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UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE JAPANESE ARMY DURING WW2
This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to a Japanese Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in Japanese militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.
THIS WEBPAGE IS CONSTANTLY BEING ADDED TO - SO PLEASE VISIT AGAIN
Imperial Japanese Army Boots
Second World War leather army boots (ankle boots) as worn by the Japanese Army and Sasebo Special Landing Party during the Second World War. These boots are made from tanned leather and are dated 1942. Often worn with the woollen puttees, it is a popular misconception that the Japanese forces always used the soft "split toe" footwear which is synonymous with the Japanese military.
The similarity between the design of these style of military boot; and that which was issued to the Australian Imperial Forces of the First World War are very clear. It is a little known fact that Australia and Japan had been allied since around 1903. As a result, military technology and design was being sold and traded between Japan and the British Commonwealth and other European powers. For example, it has been said the the 1907 Pattern Bayonet which pertained to the British S.M.L.E. (.303) rifle was based on the design of the Japanese Arisaka Bayonet. The Japanese 7.7 Juki Machinegun was a derivative of the French Hotchkiss gun and the Japanese Type 93 Machine Gun was a copy of the British (aerial mounted) Lewis Gun. As a result, it is easy to see similarities between various items of kit and weaponry of that period.
Photo courtesy of Dallas MOXHAM
Second World War Boot Comparison - Army Boots on The Kokoda Track
Army Boot comparison between the Japanese Army boots of the Second World War and the First AIF (Australian Imperial Force) pattern boots (colloquially referred to in collector circles as the First World War pattern without the toe cap).
As can be seen, the similarities are striking. Whilst the Japanese boots have a completely different sole (please see description in the AIF menu) the actual body of the boot is very similar. As the tan dye colour of the Australian boots varied from manufacturer to manufacturer (of which there were many) it can not be said that the difference between the two patterns of footwear is based only on colour tones.
Without a doubt, the Japanese troops of the South Seas Detachment who landed at Gona in 1942 and made their way inland along the Kokoda Track; resulting in that famous campaign wore boots of this pattern. The Australian Militia troops and early AIF battalions who opposed them, wore the pattern of boot shown on the right.
Original image of Japanese Army boots courtesy of Dallas MOXHAM
Arisaka Type 38 Rifle
The Arisaka Type 38 Rifle was a bolt action weapon with a 5 round internal box magazine. Of 6.5 calibre, the Japanese authorities attempted to upgrade the calibre of their standard infantry rifle to 7.7 calibre, to be on par with rifles of other leading nationalities. However this could not be achieved by the outbreak of the Second World War and the Japanese Army continued to equip their frontline troops with this rifle. With the Japanese emphasis placed on bayonet fighting, it was the longest rifle of the war.