Lot 134 of 302:
Notebook of Japanese officer on aircraft carrier during WWII  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$2,000 - $3,000

Notebook kept by an assistant duty officer of an aircraft carrier of the Japanese Navy during World War II


Japan and at sea




[40] leaves, handwritten in ink on both sides, in Japanese but with a few English words interspersed, occasional sketches and drawings. 21x15 cm (8¼x6"), wrappers. 

Fascinating and significant notebook kept by a Japanese officer aboard an aircraft carrier. Of great interest are the sketches of airplanes (some diving or climbing), ship hulls (showing perhaps the vulnerable portions), ship superstructures (with anti-aircraft guns positioned, the parts of a bomb, etc. Information obtained by the consignor, with the assistance of a translator, reveals that the handwritten “kanji” on the title provides the following information: The name of the writer of the notebook, Nanba Yoshiaki,  “Division 33” and “Subdivision 8” of the Tokunoshima Navy Airforce. Tokunoshima is within the Kagoshima Perfecture. This notebook might be described as an “Operations Notebook”, put together by Nanba in classroom settings and otherwise in the course of his duty.  His title is best described as, “Assistant to Officer on Night Watch Duty”.  Dates in the notebook provide a time frame of 1943-44. There is a lot of technical information about the aircraft carrier and its operation, including landings and departures of planes. There is a more formally transcribed section in the notebook that are on rules and regulations relating to conduct and job duties for this position, generally and specifically. Such notebooks are of great rarity.

Furthermore, there is much cultural flavor in the form of illustrations, maps, some words written in English, and doodling. An interesting example is a full page scribble of the English words, “God” and “Dog”. In Japan, there was a fascination with the fact that transposing the English letters of “God” results in “Dog”.  Many of the pages have hand-drawn airplanes, boats, a map of the Island of Kyushu on which is Kagoshima, and even a drawing that appears to be a recreation of a battle.  There is information provided on specific events with dates, and also some writing on “battles” and “ammunition”, likely in the generic sense rather than on specific battles or ammunition used in battle.  

For additional information on this lot, click here.

Lot Amendments

Wear and a few tears to wrappers, there is a gouge to front wrapper that intrudes to following leaves and causes indentation to about a third of the leaves, some other expected wear; still very good overall.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.