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The Evolution of the IJA’s Type 30/38 Rifle Ammunition Pouches and Belt (1897-1945)

Article about: The Evolution of the IJA’s Type 30/38 Rifle Ammunition Pouches and Belt (1897-1945) There's more to it than you ever knew Another IJA item typically underappreciated by collectors, because o

  1. #11


    Rear pouches

    Ones with the closing strap hold-down loop are post 1916. If without the screwdriver pocket it gets dated between 1937 and 1945. If it comes with a screwdriver pocket, it gets dated between 1916 and 1934.

    If it is without the hold-down strap, all I can say is congratulations; you can read what I wrote and figure it out yourself.
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  2. #12


    I omitted all the evolutionary development that occurred in the oiler specs, but for these items, too, if you think a resin version and metal version are all you need to find, I can only say ignorance is bliss. Now that I know a lot more about the pouches, I have now also come to realize with disappointment that I am quite far from having the right historical match between the pouch specs and the oiler specs. Someday, I will have to write about it to put my frustration to rest; at least in terms of knowledge, if not in terms of collecting.

    I hope you enjoyed my Christmas present to the collecting community. Have a nice one.

  3. #13


    Manufacturers of Leather Pouches

    I gave manufacturer information for the rubberized version, so here is some information on the leather version makers.

    There were two major companies; 山陽皮革株式会社 (Sanyo Leather Co in Himeji, Hyogo) and日本皮革株式会社 (Japan Leather Co in Osaka). The Osaka depot seem to have split orders equally between these two firms.

    1. Sanyo Leather, according to a 1939 report had just over 300 employees and could produce approx. 5000 sets of ammo pouches monthly. 70% of their sewing work was supplied by their contractor Nishino Co. (西野商店). See photo below for how they marked their products.

    2. Japan Leather, had about 120 employees in 1939 and also had a monthly capacity of approx. 5000 sets. I am almost certain that their marking was the circular one, but I have not found yet clear enough photos of the logo to confirm this.
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  4. #14


    Wow! This is amazing. I started collecting IJA material two years ago and I still need one more side pouch and the rear pouch. They are REALLY expensive. I do have a belt and one pouch so far. All my purchases with one exception have been through an established dealer. NH

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  5. #15


    The Two Versions of Rubberized Canvass

    As addendum, for accuracy's sake, I should explain the difference between the two types of rubberized material that were produced.

    I mentioned the two in the Belt section. The Heavy Waterproof Canvass came out first. It was not referred to as rubberized in Japanese, because both sides of the sheet were canvass. Actually there were 3 sheets of canvass with 2 layers of rubber laid down in between.

    Now take the above material and add another rubber layer on the surface to make it 3 layers each of canvass and rubber, with the canvass now only exposed on the rear side. That is what the IJA called rubberized. This style looks more reddish due to the rubber surface.

    Because of the material difference, some other production features needed to be adjusted. For instance, the rear pouch that I showed in heavy waterproof canvass had the belt loops sewn on and the closing strap and oiler harness are also in canvass. However, the "real" rubberized version would have riveted loops, and the closing strap and oiler harness would be in leather, as the extra rubber layer made it too stiff.

    They are both "rubberized" in English collector's jargon, but actually different beasts.

    Note: Of the construction detail differences between the two I explained above, the riveted belt loops on the latter rubberized canvass pouches may simply be from the fact that the rivets started to be used in 1939/40 instead of sewing and that the rubber-surfaced versions appeared after this switch.
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    Last edited by nick komiya; 12-23-2015 at 10:04 AM.

  6. #16


    Deciphering Taisho Era (1912-1926) Pouch Markings

    And here is how to read the earlier markings. The production year on my rear pouch with screwdriver pocket is partly obscured, but a clear example from a bayonet frog is added to the right to show how it was initially marked.
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  7. #17


    In case you are interested in having my "evolution series" as a hard copy, they are already being re-edited to be incorporated into a book with some other authors. I will let you know about the book in due course.

  8. #18


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    Nick, It is amazing in detail. I do want to finish off my IJA display but only for one figure. I don't plan to collect field gear continuously. Here is a preliminary photo of the display I wish to finish. The leather belt and pouches are reproductions that will be replaced with original examples. NH

  9. #19


    Same with me, as German Panzer items are actually the area of my major and IJA only my minor. You just need to know where to stop. The shovel and gas mask would be difficult and expensive, so getting a repro set is a good idea. At least my articles should give you an idea of what items could be matched for a realistic combination. You don't want to end up like an Alien's diorama of an Earthling shown talking on a cell phone while watching Mr. Ed on B&W TV.

  10. #20


    Nick, Your articles are great - very detailed. I have spent years trying finish off my Heer Artillery NCO display. Matching up items with an Alter Art Feldbluse has been a challenge! I only have one item to go! I have some good connections with IJA dealers and still have the gas mask, blanket and a few other items on my hit list. Cheers, NH

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