Letters from Iwo Jima

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Letters from Iwo Jima
Movie Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Release Date December 9, 2006
Language English
Distributor Warner Bros.
Main Cast
Character Actor
General Tadamichi Kuribayashi Ken Watanabe
Private First Class Saigo Kazunari Ninomiya
Lieutenant Colonel Baron Takeichi Nishi Tsuyoshi Ihara
Superior Private Shimizu Ryo Kase
Lieutenant Ito Shido Nakamura
Lieutenant Fujita Hiroshi Watanabe
Captain Tanida Takumi Bando

Letters from Iwo Jima is the 2006 companion film to Flags of Our Fathers. Also directed by Clint Eastwood, this film depicts the battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers defending the island as told through their own letters. The film would go on to receive four Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director.

The following weapons were used in the film Letters from Iwo Jima:


Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Weapons

Type 99 Arisaka Rifle

Most of the Imperial Japanese soldiers in the movie are equipped with the Type 99 Arisaka Rifle.

Arisaka Type 99 battle rifle - 7.7x58mm
Arisaka Type 99 substitute standard (commonly called the "last ditch" Type 99) - 7.7x58mm.
Japanese soldiers fire the Type 99 Rifle at a rifle range. The Type 99 can also be seen held by the Japanese soldiers standing in the rear.
Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) with a Type 99 Rifle at the rifle range. Note the late war style bolt.
Private First Class Nozaki (Yuki Matsuzaki) fires the Type 99 Rifle from a bunker.
The Type 99 Rifle is used by Japanese soldiers during a Banzai charge.
Lieutenant Colonel Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara) holds a Type 99 Rifle after he is blinded by shrapnel. He uses this rifle to commit suicide off-scene.
Lieutnant Okubo (Eijiro Ozaki) fires a Type 99 Rifle at U.S. Marines.

Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun

The Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun is used by many Japanese soldiers in bunkers and caves.

Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun.
Japanese soldiers hidden in a bunker with a Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun fire on the Marines.
Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun in a Japanese bunker.
Private Shimizu (Ryo Kase) mans a Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun in a Japanese bunker.

Type 99 Light Machine Gun

The Type 99 Light Machine Gun is used by many Japanese soldiers in bunkers and caves. Some of them are equipped with Type 30 bayonets.

Type 99 Light Machine Gun (7.7x58mm Arisaka)
A Japanese Machine Gun crew firing a Type 99 Light Machine Gun.
Japanese soldiers with a Type 99 Light Machine Gun.
Japanese machine gun team lays down fire with the Type 99.

Colt M1911

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) is presented with an original Colt M1911 pistol by an American Officer (Mark Moses) in a flashback to his time in the United States. Near the film's end, a U.S. Marine finds the pistol and places it in his belt. On a side note, the 1911 model in this movie had an ivory grip (possibly to differentiate its significance from the other 1911A1's with wooden grips that the Marines used).

Original Colt M1911 (dated 1913) - .45 acp
General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) is presented with an M1911 pistol in a box at a dinner party during his time in the United States.
Kuribayashi takes a look at the M1911 pistol.
M1911 pistol in Kuribayashi's hip holster.
Kuribayashi unholsters the M1911.
Kuribayashi's M1911 pistol taken by a Marine lieutenant (Jeremy Glazer).
Note that he doesn't even engage the safety or push the hammer to its safe position, which would be a dangerous way to holster a firearm, assuming that the firearm doesn't have a grip safety as the 1911 does.

Nambu Type 14 Pistol

The Nambu Type 14 Pistol is the standard handgun carried by Japanese officers.

Nambu Type 14 - 8x22mm Nambu
Lieutnant Okubo fires a Nambu Type 14 Pistol at Shimizu and another Japanese soldier as they attempt to desert and surrender to the U.S. Marines.

Nambu Type A 1902 Modified "Baby Nambu"

The Nambu Type A 1902 Modified Pistol or "Baby Nambu", is used by Captain Tanida (Takumi Bando) as Japanese soldiers take up grenades in a cave.

The Baby Nambu pistol from Letters from Iwo Jima - this was Takumi Bando's gun used on-set (and was carried and fired by him).
Nambu Type A 1902 Modified "Baby Nambu" -8x12 Nambu. This is the screen-used firearm handled by Takumi Bando in the film Letters from Iwo Jima. Thanks to James Georgopoulos.
Having unholstered his Baby Nambu Tanida raises the pistol to his head.
A slightly different view of the scene before Captain Tanida fires the pistol.

Type 94 pistol

Shimizu (Ryo Kase) and other Japanese soldiers are seen using the Type 94 pistol.

Japanese Type 94 Pistol - 8x22mm Nambu
Nozaki fires Shimizu's Type 94 Pistol when the Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun runs out of ammunition.
Shimizu (Ryo Kase) threatens Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) when he tries to escape instead of committing suicide.
Shimizu fires a Type 94 Pistol in his flashback.

Type 97 Hand Grenade

Several Japanese soldiers use the Type 97 Hand Grenade to commit suicide.

Type 97 Hand Grenade
A box of Type 97 Hand Grenades on the floor of a cave.
A Japanese officer prepares to commit suicide with a Type 97 Hand Grenade.

Type 93 Heavy Machine Gun

A Type 93 Heavy Machine Gun is used by a Japanese soldier to defend the island from an Air Raid.

Type 93 Heavy Machine Gun - 13.2mm
The remains of the machine gun in a bunker.
A Japanese soldier opens fire with a Type 93 Heavy Machine Gun.
The same soldier fires the Type 93 Heavy Machine Gun.

Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Gun

The Type 96 AT/AA Gun in twin mount can be seen near the airfield.

