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Old April 7, 2013, 09:13 AM   #1
grizz223
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Arisaka type 99 experts

I recently got a type 99 Arisaka from my local gun store but this one is different than any I have ever seen and that is a lot of them over the years. This is my question to any knowledgeable collectors of this rifle. Mine has the Mum intact a matching bayonet but this is where I can't find any info there is a small metal plaque on the side of the stock of course it's in Japanese so I don't know what it says but there is an anchor on the plaque so I'm assuming it's a Naval or Marine symbol. This gun was a bring back but the paper work was lost at some point. The gun shop owner who is a friend of mine said it was brought in by an elderly woman whose husband had been a marine in WW2. I would post pictures but I’m at work.Thanks for any help you can provide.

Last edited by grizz223; April 7, 2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old April 7, 2013, 12:44 PM   #2
James K
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Your best bet is to post a good closeup of the plaque; I don't read Japanese but some of the folks here might or might be able to forward the pic to someone who can. Meantime, you might try sending a good picture o a Japanese consulate or to the military attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Washington.

An intact "mum" usually indicates a battle capture (as opposed to surrendered rifles taken from depots in Japan), there were some rifles that missed the removal of the crest, being taken from museums, guard forces, or the private homes of high ranking officials. The plaque should tell you when it is translated.

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Old April 7, 2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. I will try to get good pic on my days off and post them.
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Old April 7, 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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agree with James, mum intact is a private bring back but I have yet to see any rifles with plaques.
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Old April 7, 2013, 09:19 PM   #5
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I auctioned one that had some type of Asian writing carved (Carefully) on the stock and fore end. I just assumed it was a training school weapon. Mum intact or ground really means nothing. If it is Navel, does it have a slightly thicker receiver? Some were cast iron experiments that had a different locking design. I have only ever seen one of that type but there were a quantity made.
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Old April 8, 2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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They were really (almost?) all "private" bringbacks. Unlike German and Italian guns, I have never seen or heard of any sizeable number of Japanese weapons imported commercially. I did hear, but was not able to confirm, that a few hundred Type 38's were imported years ago from a Southeast Asian country which got them after the occupying Japanese troops surrendered, but that was an exception; most were destroyed.

The majority of Japanese rifles in this country today came from depots in Japan; the Japanese workmen were allowed to remove the Emperor's "mon" or seal (the chrysanthemum) , before surrendering the weapon. Ones with the "mum" intact were usually combat capture, but there were some exceptions. Assuming that the plaque represents some kind of presentation rifle, it would probably not have been in combat, but it is not impossible.

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Old April 8, 2013, 07:11 PM   #7
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it would be interesting to see what condition the type 30s that were sold to the english in WWI would have left with since the only model that I know of that was made with concentric circles was the type 38. never have found one that survived the chopping block though...
japanese rifle markings are some of the most confusing topics out there just because of all the the series, Meiji dating and the difference between concentric circle, mum, and who used them... makes them interesting though.
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Old April 8, 2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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The "mum" is the easy one. It is the "mon", the equivalent of a European coat of arms, of the Japanese imperial family. In recent times, it has been used as a national symbol, but it really is a family symbol and is authorized for use only by members of the imperial family. So the "mum" on a Japanese rifle meant that it was the personal property of the Emperor who, it will be recalled, was considered a deity, and the soldier who carried the rifle was honored to be considered a servant of the Emperor.

It is akin to the use of the royal crown on English rifles, which has somewhat the same meaning, though the English monarch has never been considered a god. (A few rather acted like they were, but that is another story.)

The concentric rings, as best I can find out, meant the rifle was the property of the educational system and was for use by the equivalent of our ROTC. Training rifles, as non-weapons, had neither, nor did pistols.

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Old April 10, 2013, 05:05 AM   #9
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Ok got some pics they are not very good but best I could do with cell phone camera. In the pics you can see the plaque as well as the maker and the matching bayonet. So once again thanks for any help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7859.jpg (243.7 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5334.jpg (244.0 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0905.jpg (237.1 KB, 45 views)
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:18 AM   #10
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I concur with JamesK

Growing up around WWII vets, I distinctly remember hearing several stories about quartermasters, supply, and other logisticans who would trade items such as cigarettes, candy, and of course, alchohol, for captured weapons. This was especially prevalent in Japan.
I also know occupation forces managed to bring rifles back, but many had the mums ground. Back then, a letter from a comanding officer or delegated NCO would allow passage.

Somehow many weapons ended up back in the states (No telling How) as some of you all know how resourseful GIs can be.
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Old April 10, 2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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Grizz, those pictures are really worthless. Even if I could read Japanese, I doubt I could make out what the plaque says, and the other two pics are even worse. Some cell phone cameras take good pictures, but hand held cameras are no good for the kind of work needed here.

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Old April 10, 2013, 11:57 AM   #12
Mike Irwin
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Grizz,

Check and see if you have a macro setting on your camera. That will give you a close up ability.

I suspect that that plaque, though, has NOTHING to do with the rifle, but came off a different piece of equipment and was stuck on there by the guy who "liberated" it.

I've seen many such plaques on mechanical, electrical, and optical equipment, but never on an Arisaka rifle.
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Old April 10, 2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info. I'll try to get a better pic tonight. Maybe I can find my camera and not use my cell phone's camera.
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Old April 10, 2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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Good catch, Mike. There is a serial number and the date 16.3 (March, 1941) as well as the Naval anchor acceptance stamp. Nothing to do with the rifle.

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Old April 10, 2013, 01:54 PM   #15
Mike Irwin
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Your cell phone camera may have a macro setting, as well. Many do now.
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Old April 10, 2013, 02:29 PM   #16
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I have never seen a tag like that on a gun before, regardless of nationality. it is quite common however to find those kind of tags on radio equipment, mechanical parts etc etc... even without the ability to read what it says, I highly doubt that it belongs to to the rifle.

normally, early 20th century guns with identifier tags used a small round disk attached to the side of the buttstock...
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:08 PM   #17
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MY son reads and writes Jap. I will see if he can come up with what it says.

I am at work at the moment so hold on to your shorts.
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Old April 11, 2013, 11:21 AM   #18
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this plaque is written in Kanji and is a form of Chinese alphabet or character system borrowed by the Japanese, each character can have several different meanings depending on whether its written Japanese or Chinese.

Unfortunately my son only can read and write Katakana or Hiragana.

So if you can get a higher resolution photo he can get a translator and figure it out. There are a lot of strokes in these characters and a really good photo is needed to see all of the different strokes and there order.
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Old April 11, 2013, 11:37 AM   #19
grizz223
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thank you 454. I will try to get a better pic and post it for you.
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Old April 11, 2013, 04:19 PM   #20
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I did a little reserch on these plate that are screewed into the stock. One of the charactors on the plaque has a meaning of either "Telephone" or "Electricity" depends on how its interpited.

I saw another Type 99 that has a simular plate and it was date of manufactor and by the company and that one's particular manufactor was an electric company.

So its possible its a plate that has date of manufactor model number and manufactor.
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