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Kryptonite member
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Go to that EXCELLENT ref., Imperial Japanese Grenade Rifles and Launchers, the Type 2 section. Officer Don Roberts landed with occupation troops and observed Japanese soldiers grinding the mums off their rifles.
"We arrived in Sapporo about noon (Oct 5, 1945) at the Provential Headquarters. There appeared to be 200-300 Japanese troops busily defacing the Imperial Crest on their rifles outside the Provential main building." page 119.

I've believed for many years and nothing has surfaced to change my belief, that (1) the Japanese did it to keep the "namban" the southern barbarians, from capturing equipment with the divine leader's crest upon it. (2) At some point in time, possibly during the surrender negotiations in the Philippines (remember the two white Bettys with green crosses that flew into Iwo Shima with deligation members?) removing the 16-pedal chrysanthemum from the rifle receiver came up and since it was no skin off the allies behind the Japanese delegation was told yes. (3) This practice was continued by U. S. troops after the surrender and into 1946. The big question is how the word was passed along to American officers/troops. Word of mouth seems too far-fetched, but there is no paper trail, orders pertaining to mum defacement that has surfaced over the past 74 years.

I doubt that Dugout Doug initially knew about it and it the book American Caesar he is quoted as not wanting to debase the Emperior. Perhaps mum defacement was not "debasing" but aiding the Emperor by keeping his symbol from the hands of the barbarians? I doubt that we will ever know for certain.

Interesting enough, rifles brought back late in the occupation mainly seem to have intract chrysanthemums. This would have been after the Emp. renounced his Divinity. Some connection between being god and not letting the enemy have items with your crest, but when your a mortal man no one cares?
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