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Those 5000 pistols seemed a lot of guns for one bank, but if you read up on the Yokohama Specie Bank on Wikipedia, it appears they had offiices all over China and Asia and from India to the US, and probably more than enough employees to issue those pistols, especially given the situation in China during those years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those 5000 pistols seemed a lot of guns for one bank, but if you read up on the Yokohama Specie Bank on Wikipedia, it appears they had offiices all over China and Asia and from India to the US, and probably more than enough employees to issue those pistols, especially given the situation in China during those years.
I read on wiki they got absorbed by a new bank too
 

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Are these guns desirable and collectable to fans of these weapons with the history behind it?
 

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Any 1903 with Japanese provenance is of high interest / demand IMHO.
Maybe not all 5000 were actually sold by Kawaguchiya to the bank
 

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Maybe not all 5000 were actually sold by Kawaguchiya to the bank
It does appear from the “Sold to” on the letter that the bank had indeed bought the whole batch, and Kawaguchiya just handled the importation. I’m not familiar with the Japanese home front during the war, but the government or military might have repurposed commercial gun orders as needed.
 

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Maybe, maybe not... the bank could have been just footing the bill (loan etc).
Either way, that lot of pistols went to Japan for whatever purposes.
 

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I can't remember ever seeing a shipment that large. I can only speculate military, a front for the military, or someone foreseeing a lot of private purchases by officers.
 

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Very nice! Welcome to the club regarding that shipment. I was fortunate to unknowingly stumble into mine a few years back and was pleasantly surprised by getting the same letter back. I really wish these could talk. Where did they go? What did they do? How did they end up back here?

Do you have any idea where it was last? or was it a gun shop purchase?

What's the name of the FB page regarding those?
 

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I did a little reading and found that pre-war YSB was a huge multinational akin to BoA and had offices everywhere Japan held financial interestes. Once the war began, YSB became the de facto paymaster / finance office for the Japanese military and essentially one of the only “legal” banks in occupied territories as all euro banks and most occupied nations banks were forced to close. If that had been the long-game plan it would make sense to have a substantial armory for bank representatives /employees who would have to travel and transport monies within occupied territories.
 

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Always thought it odd we would sell them weapons as they were aggressively invading nations all over Asia. We sold them steel to make things used in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Did FDR have a deal making son like Hunter Biden?
 

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We cut off most all war materials in 1940 but were still selling them oil and refined petrol products until summer of 1941. You have to remember that until they got into bed with the Germans and pushed closer to US shores, essentially forcing our hand, we were essentially wiling to look the other way because of the popular desire for isolationism.
 
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