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How many Japanese rifle owners own a rifle with a story to tell? I bet there are not many...

It's interesting to see how many Japanese items are auctioned on ebay (flags, swords, helmets, etc.) that lost their history or where they were obtained to time and sales.

-Eric
 

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Unfortunately I don't have any stories for anything I have at present. I used to work, years ago, with a WW2 Army veteran of the European Theater. He came ashore in Normandy about one month after D-Day and drove a truck in an Artillery Battery of the 4th Armored Division of Patton's Third Army. This guy had lots of stories to tell to me over the years. He even had a funny story of literally fighting a bull in a pasture in front of his buddies. He was a real tough guy. Anyway, he told me that he was searching a small hotel in Belgium just after the German's evacuated the town and he found a Luger with holster, tool and spare mag hidden under a mattress. He kept it and brought it home. I got to see it once, it was a pristine 1936 S/42 Luger, with 2 mags but both unmatched and a decent early holster and tool. I wanted badly to buy it from him but he was going to leave it to his kids. He died a number of years ago and I wanted so bad to ask his family if they would sell it, but felt it would be crass. That is the closest I have got so far.
 

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I just passed on an early 8th series that had a very plain story. The vet who was selling it bought it off another sailor. No capture papers, just a signed statement, name, rank and ship. It was a really nice rifle, I doubt it ever left a rifle rack, or saw any action beyond gaurd duty. It was matched but ground.
Due to the series stamped being stamped badly, the dealer thought it was a 12th series. Since it wasn't I sent it back for a refund. It would have been my first rifle "with story". If it was mummed, I would have kept it, but I'm not into Last Ditch Nagoyas.
 

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ive got a serie 4 Izawa Jyuko rifle that came with a bayonet and frog and a leather front ammo pouch with 6.5 ammo boxes in it. the story is that it was picked up by the vet when he was laying a field wire on Guadalcanal. the vet relieved the deceased Japanese soldier of his rifle, bayonet, and ammo pouch. i guess the 6.5 ammo explained why the soldier was dead. i will post more of the story when i get a chance
 

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T44 Story

i have a T44 BROUGHT BACK BY MY BROTHER WHO WAS A CAPTAIN IN THE MARINES.BROUGHT BACK IN 1945,GAVE IT TO ME IN 1950,BEAUTIFUL CONDITION INTACT MUM.
 

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Have several, but my favorate came from Tarawa. Son of Marine walked into Birmingham show several summers ago with a duffle bag cut T-99 complete with matching DC. The cut is AT THE REAR, top tang gone and bottom tang sawed through, Stock was notched on each side of the pistol grip and then broken. Pod had been snipped leaving about .25" wire. The seller's father was unable to land the first day, but landed the 2nd day along side the pier, made it through the battle and a fellow Marine handed him the rifle before they left the island. After the war the fellow Marine mailed the father a photocopy from the Tarawa chapter of "Battles Won and Lost" with inked in notes, "Here's where Joe got it," "We flipped and you lost so you were the first to cross the airfield," "This is when I handed you the rifle," etc.

Father planned to make a sporter of the rifle, but never did. Son provided his Dad's complete history from his early years through his retirement, this is an article in B'ZAI. I restored the rifle with a stock from the same series about 1500 #s higher. Interesting thing, another Tarawa rifle has been reported, same series and less than 50#s from the one described above. Kept the front half of the original stock noting wht rifle it came from. Hopefully the next "caretaker" will keep the two together.
 

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Only one the one my late father brought back when he came home and yes I have the original paperwork too.
 

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I have four rifles with history. One came from my Uncle. It's a 7th Series Nagoya. He obtained it from a fellow sailor who had gotten it while on occupation duty. Ground but matching.

The second came from from my Dad. The Tachibana Maru (an article about it is in last month's Leatherneck magazine) was a hospital ship that two destroyers (Charette, which my Dad was on, and Conner) captured in 1945. Inside were 1700 Japanese infantry, along with all their small arms. Dad picked up a Type 38 (matching including dust cover, mummed of course, muzzle cap and sling) along with two bayonets. These two rifles got me started into collecting Arisakas 30 years ago.

The third came from Iwo Jima. It's a 10th series Nagoya and has the name of the sailor who obtained it from his cousin (a Marine) carved in the stock. The cousin was KIA a few days after the exchange. The sailor was on a supply landing craft, and he and his cousin met while he was delivering supplies during the battle. All documented by the family.

