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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/29/2005 12:18:36 PM EDT
(long story, but worth reading)

My neighbor across the street is an elderly gentleman and his wife (both in their mid 80's easily). There house has been for sale, and he had stated it had too many stairs, and too much yard, and that if one of them died it would be no place for the other one to live. They bought a single level new house about three blocks away, and a young couple closes on their house tomorrow.

Today as I'm going to work, I see him, and his buddy (another 80'ish year old guy) preparing to move all their stuff alone. When I got to work, our computers were down, so I grabbed a pickup and a trailer, and went over to help him move.

We moved all his beds, couch's, tables, chairs, etc. And he says, well I guess I need to clean out the fruit cellar. We went down there and he crawled into it, and started handing me stuff out, and I was stacking it to move later. Then he hands me an old rifle, which I paused and noticed it was an old Japanese Arisaka, in pretty rough shape. I asked him were he got it, and he said "DO YOU WANT IT, TAKE IT!" I told him, maybe you should ask one of you 9 kids if they, or their kids wants it, he says No, they don't want it, you take it. So I thank him numerous times, and tell him that I collect firearms.

So he goes on to tell me how he was in the Navy in the mid-40's during "The War", and one of his jobs was to search the caves in Okanowa, Japan for injured and/or dead U.S. Soldiers, and he found this Japanese rifle (he had no idea what it was except that it was Japanese), that a dead Japanese soldier was hanging onto, in one of the caves! He said he didn't want it anymore, and I should take it! We talked a little about my tour in the Army, but I kept directing the conversation back to his service.

I thanked him about 8 more times throughout the day. And then he took me out for lunch. I insisted that he let me pay for his lunch, but he wouldn't here of it, and ended up paying for mine.

The rifle isn't in the best shape, but I've seen a lot worse. I will try to clean it up, but I highly doubt it will ever be anything more than a conversation peice. I just thought it has such a cool story behind it, that I would share.

I'll post a picture of it tonight when I get home from picking up my (new to me) P7M8! Wow, two cool new toys in one day!
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 12:49:19 PM EDT
Cool! Check to see if it has the chrysanthemum etched into the receiver.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 1:09:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 1:26:52 PM EDT by MyWar]

Originally Posted By mcnielsen:
Cool! Check to see if it has the chrysanthemum etched into the receiver.

It does have the flower looking thing on etched on top (what does that mean?). It also has a seriel number on the left (non-ejecting) side, and three symbols afterwards (no idea what they mean). Not mine, but looks just like this:

Also, I forgot to mention. Dick (the elderly gentleman) said that "they" removed the firing pin, before "they" would let him take it home. I checked it out and it looks like they just slipped the 'inards' out of the bolt. I think the rifle has a cool story attatched to it, so I'm not too worried about making it functional (although it doesn't look like it'd be hard to do).
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 1:26:06 PM EDT
The Chrysanthemum is the symbol of the Emperor. All rifles belong to the Emperor who is considered a God. If a soldier knew he would be captured, he was instructed to grind off the symbol so the emperor's symbol would not fall into enemy hands. If it was not ground off, that means it was most certainly taken from a dead soldier (ie: he didn't have a chance to TCB)

The symbols below the flower are japanese for "Type 99" Japanese is read right to left, so the first symbol is "type" and the next two are "9"s

If the stock is in good shape, and not laminated wood, it is an earlier model and worth between $200-$500 probably.

Next time we get together, I'll bring the bolt from my Type 99 and a 5 rd. stripper and we'll give yours a shot!
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 1:36:21 PM EDT
Here's a page with some explanations on the markings, they give the arsenal and year of manufacture, etc...

Arisaka markings
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 2:47:40 PM EDT
What a nice gesture on your part K! Bravo!
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 4:08:10 PM EDT
Yupper...Typicaly a Jap rifle with the Mum intact was a war trophy or the like. In the agreement between the two warring nations at the end of the war we agreed to grind the Mums of of the rifles that were turned over. Cus were so nice..... Nice rifle.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:09:05 PM EDT
No good deed goes unpunis....
Umnm... unrewarded!

A bit of history in your hands... now how cool is that?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:45:15 PM EDT

the flower on an ariska makes it worth more, even if its a wall hanger.

The cheapest I have seen those go for is $300 on gunbroker.

I'd keep it and get a nice photo of the old tiger who found it and write the story up and have him sign it.

Keep it with the rifle.

See if you can get a photo (or copy of a photo) of him in his uniform from way back when and put it all together.

That will end on some show on the History or Military channel and you'll get $500 from the producers.

Here is a link to someone who (re)finishes jap rifles...
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 7:38:39 PM EDT
Nice story. Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 9:23:43 PM EDT
Awesome! I wish someone would give me a free rifle.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 11:09:23 PM EDT
cool!! I snagged a SW 1006 from a neighbor that was FBI that didn't want his service gun anymore. Helps to be a good neighbor
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:44:12 AM EDT
Thanks guys. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures last night, but I took it to my buddy (FFL) whom collects Japanese rifles. He has a big red book on Arisaka's that was cool to thumb through. He said that it was a late war peice (no bells or whistles), and that it was all intact, minus the firing pin, spring, and safety knob. He said that it could easily be made shootable with a little TLC. He also echo'd what some of you had said about writing the story down, and getting a picture of the gentleman.

As far as value, it's neat to know, but it's a moot point as this will stay in my family forever. I'm really touched that the gentleman would give it to me, along with such a story. I can't stop thinking that, given the circumstances, this rifle certainly saw very scary times, only two owners ago.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 7:09:01 AM EDT
THe hairs stand up on my arms reading this story. That is really cool.!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 3:47:25 PM EDT
Yep, late war, the rear sight is a big giveaway

I'd be careful if you shoot it, though. They weren't of the highest quality, metal-wise...late war Arisaka's have been known to kB in dramatic fashion when fired with full-strength ammo..

You might be better off getting it back into working condition, documenting all you can on it..and putting it away for future generations to enjoy.

Who knows, some Japanese industrialist might decide he needs one for his collection and offer you gobs of money for it

Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:46:27 PM EDT
Good job on helping your neighbor!

More people should do this and the world will be a better place. Things always work out when you help another! Its called Karma! Time to pass it on... At other forums, when good fortune happens they pass it along by sharing something with someone else on the board! Just a suggestion and works quite well... and make you feel good to keep the sharing going!
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