Japanese translation neede


I’d appreciate it if someone would be kind enough to provide a translation of the markings on this box of 8mm Nambu. Also, as the box was open when I got it, I don’t know if it originally held 15 or 16 cartridges; how many would it have held?




I can only suggest that this is a box of WWII-era Japanese 8mm pistol ammo intended for use in the Type 14 Nambu pistol. The month and year of manufacture is, I think, March of 1940. It should be a 16-round box.

This is the best I can offer, FWIW.


I cannnot read Japanese Ammunition terminolgy well enough to fully translate the back label of your box. The front label, literally translated, says “Type 14 Pistol Ball Ammunition, 15 rounds” (yes - 15 rounds. The Type 14 holds 8 rounds in the magazine, so why the Japanese packaged them in 15 round boxes is beyond me. However, if you try to put 16 rounds in one of these boxes, it will usually split. By the way, two of these boxes were carried in a pouch on the front of the Type 14 Pistol holster, as well as a spare 8 round magazine and cleaning rod inside, and an extra firing pin in a tubular pouch on the outside, next to the pouch for the ammo boxes. The firing pins on the type 14 are very fragile, and are often found broken).

The back label repeats the information from the front label, along with some other data I cannot read. The box pictured is dated Showa 15.3 (Showa, which means “Enlightened Peace” ironically, was the name given the era of the reign of Hirohito). which is March 1940.

If you require a better answer than this off the cuff reply, send me an email and I will research it for you. I should have the complete translations for several back labels, but no time right now to dig for them.


I very much appreciate the responses.

While I was fooling with the box, I attempted to see if I could push the row of 7 cartridges further into the box to determine if it could have held a 16th cartridge, but quickly realized I would damage the box if I tried. So, 15 it is.


Incidently, John, which side do you consider to be the front?


The label with the big star on left, and less characters, is definitely the top label. The Star, by the way, is the Mark of the Tokyo First Arsenal.


Thanks, John.