Archive for Empire of Japan

Japanese Type 4 Ceramic Grenade

Posted in Grenades with tags , , on March 2, 2020 by The Dude

The late war and rather desperate innovation of the Type 4 hand grenade. These grenades were invented in late 1944 in response to Japan’s collapsing raw material supplies. The US submarine and air blockade had run the Japs out of steel at this point. The weapon is pretty simple, a ceramic or porcelain vase shape, with a crimped 5 second detonator made from a blasting cap. These were handed out to all the home defence organizations as well as to troops out in the inner chain of islands like Iwo Jima and Saipan. The style varies a lot because it was left to the individual pottery to decide.

Arisaka Rear & Side Ammunition Pouches

Posted in Ammo & Magazine Pouches with tags , , , on July 20, 2019 by The Dude

A fair while back I found a single front ammunition pouch for the Arisaka battle rifle. The standard issue was two front pouches and one rear one. The front pouches held 30 rounds and the rear one 60, for a full load of 120 rounds.

The rear pouch also houses a small oil bottle. Both of these came stinking of mothballs. I sat them outside for a couple of months and then soaked them in vinegar & water overnight. They still stink but not so much as to drive me out of my own house.

Japanese Type 2 Paratrooper Rifle

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , on March 16, 2019 by The Dude

This is a pretty great find for me. This rifle came from the US and is a Type 2 TERA (Teishin Rakkasan Shyoujyu) rifle. This rifle was based on the Type 99 infantry rifle but designed to be able to be broken down into two parts for stowing prior to the Paratrooper drop. These rifles are almost never found with an unground Chrysanthemum and often the front and rear sections are mismatched. In this case the rifle is all matching. Interesting because it retains the anti-aircraft sights of the Type 99.

Japanese Type 44 Cavalry Carbine

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on March 16, 2019 by The Dude

This rifle is one of 91,000 manufactured by the Japanese between 1911 and 1942. These were intended to be issued to cavalry troops so they could have a less cumbersome primary weapon with an integral bayonet. Prior to this the cavalry was forced to carry a separate Type 38, a Type 30 bayonet and a Type 32 saber. This rifle has two individual holes in the butt stock compartment to hold the two parts of the cleaning rod, indicating that this is a “first type” variation. Nagoya Arsenal marked, the mum has been ground upon surrender. This rifle was quite often found with Railway or other transportation troops.

Japanese Type-30 Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , , on November 10, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThis bayonet came with a Type 99 rifle I recently imported from Texas. The seller said that his father had brought it home from WW2, so it’s been with the rifle for 70 odd years. Stamped with the Kokura Arsenal mark, this is the early pattern with the curved quillon. I have other examples here, here and here. It appears I have too many Arisaka bayonets.

Nambu Type-14 Firing Pins

Posted in Parts & Accessories with tags , , , on September 1, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgI have this illness where I just have to fire my collectible firearms, even just once. The Type-14 was no exception, however, these are notorious for snapping their firing pins.

So in an effort to avoid the gnashing of teeth and the inevitable mocking by Andrew, I found a guy in the US who made these pins. Terribly long winding path to get them into Canada and a long afternoon under a bedsheet attempting to not lose the springs involved in disassembly of the Nambu. A few rounds out the end, most of which misfired due to the age of the ammo. Here are the pins, dull eh?


Nambu Type 14 Cleaning Rod

Posted in Parts & Accessories with tags , , on July 22, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThe Type 14 Nambu I hooked a couple of years ago came missing its cleaning rod. You can find these around if you look hard enough. Boring, but it helps me finish off the “rig”.

Japanese Arisaka Front Ammo Pouch

Posted in Ammo & Magazine Pouches with tags , , , on May 12, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgDifficult to find in good condition as Japanese leather didn’t last and the environment in which they were used wasn’t healthy for leather. This is the front ammunition pouch for Arisaka 6.5 and 7.7 ammunition as used in the Type 38 and Type 99 infantry rifles. This one came to me still with a cardboard liner and 6×6.5mm stripper clips.

Arisaka Type 30 Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , , on May 12, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgHere is a tidy, later model Type 30 bayonet. Intended for fitting to either the Type 99 series of rifles or the Type 38, this one does not have the curled guard seen on the earlier examples like this one here. The stamp on the ricasso indicates that it was made by Toyada Jidou Shoki (Toyada Automatic Loomworks), now known as Toyota.

Arisaka Type 38 Dust Cover

Posted in Parts & Accessories with tags , , on January 7, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgOften missing, and hard to find when you want one. This is a numbered dust cover for the Arisaka Type 38 rifle. These were supplied with early series Type-38’s but deleted later on, although you will see the receivers still machined for them right to the end of the war.


