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Letters from Iwo Jima

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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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 Japanese
Studio DreamWorks Pictures
Malpaso Productions
Amblin Entertainment
Distributor Warner Bros.
Paramount Pictures
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 Ryô Kase
Lieutenant Ito Shidô 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:



Arisaka Type 99

Most of the Imperial Japanese soldiers are armed with Arisaka Type 99 rifles.

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

M1 Garand

Many Marines are armed with M1 Garand rifles, and some of them are equipped with M1 bayonets. When Shimizu (Ryô Kase) surrenders, a merciless Marine uses his M1 Garand rifle to execute him and another Japanese POW. In the final scene, when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) was surrounded by several Marines, most of them hold M1 Garand rifles.

M1 Garand with leather M1917 sling - .30-06
A U.S. Marine shoots a Japanese prisoner with his M1 Garand.
The same Marine executes Shimizu (Ryô Kase) with his M1 Garand.
A U.S. Marine fires his M1 Garand from a defensive position.
Several U.S. Marines point their M1 Garands at Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya).

M1 Carbine

US Marines are armed with M1 Carbines, they most notably use them during the Japanese Banzai charge. A U.S. Marine lieutenant also 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, no bayonet lug, khaki sling, oiler and a period magazine pouch - .30 Carbine
Two U.S. Marines fire their M1 Carbines during a Japanese Banzai charge.
A U.S. Marine lieutenant with his M1 Carbine as he finds General Kuribayashi's M1911.

M1903A1 Springfield

When Lieutenant Fujita (Hiroshi Watanabe) 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 is an M1903A1 Springfield, the predominately bolt action sniper rifle used 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 with 7.8x Unertl scopes - .30-06. The guns pictured here were the actual rifles used in Letters from Iwo Jima (one is primary, another one is a back-up), and the rifle was fired by Master Sergeant Tom Minder, one of the film's technical advisors.
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.
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 film's technical advisers.

Submachine Guns

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 his M1A1 Thompson at Japanese soldiers while another Marine fires an M1 Garand.
The same Marine reloads his M1A1 Thompson.

Machine Guns

Nambu Type 92

The Type 92 heavy machine gun is used by many Japanese soldiers in bunkers and caves.

Nambu Type 92 - 7.7x58mm Arisaka
Japanese soldiers in a bunker fire a Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun at the Marines.
A Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun in a bunker.
Superior Private Shimizu (Ryô Kase) mans a Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun in a bunker.

Nambu Type 99

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

Nambu Type 99 - 7.7x58mm Arisaka
A Japanese machine gun crew firing a Type 99 Light Machine Gun.
A Japanese soldier with a Type 99 Light Machine Gun.
A Japanese machine gun team lays down fire with the Type 99.

Type 93

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

Type 93 - 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.

M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle

An M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle is carried by one of the Marines when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) is surrounded by them.

M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle - .30-06
On the right, an M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle is carried by one of the Marines when Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) was surrounded by them.

Browning M1919A4

During the night assault led by Lieutenant Ito (Shidô Nakamura), US Marines utilized Browning M1919A4 machine guns to counter the Japanese charge. A Marine also fires an M1919A4 at fleeing Japanese soldiers in another scene.

Browning M1919A4 on M2 tripod - .30-06
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.
Two Marines reloading the Browning M1919A4.


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 end of the film, a U.S. Marine finds the pistol and places it in his belt. On a side note, the M1911 model in this film had ivory grips (possibly to differentiate its significance from the other M1911A1s with wooden grips that the Marines used).

Colt M1911 with pearl grips - .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 his M1911 pistol.
An M1911 pistol in Kuribayashi's hip holster.
Kuribayashi unholsters his M1911.
Kuribayashi's M1911 pistol taken by a Marine lieutenant (Jeremy Glazer).
A Marine lieutenant places the pistol in his belt. 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 M1911 does.

Nambu Type 14

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

Nambu Type 14 - 8x22mm Nambu
Lieutenant Okubo (Eijiro Ozaki) fires a Nambu Type 14 pistol at Shimizu (Ryô Kase) and another Japanese soldier as they attempt to desert and surrender to the U.S. Marines.

Nambu Small-Model

The Nambu Small-Model pistol, or "Baby Nambu", is used by Captain Tanida (Takumi Bando) as Japanese soldiers take up grenades in a cave.

Nambu Small-Model "Baby Nambu" - 7x20mm Nambu. This is the screen-used firearm handled by Takumi Bando in the film Letters from Iwo Jima. Thanks to James Georgopoulos.
Nambu Small-Model "Baby Nambu" - 7x20mm Nambu. This was Takumi Bando's gun used on-set in Letters from Iwo Jima (carried and fired by him).
Captain Tanida raises the "Baby Nambu" to his head.
A slightly different view of the scene before Captain Tanida (Takumi Bando) fires the pistol.

Nambu Type 94

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

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

Hand Grenades

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.

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 by a Type 94 pistol while trying to clear out a 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.


Type 96 25mm AT/AA Gun

The Type 96 AT/AA Gun on the twin mount can be seen at the airfield.

Type 96 AT/AA Gun on twin mount - 25x163mm
A Type 96 on twin mount is seen.

Type 98 320mm Mortar

Type 98 320mm mortars are used by Japanese soldiers to destroy some US tanks.

Type 98 Mortar - 320 mm (12.6 in)
Two Japanese soldiers prepare the Type 98 mortar to fire at incoming Sherman tank.

Type 97 81mm Infantry Mortar

Japanese soldiers can be briefly seen with Type 97 mortars.

Type 97 Infantry Mortar - 81mm
Japanese soldiers fire the mortars.

Type 41 75mm Cavalry Gun

Japanese soldiers fire a Type 41 75mm cavalry gun.

Type 41 Cavalry Gun - 75x185mmR
The gun is seen during the tunnel excavation.
The gun is fired.

Type 93 Landmine

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

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

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

The Coastal Gun is seen.
This scene was also used in Flags of Our Fathers.

Type 3 8 cm/40 naval gun

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

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

M2 Flamethrower

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

M2 Flamethrower
A U.S. Marine burns out a Japanese heavy machine gun position 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 (Tsuyoshi Ihara).

M116 75mm Pack Howitzer

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

M116 “Pack” howitzer - 75x272mmR
The howitzer in deployed in the center.

See Also

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