Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD
Battle Carried: Imperial Japanese Tiger Art Good Luck Flags of World War Two is the second in a series that examines the subject of World War Two era Imperial Japanese good luck signed flags. While the premier volume introduced the reader to not only hinomaru yosegaki (good luck flags), and senninbari (one-thousand stitch amulets), this publication covers the specific history, meaning, and cultural context of tiger imagery as it was used to decorate good luck flags.
Through an extensive use of color images, woodblock prints, and rare vintage photographs, the book provides illustrations along with their English translations of some of the rarest and most highly sought specimens of tiger art flags. From the aspect of human interest, numerous examples have been identi[ied to their soldier, sailor, or airmen owners. As an iconic image, practically no other animal served to inspire, motivate, or galvanize the World War Two era Japanese populace behind the Asian ideal of what it meant to be a warrior than the tiger.
Michael Bortner has been a collector of imperial Japanese good luck flags and one-thousand stitch belts for more than fifty years. His initial desire to write a book developed from his curiosity to find historical and cultural information on the subject. That interest led to the successful release of his first volume, Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts (2008). As his passion for and exposure to the subject of good luck flags grew, Mike began to research and write his second book, Battle Carried: Imperial Japanese Tiger Art Good Luck Flags of World War Two (2021). This work focuses solely on the iconographic tiger art, sometimes found painted on hinomaru yosegaki. Drawing upon an extensive collection of tiger-painted good luck flags and amulets, gathered from fellow collectors worldwide, the author has assembled the first work of its kind in English on the subject.
Bortner earned his B.A. Degree in History from the University of California, Irvine and his M.A. Degree in Anthropology from the California State University, Hayward. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.