Burma Death Railway Spike

Posted in Odds & Ends with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_ThailandFlag_of_Japan.svgFlag_of_AustraliaFlag_of_the_United_KingdomA couple of cool and evocative finds here from a contact in Thailand. These are Thai 1940 dated railway spikes from the ruined railway line that ran over 415 km from Thanbyuzayat in Burma to Ban Pong in Thailand. Many people know it only from it’s depiction in the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” where it crosses the Mae Klong river. I visited the site and Hellfire Pass in 2014 and I cannot believe the misery under which the slave laborers, both civilian and Allied POW, must have worked and died. A digger over there walked sections of the rail line that were never reused after the war and retrieved these spikes.

Japanese 8mm Pistol Ammunition Cartons

Posted in Ammo & Magazine Pouches, Ammunition with tags , , , , on November 10, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThese two cartons arrived in the mail today, all the way from the U.S. I expect you won’t be that excited by them but finding unopened cartons of wartime Japanese Nambu ammunition is almost unobtainium. Getting them into Canada from the States is a painful experience as any ammunition export from the US requires Department of the Interior approval. These two cartons are marked almost identically. The star marking is for the Tokyo First Arsenal. The first line of characters is “ju-yon-nen-shiki-ken-ju-jip-po”  which translates to “Type 14 Handgun Ammunition”. The second row is “ju-go-hatsu” meaning “15 rounds”. On the underneath of the cartons are the stamps for “sho” meaning Showa Year and 19.11, which translates to November 1944. These are perfect for my 1944 Type 14 Pistol here and fit into the front pocket of the 1944 holster I have here.


Type 30 Bayonet Frog

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , , , , on April 22, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgI have a couple of Jap Type 30 bayonets, one here and a last ditch one here. Japanese leather is rubbish so it doesn’t tend to survive. Neither of the bayonets I have had a frog so when this one showed up I thought why not?

Japanese Type-14 Nambu Pistol

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on April 16, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThis is the Nambu Type-14 semi-automatic pistol. This pistol was produced from 1925 until 1945. This example has the digits 19.5 stamped into the frame. This is the year and month of manufacture. In this case you add 19 to 1925, the first year of the Showa Emperor. This gets you to 1944. May is the fifth month so the pistol was produced in May 1944. The manufacturer is Toriimatsu and this pistol is from the second series. 1944 was the high point in the manufacture of this pistol so the 19.5 is pretty common. These pistols a terribly ugly and have a bad reputation for shooting their owners. The ammunition, 8mm Nambu, is almost unobtainium.


Japanese Nambu Holster

Posted in Holsters with tags , , , , on April 16, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThis holster is manufactured to fit the Nambu Type 14 that I just imported from the States. The holster is made from rubberized canvas. In my experience Japanese leather was just terrible quality and little of it survived use. This material was substituted as it resisted the damp of the S.E.Asia battlefield much better. It’s marked with kanji inside but I have no idea what it says. I’ll be off to the internet to find out. The holster has a small pouch in the front for storing a 15 round carton of 8mm pistol ammunition. The cleaning rod is missing, something else for me to rectify.

The holster has two rows of kanji inside the flap. I am an idiot and have the photo upside down but basically the first row starts with “sho”, short for Showa, the emperors name. Then there is the kanji for the number 10 followed by a 5 or a 9. This would mean 1940 or 1944. 1940 is too early for one of these canvas holsters so it must be 1944. Then below is the mark for the Nagoya Arsenal and finally an acceptance mark.

Slap A Jap Birthday Card

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , on March 30, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesVisitors to this site will have noted, perhaps, my rather retro-racist love for WW2 anti-Japanese propaganda. A common theme to this kitsch is the invitation to “Slap Japs”. It was pretty widespread to use this kind of disparagement of the enemy to build morale on the homefront. This birthday card, dating from 1943, is an example of this theme. Other examples are here and here, oh and here and here.

Nambu Type-14 Magazines

Posted in Magazines with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgI understand, from my friend Andrew, that importing is a slippery slope. If so, I just fell down it. I have a Japanese Nambu Type-14 pistol coming from the States and while I wait I have been gathering the bits and pieces to put together a full kit.

In this case we have two magazines made by the Toriimatsu arsenal. I also found 44 rounds of wartime ammo, no headstamp which I am told is correct.

Imperial Japanese Navy Flag

Posted in Flags with tags , , , on December 21, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThe Japanese Army and Navy both used the Rising Sun Flag as their battle flag. The difference between the two uses was that the Navy one was offset from center toward the lanyard while the Army one was centered. This example is the Navy version, size 1.5, as used on launches, cutters and landing craft. I also have a Hinomaru flag here. I have a smallish Jap collection, mostly because my grandfather fought the bastards. I think if I could find a nice farewell flag or a souvenir signed flag I’d be done.

