Asian men in uniform, eating

By: usermattw

Feb 08 2019

Tags: ,

Category: Groups, Men


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo measuring 4.25 x 3.25 inches.


What I know about it:

Nothing.  Undated and unidentified.



In my last post, I described the soldier as Asian, though the part of me that always second-guesses myself wondered if he might not actually be something else, like Native American or Latino.  (I assure you I don’t mean that in a prejudiced “they all look alike” kind of way.)  Today I’m sure they’re Asian, but while I assumed they were soldiers, my second-guessing is kicking in again.  Their hats have a three-striped insignia that I’m not managing to find anywhere, so suddenly I’m wondering if they’re actually soldiers and not something like, say, a conservation corps.  I’m also having trouble dating it.  It’s glossiness and good condition make it feel newer, anywhere from the 1950s to the 1970s, but I could be way off base.  Any thoughts on any of this are welcome.  Meanwhile, it’s an interesting slice of life photo.  From my perspective, I’m used to seeing the more American or European versions of this scene, so I appreciate finding the variation here, with chopsticks, metallic soup bowls, and plates that are more like bento boxes.

7 comments on “Asian men in uniform, eating”

  1. Great scene! With luck a visitor will recognize the insignia.

    • Thanks. I sometimes hesitate to post my photos when I can’t find information about them. This is an example. But sometimes my readers come through and fill in the blanks, which is great. I’ve been sitting on a number of photos like that, but I should just share them anyway, since I like the images.

      • Definitely share them! This one looks to me like it’s from the Korean War. I’ve seen a few other snapshots from that war for sale, but not many. You might try looking for Korean uniforms from that period.

      • Yes, I looked at Korean (generally, as well as North and South), Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, etc., trying different search terms to focus on different eras, wars, locations, and uniform parts. I’ll admit I’m not very adept at researching uniforms, and I sometimes give up too easily. These looked closest to the Japanese ones I was seeing, but the insignia on the hat didn’t match.

      • The more I look at it, the more I think it might be from the 1960s, based on the high quality of the print.

  2. Hello Matthew,
    according to their cap signs which stand for different service ranks, the chop sticks and their mess kits, they are definitely South Korean soldiers.


    • Thank you so much, Günther! I don’t know why I was having such a hard time finding the symbols on their hats. Thank you for providing that information.

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