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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,
Thanks to this forum, you have put me in contact with Wally Morishige. He had the Baby Nambu Ammo, and some Papa Nambu Grips that I was going to need.
Here's the story. When I looked at my Papa some months ago, before purchasing, it had some really (to me) strange looking grips. Black ebony/plastic looking things with a golden dragon stretched from top to bottom. I figured that some Navy guy had custom grips made and installed to satisfy his Post WWII fantasy. I have posted photos below.
Well, I delt with the very nice Wally Morishige who had an original set of Papa grips. He kindly parted with them for me to use to replace the ones I had coming. I took possession of the Papa this weekend, and the first thing I did was remove the grips with the dragons on them. Guess what??? they were apparantly the original wooden grips. S/N on one matched the pistol, and the other side was only one off. It looked like someone had sanded down the original grips and applied the new decor. You can see on the back of the grips where the "paint" or whatever dripped over the edge. A little light went on in my head. Japanese enameled some very decorative items, as I recall.
So, look below, and let me know what the consensus is of the Forum. Hopefully some of you have seen something like this before. I am anxious to hear your opinions.

Ronnie

Download Attachment: Papaleft-1a.jpg
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Download Attachment: Paparight-1a.jpg
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Download Attachment: PapaLeftGrip-2a.jpg
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Download Attachment: PapaRtGrip-2a.jpg
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Ronnie,
I have known Wally for a few quite a few years and consider him a friend. He is always the first person I turn to for Japanese stuff. Great guy.
About the grips. I used to let these kind of things bug me because they weren't factory original. As time has come to pass, I really like them! I think they add to the history of the weapon.
If I had to guess, I would say that an American serivceman had this done after he captured the pistol. Maybe in Japan or China. This makes your Papa more unique than others out there. Keep them on! It will be an eye catcher in a display.
Just my opinion.
Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a bunch Dean. I'm coming around to the same thought you have. To just leave the grips as is. It is certainly an eye catcher!
Does anyone else have any ideas about how or why this grip configuratiion may have occurred?? Dean thinks the "liberator" of the pistol may have had it done. What about the Japanese soldier who owned the pistol first?? Would the military have allowed something like this?? Would the "custom job" have been done in the orient, or the U.S.??

r
 
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A Japanese soldier would not have modified a possession of the Emperor, as all military weapons were. An Officer who private purchased might, but it is very doubtful. This is not in the Japanese officers class "tastes". Like the ETO bringbacks with the chrome finish and clear plastic grips, this was almost surely done at the behest of an occupation force soldier. The work was probably done in Japan and maybe cost a pack of cigarettes or the equivelent.
Like the chromed "officers" pistols from the ETO, I find the added history appealing, if not price enhancing, (it seems to me that the capturing soldier's modifications are historically significant) and I would leave them on the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tom,
Thanks to you for your input as well. Seems like the trend here is to keeping the grips with the pistol as a part of its history.I have emailed Wally, and his reply is consistant with yours. That the Japanese military would never have allowed this "custom" work on property of the Imperor. Well, thanks to Wally, I have some "original" grips to go with the pistol, should I ever want to get rid of it.
Perhaps for a separate thread, sometimes the history of our military artifacts AFTER their use in the war, or whatever, is as interesting as the actual event. That is to say, what could have been the path to us as collectors?? That is a question that I often wonder about----. Most of the time, I have no idea. Sadly---!

r
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rob,
Thanks for the flowers---- I have seen some of the nice "stuff" that you have as well. I am really fortunate to have come across the "stuff" that I have. My Mentor has allowed me the pick of his goodies, and as I can afford them, I nab them. This Papa was one of those.
Basically, I could go to gun shows for 50 years and not accumulate the things I have. My Mentor has done that for me. I am reaping the benefit of his years of experience.

Ronnie
 
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