I do have one other rifle which I found in a cave on Okinawa (Whitesharkseeker will appreciate this one). I was participating in the annual remains search that occurs on Okinawa every year (back in 1994). I went into a very small cave, and saw the muzzle end of a rifle sticking out of the dirt (about a half inch worth). Many hours later, I unearthed a fully intact 33rd series Type 99. The wood had rotted away, but the metal was still okay. Years later, I restored the rifle, and it's still in my collection. It took a year to get all the corrosion off, but believe it or not all the numbers are visible and match and the rifle will dry fire. Amazing what 50 years in the mud will preserve.


John in Charlotte. NC
 

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My father in law left me two mummed T99 rifles.

His father was Provost marshel on Guam. Was running around loose on the island as a kid. Another kid and my father in law were exploring some dug-outs/caves and found several crates of Arisakas plus other ordnance packed in ten yen notes(paper money).

Reported the find and each got to keep two Arisakas.

Skip foward to the 1960's. Father in law gets sent(volunteered for) Vietnam. Leaves the guns and other personel stuff at his Parents in law's house while in country.

Comes back to find the stock cracked at the wrist(not too bad) on one T99, other T99 has been "Bubbized" by brother in law! Father in law tried to kill brother in law(brother in law was like 16 or so), but got stopped before he could get him propery strangled!

I've got both rifles now, plus a bunch of other cool stuff. Bubbized rifle could be unbubbized, other rifle is complete, wings and all, excepting action cover. A Nagoya something or other, older series than my series 7. Other(bubbized) is another manufacturer, looked it up but have forgotten the maker.

Need to get my Arisakas out since I have 3 of the muskets now, plus I just bought a bunch of 7.7 ammo to shoot and use the cases for my temporarily suspended 7.7 Japanese reloading experiments.
 

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I picked up a nice t-99 some years ago no series fill mum matching with all the "goodies" sling and bayonet from a vet in town that tell me that he was going in to a cave to check for japanese soldiers and he herd a gun shot, he went in to the cave to see were the gun shot came from and he found a japanese soldier that just killed himself with his own rifle before surrending to the U.S Troops so he took the rifle and bayonet from the dead japanese soldier and had them for over 60 year before he sold them to me the only reason he sold the rifle and bayonet is because he was going to a nursing home. he told me that he was very happey that the japanese soldier never fired at him before killing himself. He had no papers for the rifle or bayonet to bad.

fzane_boxer
 

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I have a T-11 LMG that came from a Navy vet, he was a Helldiver pilot on the Franklin, after it was hit and nearly sunk he ended up on Okinawa and that's were he picked up the T-11. I also got a Japanese helmet that he said was being worn by the gunner of the T-11 when he was killed, the vet penned his name, rank and serial number and the name of the ship plus the ships # on the liner of the helmet he went home on after being wounded, looked up the name of the ship and the history of the ship and it checked out with his story. He was unwilling to talk much about the Franklin or Okinawa, did say the Hell diver was not a very good plane!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies and great stories! Paul, that light MG is sweat! John, can you post a pic of your Okinawa found rifle?

Thanks, Eric
 

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What series type 99's fall into the last ditch category?
 

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very late 7th, 8,10,11,12, 27, 35
Some 25, 34, and 40
Most of the 9th.

Hope this helps.

They look like the one below, with occasional minor differences.
 

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Just a side note to 03 Man's post, I think the Toyo Kogo last ditch rifles (34 & 35) are actually fairly nice in comaparison to other arsenals.
 

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CW, is correct,
the Toyo Kogyo rifles do have a higher finish standard than the others.
 

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I only know one bringbak story but it a good one.

My uncle Jim was a sailor on the USS Taylor, DD468, in the Pacific. The ship has a very interesting history. While escorting an invasion fleet for the P.I. to Borneo, they captured a raft of Japanese soldiers trying to escape from Tawi Tawi. The prisoners and equipment were brought aboard and he managed to get a rifle. He is still alive and well ans still has the rifle and capture paperwork. The rifle is a Nagoya T 99, can't remember series. Matching,full mum and AA sights and rod. no dust cover or sling and condition is decent but well used. Capture paper is an index card typed up by a yeoman with ships seal and Capt's signature. He made a canvas case for it with his name etc on it and still has that as well.
 

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Austin,
we would love to see picts of the rifle, case, and capture papers!
Your uncle too!
 

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I know a guy whos uncle was shot a few times by a japanese sniper. He survived and did get the rifle. The man says that it has a scope so I guess its a type 97. I'd love to see it but I know him just by aquantance.
 
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