Original Japanese WWII Civil Defense Fire Brigade Helmet with Skirt

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a good example of a Japanese WWII Fire Brigade helmet, complete with the original "skirt" which wraps around the head for protection from fire and smoke. It is a WWII issue pattern with a lovely war time 1936 pattern insignia on the front, symbolizing use for a local fire brigade.

This example does not have any bands around the skirt, indicating that it was for the lowest rank (消防手) of "firefighter". It still has the original securing loops inside for the chin strap, though they are quite worn, and the original chin strap is still present. The original cherry blossom crown piece is in a nice shape, though it has most of the paint missing.

These helmets were overall unfortunately not very effective at protection from fire or from falling debris, so they were phased out relatively quickly in the post war period.

Comes ready to display!

The Japanese militarists considered air raids improbable and unpatriotic to plan for civil defense. Tonarigumi (neighborhood associations) that organized civilians into enclaves of 10-12 families, began to hold regular drills for fighting "kinka" or "chikabi" (a fire in one’s neighborhood) from 0500-0700 Hours daily after the Doolittle Raid. Each household was expected to contribute a member of the family to the Tonarigumi firefighting training. With so many men in the armed forces, the civilians were mostly women. Japanese firefighting techniques and equipment were inadequate even by 1940s standards. Most cities lacked modern firefighting equipment. Most units were hand- or horse-drawn and cities lacked enough water to fight a major conflagration. Surprisingly, since Japan had experienced major fires for centuries, no effort was made to upgrade equipment and training for firefighters.

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