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TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, October 1, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text and illustrations are taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual. As with all wartime manuals, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the contents of the original technical manual. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]
 

Appendix: Supplemental Data

1. JAPANESE YEAR DATES.

Year of Meiji          Year of our Lord
1st1868
2d1869
3d1870
4th1871
5th1872
6th1873
7th1874
8th1875
9th1876
10th1877
11th1878
12th1879
13th1880
14th1881
15th1882
16th1883
17th1884
18th1885
19th1886
20th1887
21st1888
22d1889
23d1890
24th1891
25th1892
26th1893
27th1894
28th1895
29th1896
30th1897
31st1898
32d1899
33d1900
34th1901
35th1902
36th1903
37th1904
38th1905
39th1906
40th1907
41st1908
42d1909
43d1910
44th1911
45th1912
Year of Taisho
1st1912
2d1913
3d1914
4th1915
5th1916
6th1917
7th1918
8th1919
9th1920
10th1921
11th1922
12th1923
13th1924
14th1925
15th1926
Year of Showa
1st1926
2d1927
3d1928
4th1929
5th1930
6th1931
7th1932
8th1933
9th1934
10th1935
11th1936
12th1937
13th1938
14th1939
15th1940
16th1941
17th1942
18th1943
19th1944

NOTE. When Japanese year dates are given the year may be found as follows:

In the Meiji period, add the Japanese year date to 1867.
In the Taisho period, add the Japanese year date to 1911.
In the Showa (present) period, add the Japanese year date to 1925.

For example Meiji 13 is 1880, Taisho 13 is 1924, and Showa 13 is 1938.

2. JAPANESE WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND MONEYS. a. Distance and Length.

Ri = 36 chō = 2,160 ken = 2.4403 miles = 3.92727 kilometers.

Ri (marine) = 1 nautical mile = 1.85319 kilometers.

Ken = 6 shaku = 60 sun = 5.965163 feet = 1.81818 meters.

Shaku = 10 sun = 100 bu = 0.994194 feet = 0.30303 meter.

Shaku (cloth measure) = 1.25 shaku.

Tan (cloth measure) = a roll of about 25 shaku.

b. Land measure.

Square ri = 1,296 square chō = 5.95516 square miles = 15.52345 square kilometers.

Chō (area) = 10 tan = 3,000 tsubo = 2.45065 acres = 99.17355 ares.

Tsubo or bu = 3.95369 square yards = 3.30579 centiares.

Ko (Formosa) = 2,934 tsubo.

c. Quantity, capacity, and cubic measures.

Koku = 10 to = 100 sho =         4.96005
47.65389
5.11902
bushels
gallons (liquid) U.S.A.
bushels (dry) U.S.A.
        = 1.80391 hectoliters

Go = 10th of a sho.

Koku (capacity of vessels) = 10th of a shipping ton.

Koku (timber) = about 1 by 1 by 10 feet.

Koku (fish) = 40 kwan (in weight).

Shakujime (timber) = about 1 by 1 by 12 feet.

Taba (fagot, etc.) = about 3 by 6 by 6 feet.

d. Weights.

Kwan (kan) = 1,000 momme =         8.26733 pounds avoirdupois
10.04711 pounds troy
        = 3.75000 kilograms.

Kin = 160 momme =         1.32277 pounds avoirdupois
1.60754 pounds troy
        = 0.60000 kilograms.

Momme = 10 fun =         0.13228 ounce avoirdupois
0.12057 ounce troy
        = 3.75000 grams.

e. Moneys.

Yen () = 100 sen = 1,000 rin =         0.49846 U.S. dollars (at par).
0.23196 U.S. dollars (average rate of exchange, November 1941).

3. METHOD OF NUMBERING MODELS. a. Before 1926 the model number of weapons and equipment was indicated by the year of the reign in which the model was adopted. Since 1926 the model has been numbered from what is assumed to be the date of the founding of the Japanese Empire. The last two digits of this number are used up to the year 1940. Models adopted in 1940 are simply designated as "0" (Zero). Models adopted in 1941 are designated "1" and so on.

b. A comparative table indicating the western year, the Japanese year, and the model number corresponding thereto follows:

Western year            Japanese year            Model No.
1930259090      
1931259191      
1932259292      
1933259393      
1934259494      
1935259595      
1936259696      
1937259797      
1938259898      
1939259999      
194026000      
194126011      
194226022      
194326033      
194426044      

c. This method of marking equipment is in general use in both the Army and the Navy for numbering types of equipment, including airplanes, tanks, pieces of ordnance, etc.

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