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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if any experts here could tell me anything about the uniform/sword/equipment/car in this photograph of my great grandfather. My grandmother thinks he must have been a staff car driver, but beyond that she has no idea where or when the photo was taken. I assume it’s pre-war, since she has no memory of him being away and he was out of the Army in time to survive the Tokyo Firebombing.
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I can only comment on the sword. The end has the classic shape of the leather-covers used on civil swords fitted for the war. The leather covers were found on shingunto too, but the rounded tip wouldn't be seen on a shingunto. So, likely a private sword fitted for military use.
 

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I was wondering if any experts here could tell me anything about the uniform/sword/equipment/car in this photograph of my great grandfather. My grandmother thinks he must have been a staff car driver, but beyond that she has no idea where or when the photo was taken. I assume it’s pre-war, since she has no memory of him being away and he was out of the Army in time to survive the Tokyo Firebombing. View attachment 3891146
Pre war pic, 1930's. Pic most likely taken in Japan, possibly China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can only comment on the sword. The end has the classic shape of the leather-covers used on civil swords fitted for the war. The leather covers were found on shingunto too, but the rounded tip wouldn't be seen on a shingunto. So, likely a private sword fitted for military use.
Thanks! I wonder where he picked it up?—whether it was a family sword or simply a private purchase. They were a family of Shinto priests, so maybe the latter. In any event, I suppose it got destroyed in the bombings. This was one of the two or so pictures that survived the war.
 

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Thanks! I wonder where he picked it up?—whether it was a family sword or simply a private purchase. They were a family of Shinto priests, so maybe the latter. In any event, I suppose it got destroyed in the bombings. This was one of the two or so pictures that survived the war.
It appears to be wearing a combat cover. It’s a short sword, 25-26” blade. Impossible to know if was a family blade. Nice pic.
 

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What is the car? It doesn't look right for a Toyota A-Series nor a Nissan 70.

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The car, possibly a 1938 Chevrolet? The side hood vents should give the make away or some one might be able to read the hub-cap name. I cannot get that much definition from my computer.

Chuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your guy could have gotten the sword either way, both ways were quite common. As a priest, I know that shrines often had many swords that had been donated to the gods, sometimes hundreds! Don't know the protocol, as to whether a priest could simply take one for use in the war or not though.
That makes a lot of sense. A few years ago my grandma mentioned on the phone that if anyone made anything near the temple, traditionally the first one would go to the Shinto priest as an offering—she had one of the offerings, which was an “old knife”….would I like it? I said, hell yeah I wanted it!

Well, the next time I saw her, she pulled it out and it was a kitchen knife from the 1960s….
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The car, possibly a 1938 Chevrolet? The side hood vents should give the make away or some one might be able to read the hub-cap name. I cannot get that much definition from my computer.

Chuck.
It certainly looks like it might be! Unfortunately, I don’t have the original photograph, which is back in Japan with my great uncle’s family. Those hood vents certainly look right, but I couldn’t find a picture of a Chevy sedan that quite matched.
 

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I was wondering if any experts here could tell me anything about the uniform/sword/equipment/car in this photograph of my great grandfather. My grandmother thinks he must have been a staff car driver, but beyond that she has no idea where or when the photo was taken. I assume it’s pre-war, since she has no memory of him being away and he was out of the Army in time to survive the Tokyo Firebombing. View attachment 3891146
I was wondering if any experts here could tell me anything about the uniform/sword/equipment/car in this photograph of my great grandfather. My grandmother thinks he must have been a staff car driver, but beyond that she has no idea where or when the photo was taken. I assume it’s pre-war, since she has no memory of him being away and he was out of the Army in time to survive the Tokyo Firebombing. View attachment 3891146
are the goggles' an odd item for an officer to be wearing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
as a corporal, he sure look's as smart as they come! a striking pose! I wonder if he made it?
He was conscripted into the Army, but he had some kind of illness (TB?), so he was allowed to muster out. My grandmother won’t talk about it, but whatever he had eventually killed him shortly after the war ended.

He apparently saved his family by having them jump into the Kama River instead of going to the bomb shelters during the Tokyo Firebombing in 1945. That was something my grandma mentioned offhand a few years ago. When my dad and I left her house, he said he hadn’t known she was even there for the bombing.
 
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