Private Bunkichi Matsuyoshi and Japanese Americans in WWII

I won the free soldier’s mail card below at an auction at my club’s postcard meeting in September. It actually may have been one I donated, because I don’t like when cards have the recipient’s name crossed out. But what struck me after I won was the fact that the serviceman had a Japanese name, Private Bunkichi Matsuyoshi.

Private Matsuyoshi mailed a card of Rome to Kauai, which is an island in Hawaii. Upon Googling Matsuyoshi, I found an obituary from November 2014 that said he served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He was born in Waimea, Kauai, where this card was sent.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team became active in February 1943. It was separate from the 100th Infantry Battalion, which became active in June 1942 in Hawaii and was the first Army unit of Japanese American soldiers activated in WWII. The 100th became part of the 442nd in June 1944, when this postcard was mailed.

33,000 Japanese Americans served during WWII for America. You may wonder why Matsuyoshi was in Europe and not serving in the Pacific. I found the below explanation from

“The arguments were the confusion during battle that may occur (as far as them looking exactly like the enemy) and in some cases, as I’ve heard, that the brass didn’t want to risk any type of incident that might see their own troops turned against them.  A ridiculous notion.

So The 100th was never sent to the Pacific for battle.  However, many did serve in the MIS (Military Intelligence Service) as code breakers and interpreters.”

The 100th Battalion’s website gives a nice timeline of the unit’s activity in Italy, including fighting at Monte Cassino, and their approach to Rome:

“In June 1944, the 100th, along with five heavy weapons units, was assigned to clear out German troops holding Hill 435 near Lanuvio, the last enemy stronghold on the road to Rome. Earlier attempts by two battalions to break through had failed. The 100th accomplished the task on June 3. But seven miles from Rome, the unit’s quick advance was suddenly halted and the men were ordered to cease their approach. Disappointed and feeling that racial prejudice had been a factor in the issuance of the order, the soldiers watched as trucks carrying the 5th Army and other Allied troops rolled by, headed towards Rome and a heroes’ welcome. The 100th Infantry Battalion would eventually enter the outskirts of Rome, only to depart immediately afterward.”


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Won’t You Let Me Take You Home?

“Won’t you let me take you home, To your rosy cozy home? I’m sure that your papa would think it improper If I were to let you go home alone. Won’t you let me telephone To the place you call your home- We can steal out of sight To the hallway (Yell) Good Night! If you let me take you home.”

I found this gem at my club’s meeting last week to add to my Atlantic City binder. It certainly sounds scandalous by today’s standards at first glance, especially since the sender wrote on the back “Jake would you?”

I don’t think this song was too popular, as I could only find the copyright entry for it from 1912. There are no YouTube videos of other artists singing it or anything like that. But back in 1912 you could hear Eddie Doerr at the Million Dollar Pier and maybe get the chance to take someone home.


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Debate Night

Get your popcorn out, it’s debate night! Below are modern postcards of Trump and Clinton by postcard artist Rick Geary. I got these at my club’s postcard meeting last month.


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New Type of Postcard Discovered

At my September postcard  meeting I was browsing through my dealer friend Jim’s new stock. I came across two similar postcards from the American Journal Examiner that instructed the reader to heat the postcard up with a flat-iron, gas jet or match. It appears as though these cards would be cut out of the periodical, and then the reader would use their heat source to reveal an image. I had never seen cards like these before and decided to get them for my miscellaneous collection.


My scanner chopped off part of the bottom of this card that read “What is the source of Leander’s anger?” Voila! Another man kissing his lady!


“What is the mixup with the hooligans?” A car is revealed that is going to run into the printed people.

There are plenty of other magic post cards like these on eBay. It seems like a lot of them are unmailed, including these two.

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The Wishbone

I finally completed my Dwig “Good Luck” series by winning “The Wishbone” on eBay the other day. This makes for 4/4, including the four leaf clover, rabbit’s foot, and swastika cards (swastikas can be found on turn of the century cards quite often as they meant good luck). I think this one is the most common of the series, but I’ve always seen it unused or not in great shape.

Breaking a wishbone for good luck dates back to the ancient Romans. Before the Romans, the Etruscans used chicken wishbones and kept them in piece to stroke and make wishes on.


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8 Year Anniversary

This month marks my 8 year anniversary of postcard collecting. My grandmom passed away in May 2008, and we went through her house and cleaned it out in September 2008, which is when I found the box that would FOREVER CHANGE MY LIFE. :p

This post is dedicated to my 8 favorite postcards, some of which have already been featured on their own blog posts. It is somewhat hard to just pick 8 out of the ~4,000 I have amassed, but these take the cake.

1. Would you like a little Scotch?


The most perfect postcard I own- great condition, great image. Charles Twelvetrees, mailed August 1916. Blog post about it here.

2. “Tonight I leaned across 10,000 miles and kissed you!”


The only unmailed card that I really like to consider as part of my collection (other than some real photo postcards I have). This has an advertisement for a jeweler on the back, and was written on and addressed but never mailed.

3. May Zodiac


Dwig, mailed February 1909 (the sender sent the wrong month). I love her hair, as most of Dwig’s girls wear their hair up or shorter. I wrote about it this May.

4. Man in the Moondwigmoon_0005

Another Dwig, mailed December 1908. Read more about it here.

5. French Snow White


This whole series all falls into my favorites, but this card especially because numbers 1-24 were mailed to Captain Nelson Taylor’s children, and he saved this one for his wife. Mailed September 1945. You can find all Nelson Taylor posts here.

6. Cy DeVry and Senator


I have this card on my list for a future blog post. This is Cy DeVry and the lion Senator at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago (my 2nd favorite park after Jackson Park.) Mailed May 1909.

7. Christmas Tree Hats


This card isn’t in perfect condition, but it is harder to find. Clapsaddle Christmas card mailed December 1916. Clearly I love the fact that the children are wearing Christmas tree hats.

8. Winsch Santa from my Grandmom’s


This card was mailed Christmas Day, 1914 to my great uncle when he was around 1 year old. The first Winsch Santa I ever owned, and the reason I collect them. You can see this card and a sampling of others from my original postcard discovery here.

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Art Institute of Chicago Hold to Light

CHI HTL_0005

This is a Koehler hold to light postcard of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is interesting because the moon isn’t yellow, and the windows aren’t either. Usually on these cards the sun or moon will be yellow and the windows of the buildings are mostly yellow and red. But it still works when held up to the light! I love the way the people are drawn on this card.

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