Type 96 twin AA mounting - 25x163mm
A Type 96 twin mount is seen.

Type 98 320mm Mortar

Type 98 320mm mortar used by Japanese soldiers to destroy some tank.

Type 98 320mm Mortar.
Two Japanese soldiers prepare the Type 98 mortar to fire at incoming Sherman tank.

Type 97 81-mm Infantry Mortar

Japanese soldiers can biefly seen with Type 97 Mortars.

Type 97 81-mm Infantry Mortar.
The soldiers fire the Mortars.

Type 41 75mm Cavalry Gun

Japanese soldiers fire a Type 41 75 mm cavalry gun.

Type 41 75mm Cavalry Gun.
The field gun is seen during the tunnel excavation.
The gun is fired.

Type 93 Landmine

Lieutenant Ito (Shido Nakamura) carries three Type 93 Landmines.

Type 93 mine.
Feeling desperate, he drops his mines to the ground.

Type 41 4.7-inch/40 (12 cm) Coastal Gun

These scene were used also in Flags of our Fathers.


In the beginning, some remains of Japanese defense guns can be seen.

Possible 14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun.
Type 3 8 cm/40 naval gun after the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Possible 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun.

United States Marine Corps Weapons

M1903A1 Springfield with 7.8x Unertl scope

When Lieutenant Fujita attempts to behead General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), a distant Marine sniper is seen firing a shot and then operating the bolt action of his rifle. The rifle used was a M1903A1 Springfield, the predominately used bolt action sniper rifle by the Marines (and other US forces) during World War II.

A source from ISS (which supplied the weapons for the film) has confirmed that the rifle, which was supplied by key armorer David Fencl, was indeed an M1903A1 Springfield fitted with a 7.8x (8x) Unertl scope, and that the Marine sniper using the weapon was one of the film's technical advisors, Master Sergeant Tom Minder.

A pair of M1903A1 Springfield sniper rifles (.30-06) with 7.8x Unertl scopes. The guns pictured here were the actual rifles used in Letters from Iwo Jima (one is primary, the other is a back-up), and the rifle was fired by Master Sergeant Tom Minder, one of the technical advisors, in the film.
A distant shot of the Marine sniper operating a bolt on his Springfield. The rifle was fired by Master Sergeant Tom Minder, one of the technical advisers on the film.
A close-up of the 7.8x scopes on the rifles from the film.
A close-up of the butts of the rifles used in the film.

M1 Garand

Many Marines were equipped with this weapons (some of them were used with M1 bayonets). When Shimizu (Ryo Kase) surrender, a marine, using his M1 Garand rifle, executed him and another Japanese POW. In the final scene, when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) was surrounded by Marines, most of them used M1 Garand rifles.

M1 Garand semiautomatic Rifle with leather M1917 sling - 30.06
A U.S. Marine shoots a Japanese prisoner with an M1 Garand.
The same Marine executes Shimizu (Ryo Kase) with the M1 Garand.
A U.S. Marine fires an M1 Garand from a defensive position.
Several U.S. Marines hold their M1 Garands on Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya).

M1 Carbine

US Marines are armed with the M1 Carbine during the Japanese Banzai charge. A U.S. Marine lieutenant carries an M1 Carbine while finding the M1911 pistol of General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe)

World War II Era M1 Carbine, with Dark Walnut Stock, 'L' peep sight and no bayonet lug - correct for most of WWII, shown with khaki sling and oiler and a period Magazine pouch for buttstock
Several U.S. Marines fire the M1 Carbine during a Japanese Banzai Charge.
A U.S. Marine Lieutenant with an M1 Carbine as he finds the General's M1911.

M1A1 Thompson

A US Marine can be seen firing the M1A1 Thompson at fleeing Japanese soldiers.

M1A1 Thompson - 45.ACP
On the right, a Marine fires an M1A1 Thompson at Japanese soldiers while other Marine fires his M1 Garand.
The same Marine reloads his M1A1 Thompson.

Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2

A Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2 is seen carried by a Marine when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) was surrounded by them.

Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2 - .30-06.
On the right, a Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2 is seen carried by a Marine when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) was surrounded by them.

Browning M1919A4

During the night assault led by the Navy Lieutenant Ito, US Marines utilize Browning M1919A4 machine guns to counter the Japanese charge. A Marine also fires an M1919A4 at fleeing Japanese soldiers later on in the film.

Browning M1919A4 .30-06 on M2 tripod
On the left, the Browning M1919A4 is manned by a Marine during the Night Assault.
A Marine Machine Gun Team fires a Browning M1919A4 at fleeing Japanese soldiers.
Reloading the Browning M1919A4.

M2 Flamethrower

Sam (Lucas Elliott), a US Marine, carried an M2 Flamethrower until he was captured. During the landing, two Japanese soldiers have been burnt by an M2 Flamethrower.

M2 Flamethrower
A U.S. Marine burns out a Japanese Heavy Machine Gun with an M2 Flamethrower. This appears to be footage from Flags of our Fathers.
Sam with an M2 Flamethrower before being wounded and captured by Baron Nishi.

Mk 2 Hand Grenade

Several U.S. Marines use the Mk 2 Hand Grenade to clear out Japanese positions.

Mk 2 Hand Grenade
A U.S. Marine is shot with a Type 94 Pistol whilst trying to clear out a Japanese bunker. You can see the Mk 2 Hand Grenade in the air to his right.
A U.S. Marine drops an Mk 2 Hand Grenade into a cave.

M116 75mm Pack Howitzer

U.S. Marines are seen with a M116 75mm Pack Howitzer on the beach.

M116 75mm “Pack” howitzer.
The howitzer in the middle.

See Also

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