About 1,400 Buried WW2 Firearms Found at a Japanese Elementary School

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
About 1,400 WW2 Guns Found Buried Near a Japanese Elementary School (10)

Japanese newspaper called The Mainichi reports that a large cache of buried WW2 firearms and edged weapons was found during construction works near a Tokyo elementary school. Estimated 1,400 firearms (or rather what is left of these guns), 1,200 bayonets (maybe also swords) as well as a number of grenades and ammunition were dug out from the site. Let’s read the report of The Mainichi newspaper and take a look at the photos taken on the site.

TOKYO (Kyodo) — About 1,400 firearms and 1,200 swords believed to be from the period of World War II were discovered buried at an elementary school in western Tokyo, city officials said Monday.

Grenades, bullets and cannonballs were also found one to two meters underneath the grounds of the Tanashi Elementary School in the city of Nishitokyo.

The discovery of the cache of weapons came during excavation work that began in July linked to the construction of a building, the officials said.

Cooperating with police and the Self-Defense Forces, the city on the outskirts of the capital removed the weapons from the school grounds, they said, adding they were possibly discarded after the end of the war in 1945.

In Japan, unexploded bombs and weapons are still sometimes found, even in residential areas. But it is rare for weapons used by the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Army to be recovered in such a large quantity at one time.

Note the large amount of machine gun barrels that can be identified by the ribbed profile.
The distinctive shape of Arisaka rifle bolt handle
Presumably, these are Type 99 or Type 96 light machine gun magazines
A bunch of Arisaka rifles

As you can see, these are all Japanese Imperial Army firearms. Unfortunately, there is no information concerning the origin of these guns, to what unit these firearms belonged to and the exact story of burying these weapons. We’ll keep our readers informed if the story of this cache becomes known.


“1,400 guns, 1,200 swords found buried at Tokyo elementary school”. (2018, August 6). The Mainichi. Retrieved from: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180806/p2g/00m/0dm/083000c

Images from www.mainichi.jp

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@TheFirearmBlog.com

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  • Old Vet Old Vet on Aug 12, 2018

    One would think if they were meant to be recovered at a later date, they would have been more protected from the elements. I suspect, as others, these were merely buried after capture by Allied Forces.

  • JCitizen JCitizen on Aug 13, 2018

    Well, one thing for sure, they won't have to worry about demilling them, they are completely shot!