Original Imperial Japanese Army WWII Type 98 Officers’ Sun Helmet - Rare Variant
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely and unique variation of the Japanese sun helmet used during World War II. It is one often referred to as “the officer’s pattern”, but for reasons unknown. If you have ever seen the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, you will notice Colonel Saito, the Prison Camp Commandant, wearing a variation of this type of sun helmet. Collectors will always name variations and types of examples they have seen in either books, movies or TV shows, and this is more than likely why this Type 98 is now referred to as the Officer’s Pattern.
This variation of the “Type 98” pattern sun helmet features the same six pattern construction as the khaki versions, but instead is covered with white cloth and a khaki band. It is unclear exactly as to which particular firm produced the helmet or when it may have been used. Some historians and collectors debate whether this variation was ever issued out. Given that most of the examples seem to be missing a label indicating who it was issued to, or when, it is possible these were never issued during the war.
This rare helmet variation, of which only a handful are known to exist in collections, is seen both with the sewn on insignia as well as with the metal star. Unfortunately this one does not have any type of insignia featured on the front, nor does it appear to have ever been fitted with one.
The condition does show wear consistent with service and storage. The exterior has some staining, and the white color has darkened slightly. The interior retains the color well, with some discoloration around the brim. The lower suspension band is missing with the upper string still in place. It has a complete functional chin strap.
There is a manufacturer label present, but as with most of these Officers examples, it is blank. There is however the character 前 (Front) in white ink, indicating which direction to wear the helmet.
This is a very nice and rare variant of a Japanese Type 98 sun helmet. Ready for research and display!
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