Of matters malevolent - & a fiery stunt
We'll ensure a 52% share for PNG: Marape

Images of New Guinea under the Japanese

Rabaul Hanabuki Park
Hanabuki Park, Rabaul (Mashita Hiroshi)


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.

Adachi - NG under Japanese occupationThe term Kaigun Rikusentai (often shortened to Rikusentai in Japanese) is a Naval Landing Force.

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.

Wewak Harbour
Wewak Harbour (Mashita Hiroshi)

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).

Colonial house  Wewak
Colonial house at Wewak (Mashita Hiroshi)

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.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Arthur Williams

The off duty pics show us the human face of the enemy that we didn't want to see or weren't shown during the war.

Just like the World War I Xmas football match between the British soldiers and their German foes.

Apparently Field Marshall Douglas Haig and his staff had to move the British formations away from the area. "Bad for the morale chaps!"

Bloody wars!

"The Christmas truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of the First World War around Christmas 1914" - Wikipedia


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)