NAGASAKI – A U.S. Navy veteran is looking for clues to the owner of a Hinomaru flag he received from a Japanese soldier right after World War II.
Joe Steinworth of St. Paul, Minn., accepted the flag in December 1945 in exchange for drinking water from one of roughly 800 former Japanese prisoners of war that he was accompanying on a ship from Hahajima Island in the Ogasawara chain to Tokyo, according to the Nagasaki-St. Paul sister-city committee.
The roughly 1-sq.-meter flag bears the name of Urajiro Ozaki (or Kozaki) in large letters, a drawing of a tiger and dozens of names in smaller letters around the red circle part of the flag. Many of the names in smaller letters bear the surname Yokota.
Steinworth, 78, is trying to return the flag to its owner. People who may have relevant information are being asked to contact the committee at 090-1164-6831.