1942 Arisaka Type 99 Rifle

Employed by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, this bolt-action rifle was the standard infantry weapon for the Japanese soldier.

This piece was captured in Papua New Guinea and still has an intact Chrysanthemum on the top of the barrel.

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The Arisaka Rifle: A Symbol of Japanese Tenacity in the Jungles of Papua New Guinea

The Type 99 Arisaka rifle, synonymous with the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, became a ubiquitous sight amidst the dense jungles and rugged terrain of Papua New Guinea. This bolt-action rifle, chambered in 7.7x58mm Arisaka, was the standard infantry weapon for Japanese soldiers. This particular rifle, now deactivated in compliance with Western Australian legislation, carries a unique history as a captured relic from the battlefields of Papua New Guinea, brought back by a Western Australian soldier.

In the sweltering heat and humidity of New Guinea, the Arisaka proved to be a reliable and robust weapon, capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of jungle warfare.

Overview

  • Good accuracy and range: The relatively long barrel proved crucial in engagements where visibility was often limited by dense foliage.
  • Sturdy construction and simple design: Made it easy to maintain in the field, a vital attribute given the logistical challenges faced by Japanese forces.
  • Effective in the hands of skilled marksmen: Enabled the Japanese to inflict heavy casualties on Australian forces, particularly in the early stages of the Kokoda Track campaign.
  • Distinctive sharp crack: The report of the Arisaka became a chilling sound for Allied soldiers, signaling the presence of a determined and well-armed enemy.

Limitations of the Bolt-Action Mechanism

As the tide of the war turned, the Arisaka’s limitations became apparent:

  • Slower than semi-automatic rifles: Used by Allied forces.
  • Length and weight: Made it cumbersome in close-quarters combat, a common occurrence in the dense jungles of New Guinea.

A Silent Witness to Sacrifice and Suffering

Today, this Arisaka rifle stands as a historical artifact, a silent witness to the sacrifices and suffering endured by those who fought in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Its presence in collections serves as a reminder of the brutal conflict and the enduring impact of war on individuals and nations. This particular rifle, captured by a Western Australian soldier, serves as a tangible link to the personal stories of those who fought in this theater of war.

Year

1942

Era

20th Century

Brand

Arisaka

Marking

Chrysanthemum 36678

Country

Japan

Military Grouping

Army

Theatre

Papua New Guinea