Japan: 2,600 guns, swords found buried under school (PHOTOS)
By Chris Eger
Weapons dating to the old Imperial Army were unearthed in a weeklong excavation at a school outside of Tokyo last week (Photo: Nishitokyo Municipal Government)
A Tokyo suburb is working on clearing a cache of long-buried ordnance unearthed while working on a local elementary school.
The Nishitokyo Municipal Government has released details of stacks of seriously deteriorated military rifles, machine guns, swords, and grenades found last week during construction at Tanashi Elementary School. The vintage hardware came to the surface when crews performing drilling work started running into the items at a depth of 3-7 feet on July 27. Since then, an estimated 1,400 firearms, 1,200 “swords” and eight practice grenades have been cataloged.
From the images, most of the well-decayed weapons are pre-1945 vintage and, judging by what is left, appear to be a mix of various models of Arisaka rifles, Type 11 and Type 96 light machine guns, Type 3 heavy machine guns, grenade throwers, and bayonets.
Note the Japanese Type 89 “Knee mortar” in the center of the pit. (Photo: Nishitokyo Municipal Government)
The bulk of the cache was stacked inside a 15×12-foot pit. Several additional knee mortars are to the right in a stack (Photo: Nishitokyo Municipal Government)
What is left of