Very Rare Antique Japanese Military 1939 Sue Coal Mining Department 50th Anniversary Navy Vase
This is a very unique Japanese military vase, decorated with depictions of a coal mining operation and an anchor on the back. The words on the vase are "50th Years Establishment Commemoration" "Showa 14th Year (1939) October 23rd" and "Navy Fuel Factory Coal Mining Department". Looking at the history of various coal mining facilities owned by the navy for their ships, the oldest one is the one located in Sue township in Kyushu, next to Fukuoka, and was the first to open in 1889 - which coincides with the 50th anniversary date. There's a Japanese page here documenting its history with some nice photos of what's left of it. By WW2 there were six fuel factories - No.1 was in Kanagawa, producing oil and related products. No. 2 was in Yokkaichi near Nagoya, producing some kind of liquified fuel. No. 3 was in Tokuyama, also producing coal. No. 4 was in Sue as mentioned. No. 5 was in Pyongyang. No. 6 was in Taiwan, for which there's still a historical site you can visit.
Condition: Excellent - the base ring is a bit uneven
Size: About 4.75" tall x 5" across