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A friend of mine asked me for help in translating some old family documents. This particular piece is an internment card of a family member that was captured on Java by the Japanese during the second world war. After some successes, I still have trouble translating the following lines, due to the handwriting and, I think, outdated kanji/kana usage.

I'll try to provide some of my own guesswork, but as a not-so-advanced learner of Japanese, it is obviously flawed.


This line describes the occupation (職業) of the person. I'm pretty certain the second character is 気. I have some conjectures about the last three characters, which I think to be 系, 北, and ぶ. My closest guess for the phrase is 電気系北ぶ, which I would translate as something like "Electrical systems Northern division"

Text in field "occupation"


The following two lines are written in a page for "Other Informations" (補修欄).

Here, I believe the writer is talking about a transfer to POW-camp number one. However, I can't make sense of the first two characters, written in a different color. I think they might be a name? With much imagination, I can see them as 川悖, which might be a family name?

Line 1 in field "other informations"


This line completely baffles me. In the first character, I think I recognise 耳 and 并, but that doesn't seem to be an actual kanji. I don't recognise the follwing two characters, and after that 軍 and maybe 引? I can't make heads or tails of it, though my friend said this was the line he was most interested in. This specific line is preceded by the date 31th of october 1945, which is not long after the Japanese surrender.

Line 2 in field "other informations"

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    I'm not completely sure, but it might be worth considering splitting this question up into a couple questions. That way, people answering can answer on the characters that they are sure about. It could lead to better answers. – ajsmart Sep 4 '18 at 12:33
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Thanks to naruto, I was able to verify that 社 does get contracted into the shape in the image using this 電子くずし字字典 website.

電気会社員


I found the first two characters of the second line on this page from powresearch.jp.

爪哇{ジャワ}俘虜{ふりょ}収容所第一分所へ移管ス

爪哇 are the kanji for Java!


聯合{れんごう}国軍二引渡シ完了ス

聯 (れん; simplified handwriting style) because 聯合国軍 is the word for the Allied Powers 聯合国軍.

  • 「会社員」かな…(自信はないですが) – naruto Sep 5 '18 at 3:01
  • Thank you very much! I now realise that all my study-material consists entirely of kaisho writing, which has its now-obvious downsides. It's kind of amazing to see how much characters change in hand-writing – Harm van den Brand Sep 5 '18 at 21:26

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