Link here to the website of Japanese Naval Landing
Forces Historical Preservation Association
NOOSA – During World War II, Mashita Hiroshi served with the Imperial Japanese Navy in Rabaul, Wewak, Hollandia and other parts along the north coast of New Guinea.
With him, he carried a camera - but the photographs he took were not of war and the westward retreat of Japanese forces .
They were of the people and places he encountered along the way.
These rare images have been carefully assembled, researched and curated by Austin Adachi, who heads the Japanese Naval Landing Forces Historical Preservation Association.
The term has been used since the Meiji Era (1868-1912) to describe sailors organised into temporary ground combat units from ships crews.
In the early 20th Century the Imperial Japanese Navy began to create semi-permanent ground based units independent of ship crews.
These included the Tokubetsu Rikusentai (Special Naval Landing Forces) and Keibitai (Guard Units), which would see significant action in the Second Sino-Japanese and Pacific Wars of 1937-45.
These images and the others you can link to here were collected in an album belonging to Mashita Hiroshi (真下博), a former correspondent with the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The photographs were taken between January 1943 and February 1944 and are mainly of the north coast of New Guinea, covering both what is today Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Papua.
There are more than 130 photographs in this South Pacific Service Record collection, capturing life in New Guinea during the occupation by the Japanese Navy in World War II.
After countless hours of sorting, scanning, and researching individuals in the photographs, they have just been released for publication by Mr Adachi.
There are several photos related to the 2nd Special Base Force (第2特別根拠地隊) and the 8th Construction Department (第8建設部).
The Japanese Naval Landing Forces Historical Preservation Association (Kaigun Rikusentaishi Hozonkai) is a private archive focused on researching and maintaining photographs and other historical materials related to the Japanese Naval Landing Forces.
The association is headed by Mr Adachi, who is an independent researcher and archivist specialising in Japan's Naval Landing Forces.
In addition to preserving historical materials, the association aims to facilitate education about the Naval Landing Forces through the provision of free learning materials.