National duty and familial honor played an essential role in
shaping the perception of Japanese soldiers in the 19th and early 20th
centuries. During military conflict,
loved ones often dedicated unique textiles that accompanied men into
battle. These symbolically charged items
provided courage and protection as the soldier journeyed to war and often
memorialized his triumphant return in victory or death.
Battle Worn will
feature over 50 military textiles, hand-painted on cotton and silk, from the
private collection of Dr. Michael Bortner.
Objects presented reflect the development of a national military
identity rooted in cultural tradition.
Highlights include army and navy celebration banners, “good luck”
flags,” “one thousand” stitch belts, uniforms, and children’s toys.