Japanese School Marked Type 30 Bayonet by Toyakawa Kosho Naval Arsenal
Type 30 Arisaka rifle bayonet manufacturer marked with the “rocking star” emblem of the Toyakawa Kosho Naval Arsenal. The bayonet has a hooked quillion, contoured grips fastened with screws set in escutcheons, and a contoured birds-head serial numbered pommel. The blade shows significant wear to the dark finish. The scabbard retains most all of its original blued finish. The wood grips show wear and a few minor indentations. The pommel press stud has a working mechanism. The grip has burned into it the kanji for “Aoyama”, indicating “Aoyama Gakuin”. This was and remains a prestigious Tokyo university with satellite high schools and elementary schools connected with it (once a child entered a university’s satellite school, it was the path to higher education in that particular university. This “feeder” system is still in existence in Japan today). The website of Aoyama Gakuin University provides the following information: “In 1941, just before the Pacific War, American missionaries were recalled back home. Aoyama Gakuin was also forced to compromise its school motto in order to accommodate a more nationalistic leaning. Male students were sent to the battlefield while female students were mobilized to support the war effort. The Great Tokyo Air Raid of March 10, 1945 destroyed seventy per cent of Aoyama Gakuin’s buildings.” Although the bayonet is marked to a school, it is certainly not a training bayonet. The blade has a cutting edge and the bayonet was produced by a Naval Arsenal to military specifications. It seems possible, if not likely, that during the war the school had what would have been the equivalent of an American R.O.T.C. unit, and the students or instructors assigned to this unit would have used the bayonet.