DAITOA SENSOU: Pacific War
(or, literally, the Great East Asia War)
The years 1942-45 were labeled the Daitoa Sensou, or Pacific War. Before Pearl Harbor,
the war was not a war at all; it was an 'Incident.' After Pearl Harbor, though, the
government gave an official name to the battle, which included the war on mainland
China, other countries, and all the Pacific islands. More directly translated as 'Great East
Cups and bottles from this period are less personalized. The patterns are almost always
stamped (not hand-painted), and they are often sloppily colored. Since these were made
toward the end of the war, the artists probably didn't care so much. Most were hungry
and war-weary. In addition, the artists could have been children or people who had no
Another difference is the lack of family names. Once you find a daitoa cup, they will
almost never have a soldier's name, regiment number, or place of dispatch inscribed.
Since resources were getting scarce and money was, too, fewer cups were made, sold,
and bought. In addition, entire regiments were being wiped out and the movements of
troops was quite varied. Also few soldiers were being discharged after 1942.
Because of these factors and others, I suppose, daitoa items are comparatively rare.
Here are the relevant kanji:
DAI-TO-A SEN-SOU KI-NEN.
There are exceptions, though. Here is a daitoa cup
with name inscribed below the helmet & flags.
Rare cup marked with both 'China Incident'
and 'Great East Asia War.' The ink color and
kanji style are different, so these were
probably inscribed at different times.
|Inscribed 'Daitoa Sensou Commemorative, Loyal Warrior'.
|This one has a tank in
the pattern, though it is