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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gary Nila sent me the link to a Japanese auction of watercolors that have this one picture of a mum being removed. Here's one translation of what's is written on the image.

Explanation of Japanese on the drawing.
Because of lost the war,under the instruction of U.S.force, we surrendered our weapons. According to our superior's order, we cut off the mum from our rifles. I thought those rifles will be used by our country again but all of rifles were threw them into the ocean by order of U.S.force.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The auction itself is totally in Japanese, but apparently these paintings were done during the war.
 

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Thanks, and thanks for posting the picture. Certainly another clue in the missing mum mystery.
 

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From What Gary said when he called last PM the drawing is dated 15 Aug.1945. I view it as an emotional tribute to the loosing side and the final act of the war. But what do I know.
 

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Interesting photo. Note the use of a file / rasp. Gives perhaps a bit of credence to the theory that 'hatch' marks (aka: 'bayonet strikes') were done by the Japanese, as opposed to the variety of grinding jobs done by G.I.'s.
Thanks for posting this Rob -- the written sentiment is expressive as well.
JohnB/
 

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Very interesting. I always thought the removal of the mum was at the behest of the Japanese. Too bad there wasn't more of a shortage of files in Japan post-war.

Is it safe to assume that any rifle with a scrubbed mum probably came from Japan and was surrendered post-war?
 

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I've always said "X"ed, "="ed, "beat-up" mum rifles were pre surrender mum cancellations by IJA personnal. I've seen ground rifles with the remainder of an "X" in the grind area. Rifles surrendered with the mum cancelled were taken to a souvenir distribution point and all were ground, even though the mum was already cancelled.

Apparently during the pre surrender signing the Japanese also ground mums as I purchased two rifles from a fellow who was one of the first arrivals in the occupation, same base where Mac landed. There were a pile of rifles in one hanger, he picked up two, one was ground and the second "x"ed. The big question is why U. S. troops continued the practice and why is there no paper trail?

It's been 20+ years since the mid 80s Chinese imports of T-38s, but I remember ground rifles in the bunch, even a ground Six Five Infaantry Rifle. Suely Mac did not send orders to the few U.S. troops in China to drop everything and grind mums?
 

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Though I thoroughly enjoy de-mum'd Arisakas (especially matching and original-condition examples), I would like to find a non-defaced version someday.

Heck, I may even buy some ammo someday and take one shooting! :)
 

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Based upon the full co-operation of the Japanese Government and Imperial General Headquarters, the new modifications provided for gradual occupation of designated areas after the Japanese had disarmed the local troops. No direct demilitarization was to be carried out by Allied personnel; the Japanese were to control the disarmament and demobilization of their own armed forces under Allied supervision.

At the time this was negotiated, the Japanese were also given an additional 3 days to prepare for the occupational forces to arrive.

My father was there during the first month of occupation. He never remembered any mum grinding, and said most of the labor was done by the Japanese that worked for them. Most rifles were destroyed, but some were saved for souvenirs. He hand-picked his T2, and that was ground. Could be that when the Japanese saw the rifles were to be taken as souvenirs, that prompted them to take the mums off. Don't think that we will ever know for sure, but by my thinking , I would bet the Japanese were in charge of any mum grinding. The only people that were concerned about saving face for the emperior would be the Japanese, don't think that the Occupational forces would have really cared. Think about it, do you think the Occupational forces really cared about the mums on the Japanese rifles? They were just happy to be alive!
 

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This has been discussed off and on in Banzai for years. There is a letter from a friend of Dan Larkin's that observed Japanese grinding rifles on the docks after the surrender. The rifles were to be taken out to the ships and distributed as souviners. Another second-person report was from a collector that had an Uncle in the Navy post war. The Uncle stopped on Okinawa in 46, he saw a ware house with Arisakas, Asked the guard at the door if he could have one. Guard said yes, but you have to take that file and remove the mum.

I've had rifles that came back late in the occupation that still had the mum. This was after the Emperior denounced his devinety. Did it make any difference after that? McArthur is quoted in "Amedrican Caesar" as not wanting to "play down" (wrong word, but having a senior moment) the Emperior in front of his people. Was grinding Mac's order, if so where are the written orders?
 

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This has been discussed off and on in Banzai for years. There is a letter from a friend of Dan Larkin's that observed Japanese grinding rifles on the docks after the surrender. The rifles were to be taken out to the ships and distributed as souviners. Another second-person report was from a collector that had an Uncle in the Navy post war. The Uncle stopped on Okinawa in 46, he saw a ware house with Arisakas, Asked the guard at the door if he could have one. Guard said yes, but you have to take that file and remove the mum.

I've had rifles that came back late in the occupation that still had the mum. This was after the Emperior denounced his devinety. Did it make any difference after that? McArthur is quoted in "American Caesar" as not wanting to "play down" (wrong word, but having a senior moment) the Emperior in front of his people. Was grinding Mac's order, if so where are the written orders?
 

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My Dad picked up his 3rd series on Siapan during the war in early '45. He was in Tokyo Bay for the surrender. He told me when I asked about the mum being ground (my neighbor had one that was X'ed) he told me that as they were returning to the states in Dec 45 they were ordered to pull out all their souvenirs and grind the mums off. Orders from McArthur was the word. He also told me that this was when he removed the bent up "coat hanger" looking thing and threw it over the side. Never said anything about a dust cover. This was in the late 60's and I started asking questions because my neighbor was "refinishing" the T99 his dad had brought back to use as a deer rifle. The original finish did get it's revenge though. I remember him having to go to the Doc with a horrible rash after removing the finish!
So I don't think you can draw any conclusions from a mum being present, X'ed, or completely ground. It's just the luck of the draw. If all you had was a file you probably just made an X across the mum. If you had access to a grinder the whole thing is probably gone. If you were standing watch at the time or shipped it home during the war it probably still wears it's mum.
Let's not try to read too much into the condition of the mum. There are just too many variables. I do like the watercolor 'Dogs! It would make a good Christmas gift for you to give a fellow board member (hint hint!).
I'm still waiting to see documentation of the document from McArthur to deface the mums that Takehito wrote about in Aprils Banzai! :rolleyes:
 

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How about the bayonet. It looks as though the hilt has been bent backwards. Is this part of the translated discription?

John in Charlotte, NC
 

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The artist was a medical guy, painting no doubt from memory; ergo the drawing is an 'impression' not a photograph. Cut him a little slack, the receiver and dust cover arent right either, but the point is that the Japanese defaced the mum under some circumstances.

Info from the auction:
These water colors painting and/or drawings are by a Japanese medical personnel from September 1943 till Aug.15,1945. Note the one drawing which showed the mum removal off a Type 38 rifle on 15th of August. As soon as U.S. seized those rifles, they threw them into the ocean.

 

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Unless the artist is alive & a good friend of yours...no slack. Guess I'm just bored to death by this subject. Al least the hands are well done.
 

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Jareth,
no dog in this fight, just adding to the info. I'm sure you know how those artists are- all rifles, and bayonets look alike to them. All considered, IMHO, it is a pretty good representation of what 'may have happened'.

If one looks too closely at the location of the 'mum', it ain't right; but at least the painter is consistant, he shows the filing of the 'wrong' place, too.
 
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