View Full Version : Fun with Japanese Army Flying Corps Markings.......

02-04-2006, 09:51 AM
Hi All;

In a thread on j-aircraft.com Mr. Jim Lansdale posted a photo of a Ki-43 of the 248th Hikousentai, and made comment about the markings (which we'll get back to last). In asking him to elaborate he pointed out that of the 78th Hikousentai (my virtual squadron the 78th*Sentai)......So, I thought lets look at some of the "easier" to understand real life markings to simply see some of the creativity in them........Who knows, maybe it might inspire you to be as creative when making those for your unit here http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

The first ones are rather easy....Look for the numbers within the marking....(tell-tales taken from peter scott's "emblems of the rising sun", ISBN 1-902109-55-4)

51st Sentai






Now things get a bit more creative (though some much more so on others not shown)....

My units r/l counterpart, the 78th

WHich that is a bad rendering of it, below more how it was....

The 78th "Cherry Blossom".....or is it?....Note the shape of the petal...."7"...Now count them..."8"... 78th http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Next onto what inspired the discussion, the 248th

The Japanese "Kanji" for "1" is much like a horizontal line with a little flip at the end......

So if you mark a Kanji "1" or "ichi" parallel to the horizontal stabilizer, then one parallel to the leading edge of the Vertical stabilizer blending them together like a diving bird or boomerang what do you get?

2-ones, 4-ones, 8-ones........248th http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

& these are the mild ones. Something to think on when making your markings.

02-04-2006, 10:22 AM
very interesting stuff, thnx for posting.

02-04-2006, 10:47 AM
Wow, I always wondered why the so-fanciful tail markings. But what about the numbers--I always assumed that their kanji "alphabet" (is it correct to call their characters an alphabet?) included numbers, so why the stylized "western" numbers? Just a result of their increasing westernization after the Meiji Restoration?

02-04-2006, 11:10 AM
Well as it is meant to be artsy to some degree....Style and creative thinking seeming to be part of the culture.

More so, kanji numbers do not lend themselves very well to being "stylized", quickly the symbol lost so meaning little to nothing. They were however used, yet know to write even a 2 digit number takes 3 symbols...a 3 digit 5....So you can quickly see how it gets very long and cumbersome.

Lastly, part of the flexibility of Japanese writing is the ability to incorporate that which works best into writing....Kanji essentially Chinese symbols, Katakana & Hiragana more like printed letters (sounds really) and script or cursive respectively...Romanji what we are using here. So text might include all types mixed about within it.

Anywho, the straight forward & unique shape of numerals like we use here easier to see at a distance and define.....Their meaning not lost when stylized.

All that my "guess"...but a fair one...

Look here for more on Kanji number symbols...


02-04-2006, 11:22 AM
Thanks, Billfish!

02-04-2006, 04:43 PM
Awesome BillFish http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

like graffiti some of it...

very nice information ma'am!


02-12-2006, 03:54 PM
The Japanese really have an ability to making things pleasing for the eye!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://www.airwar.ru/transfer/grishan///camms/ar/771/pics/65_2.jpg
although with this plane the markings are not that clear?
I know it is from the HQ chutai, 29th sentai.
Really like those Japanese markings!

02-12-2006, 04:14 PM
Great post Billfish ... how the Japanese manage to work art into all facets of their lives has always fascinated me. Creativity at it's highest.