Army soldier confiscated the items from the sailor when he was a prisoner of war on the island of Okinawa, Japan, in 1945.
The collection consists of the World War II era photographs and cigarette packet of an anonymous Japanese sailor who served in the Aleutians. The collection contains of 19 black and white prints and a Japanese cigarette packet. Eleven of the prints are snapshots of Japanese soldiers on an Aleutian Island (Attu or Kiska) during winter. The photographs show the soldiers living in tents, wearing skis, and digging a trench, including one image of two fighter planes on a beach. Four of the prints are smaller personal snapshots. Their subjects include: a portrait of a sailor in uniform and a group portrait of the same sailor with three other men, probably family members, two of which are in uniform; a group of five sailors in front of a temple; a temple building; and a large group of sailors in white uniforms on a rocky island. Four of the prints may be of people at an Aleut village. One of these photographs depicts what appears to be an American soldier posed with several children. These last photographs may have been taken by an American soldier. The cigarette packet is green with an eagle on the front, and contains ten cigarettes in their original wrapping.
The collection was acquired by the archives in 2005.