Arisaka Type-99 Infantry Rifle

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on October 22, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThe latest rifle in the box, a beautiful Type 99 infantry rifle in as found condition. This rifle was intended to replace the smaller caliber Type-38 found here. The 7.7mm round was found to be more effective at dropping the enemy and less likely to be deflected by light cover. This example comes with its original monopod and anti-aircraft sights as well as an intact Chrysanthemum. Brilliant! Ammunition for this can be seen here. The rifle was manufactured at the Nagoya Arsenal in mid to late 1943. It is a 4th series example and was one of the last to have the monopod fitted.


Japanese soldier using the Type-99 during the occupation of Indochina, 1940

Arisaka 7.7mm Ammunition

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , on October 22, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgA pretty simple item here, a clip of Arisaka 7.7mm rifle ammunition. This was used in the Arisaka Type-99 rifle here. Since I just obtained one of these rifles I was happy to get hold of some representative ammo for it.

Japanese Surrender Documents

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThis booklet, dating from 1946, is a facsimile of the surrender documents signed on the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, on the 2nd September 1945. These were produced by the National Archives in the US for distribution to institutions and individuals in education. I have the German ones here.


Anti-Japanese Postcard

Posted in Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on December 14, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesThere’s a racist theme in early war propaganda coming out of the US. Fairly uniformly the Japanese were displayed as small, bucktoothed and simian-like. Certainly the phrase “Slap the Jap” was very common. Of course the US would have a very hard war in the Pacific that wasn’t really helped by their consistent underrating of the Japanese soldier. This postcard, franked in October 1942, is illustrative of the messaging used at this point in the war.

rsz_postcard2 rsz_postcard1

You’re a Sap, Mister Jap Lyric Sheet

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , on June 6, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesI never get sick of the overt racism inherent in the US response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Here is the sheet music for the December 23rd 1941 hit by the Murphy Sisters, “You’re a Sap, Mister Jap”. On a side note the A-B-C-D that the song refers to is the joint alliance of America, Britain, China and the Dutch, most of whose naval assets were sent to the bottom of the South Java Sea by the Japanese in early 1942.

You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, you make a Yankee cranky
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, Uncle Sammy’s gonna spanky
Wait and see before we’re done
The A, B, C and D will sink your rising sun*
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, you don’t know Uncle Sammy
When he fights for his rights, you’ll take it on the lammy
For he’ll wipe the Axis right off the map
You’re a sap, sap sap, Mr. Jap

You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, you make a Yankee cranky
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, Uncle Sammy’s gonna spanky
Wait and see before we’re done
The A, B, C and D will sink your rising sun
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, oh what a load to carry
Don’t you know, don’t you know, you’re committing hari-kari
For we’ll wipe the Axis right off the map
You’re a sap, sap, sap, Mr. Jap

You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, oh it makes a Yankee cranky
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, Uncle Sam’s gonna spanky
Wait to see before we’s done
The A, B, C and D will sink your rising sun
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, oh you don’t know Uncle Sammy
When he fights for his rights, you’ll take it on the lammy
For he’ll wipe the Axis right off the map
You’re a sap, sap sap, Mr. Jap

You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, oh what a load to carry
You’re a sap, Mr. Jap, you’re committing hari-kari
For we’ll wipe the Axis right off the map
You’re a sap, sap sap, Mr. Jap

rsz_japsap1 rsz_japsap2

A Group to a New Zealand Pacific Casualty

Posted in For Sale with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_New_ZealandThis is a wonderful New Zealand 3rd Division group to a courageous young man, sadly KIA endeavouring to save others under terrible conditions. 2nd Lieutenant Colin David Griffiths was a 24 year old ex-shop assistant from Timaru, New Zealand who was killed in action at Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands on the 2nd of October 1943.

He lost his life during a third attempt at rescuing a cut-off patrol from the Japanese. Swimming a line ashore to the party, consisting of a number of wounded, sharks had to be held off by tommy-gun fire. Griffiths was killed in the water, along with almost everyone else in the rescue party, by heavy Japanese small arms fire. To be clear here, this was Griffiths third attempt and the second that day to reach the beach.

Colin David Griffiths

Colin David Griffiths


Colin’s grave marker at Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery, New Caledonia


Japanese Type-99 Hand Grenade

Posted in Grenades with tags , , on April 18, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThe Type 99 Hand Grenade (九九式手榴弾 Kyūkyū-shiki Teryūdan), also known as Kiska grenade by the American Army was an improved version of the Type 97 fragmentation hand grenade used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF during World War II.

The Type 99 was issued as a standard rifle grenade to Japanese infantrymen in the Second Sino-Japanese War and throughout the various campaigns of World War II. The first examples to fall into the hands of Allied military intelligence were captured at the Battle of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, which gave rise to the nickname of “Kiska grenade” by American troops.