View Full Version : Need help with chrysanthemum marked rifle (Arisaka?)

March 25, 2010, 06:27 PM
Been in the family for years, just resurfaced and found its way to my hands. Uncle brought back from war, filled barrel with lead (was worried about kids apparently) Seems to be missing firing pin assembly and piece of forend wood.

Whats is it exactly, can I restore it, what is it worth now, after restoration?

New to posting pics, but here goes:



March 25, 2010, 06:40 PM



To right of serial number is that mark that is visible in photo, to the right of that are two proof marks that did not come up well in photos. To left of serial number is a "S" mark, to its left is a triangle inside a circle symbol

March 25, 2010, 06:45 PM

George R
March 25, 2010, 07:00 PM
They made about 6 million of them, but what makes yours unique is the intact 16 petal mum. The mum was a symbol of the emperor's property, and when the war ended or in the unlikely event of surrendering, the last thing a soldier did was grind off the mum so that the emperor wouldn't be disgraced. An intact mum is the sign of a battlefield pickup, so your gun is special that way. $ value, not a lot, faimily value-priceless.

4V50 Gary
March 25, 2010, 07:01 PM
I'm voting that it's a Type 38 (1905).

You're also missing the upper forearm and cleaning rod.

March 25, 2010, 07:26 PM
Parts gun:mad:

March 26, 2010, 08:48 AM
From the serial no., it looks to have been made between 1931 and '32.

After 1932, the Tokyo arsenal production was transfered to the 3 plants in Kokura where Type 38s were given a series prefix markings.

I cannot make out the final inspection markings to the right of the serial no.

There should be numbers on the bolt that do not match the receiver. It is an assembly number. The floorplate, magazine, bolt release, stock (inside the barrel channel), and the bottom of the receiver should all have the same number. The rear sight has different assembly numbers on it.

As others have posted, I agree that it is probably best to leave as is. The rifle makes a momento of your Uncle for the rest of the family.

Hope this helps, JT

March 26, 2010, 01:41 PM
You guys have been a tremendous help, thanks to all.

It sounds like I finally found a "wall hanger", will be great over my fireplace or bar. I called my dad last night; hes trying to get a more complete story from his brother. Ill post if its worthy. TY again.

BTW, the bolt, magazine, and the dohicky (my ignorance precedes me) that slides up and down on the rear sight elevator are marked with a symbol that looks like a "7" with a horizontal slash through it. To the right or this symbol is "716". The base of the rear sight elevator is marked with the same symbol and a "12"

March 26, 2010, 04:09 PM
My father's uncle served in WWII. During the battle of Okinawa he picked this rifle up after his unit took a fortified position. He was later awarded a bronze star for his action in the battle. In addition to the rifle, he brought home a samurai sword (Ive never seen it, but am VERY curious). My fathers uncle never had kids, gave the rifle and sword to his brother, my grandfather. My grandfather past the sword to his eldest, and the rifle to my dad.
I look forward to passing it to my son one day and telling him the same tale.

March 26, 2010, 07:04 PM
FWIW, some samurai swords are worth HUGE $$$$.


4V50 Gary
March 26, 2010, 09:18 PM
You must get your uncle's story on paper and have him sign it. The paper should have the specifications of the gun as well as its serial #. That paper provides the provenance for the gun and adds to its historical value. Get a period photo of your uncle and a copy of his service record too. Otherwise, it's just another gun. Your grandson's grandson will thank you for it.

March 27, 2010, 08:05 AM
He past away a few years ago:(

I know its history, I guess thats the important thing.

4V50 Gary
March 27, 2010, 12:14 PM
Get your pop to write the documentation. Contact the National Archives to get his service record and see if anyone in the family has photos of him. You might want to go to a reunion of his unit (if anyone is still alive) and collect any recollections of his buddies about him. Then again, you might just become the next Stephen Ambrose.;)

March 27, 2010, 06:56 PM
Mine's a type 38 (6.5 Jap) no chrysanthemum, as it was captured and de-nationalized.
Dad was a Radioman, 3rd class in the first Destroyer Squadron into Tokyo Bay after the armisstice and selected his (later, mine) off of a Higgins boat that was making the rounds from ship to ship.
It shoots very well (long barreled version), but is tre expensive to feed.
Factory ammo is currently availale from Norma and Hornady. Cost is roughly equivalent to 300 WSM. Buck and a half to two bucks a round.
Got a heck-a-wicked bayo that will get your attention when mounted, too.
Roughly, a 25 cal round in a relatively massive rifle that is a pleasure to shoot, and the accuracy may surprise you.


March 27, 2010, 10:14 PM
Mum ground off means it wasn't captured, but surrendered after the war. At wars end the Japanese were allowed to grind off the Mum before surrendering the rifles ( They might have even come from a ware house and never been issued. ). This was never done in the field , Japanese infantry man did not carry a potable grinders in there back pack.

March 27, 2010, 10:57 PM
This was never done in the field , Japanese infantry man did not carry a potable grinders in there back pack.

Years ago history channel did a bit about this in tales of the gun, they had claimed Japenese soldiers used their bayonets to "scratch out" the mum symbol, as opossed to grinding it off.

March 28, 2010, 01:22 PM
:) All I can say is that the History channel did not do their homework very well. What Japanese soldier would face being executed for defacing the emperors property. Also defacing with a knife is not "grinding". Repeat, Ground mums were rifles surrendered after the war, they were not capture rifles. ( and yes the History Channel makes a lot of mistakes, it's not a college class, it is a TV show for entertainment.):)

4V50 Gary
March 28, 2010, 10:07 PM
I thought the US occupation forces ground off the chrysanthemum. History Channel = Hystery Channel. Caveat Emptor. :)

March 28, 2010, 10:47 PM
Its a type 38 6.5 and there is a lot of them around with the Mum still on. The 7.7 type 99 took most of the abuse. I have quite a few 6.5's and most of them have the Mum on them yet. I believe thousands were distributed or sold by the
Chinese after the war with the Mum still on.