SCARCE ORIGINAL WWII Japanese “TABI” Jungle Shoes

Used Condition
FFL is not required

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Time Left 15 min rule
5d +
10/20/2019 7:57 PM
Item 823828469
Location North Pole, AK 99705
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AS IS - No refund or exchange

The seller of this item assumes all responsibility for this listing. You must contact the seller to resolve any questions or concerns before placing a bid. Payment must be made using U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise stated in the listing. Firearms may only be shipped to a licensed dealer (FFL Holder). Some listed items may not be legal in every state. Complete your purchase within the law.

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My two cents:

Hey friends, waging full war is more than munitions, arms and armor! Much, much more – among many things it is: proper foot gear - boot laces; petrol; communications; tinned meat; socks; tobacco; lice powder; blankets and bandages etc. My point is that when collecting war militaria….the real story is often in the things that the down and out – blood and sweat soaked grunts needed and craved the most on the battle line.

Holistic collecting embraces the real story…the actual way that wars are fought - lost or won. The skirmish, battle or campaign is lost without proper supplies and logistics – in the ancient world and to this very day, this hold true. Mundane Items like this item offered here have a story and a role that they played which should never be diminished or ignored. Remember Bonaparte's Maxim “An army marches on its stomach”!

Offered is this scarce pair of original WWII Japanese Tabi Shoes (Jikatabi) worn in the jungles of the South Pacific by Japanese marines of the Special Navy Landing Force or SNLF as well as by some Japanese army troops. It is believed that because so few SNLF personnel ultimately survived the brutal warfare, which had kept them outnumbered and surrounded on countless isolated Pacific islands, original WWII Tabi Shoes are now so scarce today….they simply never made it out – but this pair did! These odd looking rubber bottom shoes were generally preferred by SNLF jungle fighters to the standard leather Japanese military short boot, which despite being heavier and more stoutly made, actually proved to be less than desirable for the rigors of jungle warfare. The heavier military made leather boots tended to be much hotter on the feet causing “scalding” and foot rot problems. In addition the constantly damp leather tops and soles , molded, rotted and fell apart surprisingly much quicker than with these lighter weight fabric and rubber slipper type footwear. I have read somewhere that it was the Japanese founder of the “Bridgestone Tire Company” who invented the WWII Tabi Shoe so favored by hard-core Japanese jungle fighters?

This pair of Tabi Shoes, like so many surviving examples, can only rate on the lower end of “good” condition but considering they survived at all and are approximately 75 years old (just like gals at closing time) - they seem prettier with the lights low! The rubber has dried and hardened, cracking and flaking with age (typical of most authentic original examples) and the cotton fabric is also aged and should be regarded as delicate. There is a metal closure missing at the rear opening of one shoe which looks as if it may have been burned away? Potentially this could have happened if the original Japanese marine left them unattended drying over a fire or it could be from an actual combat incident with an explosive flash burn from a grenade or booby trap, we will never know for sure? However what we do know is that these Tabi Shoes are the real deal – with the correct, rubber sole, kanji markings, metal fasteners and black outer with blue cotton lining. These are a WWII Australian vet “bring back” taken from a Japanese combatant as a personal war trophy. The surviving Aussie vet brought them out of the jungle and later donated these same shoes to his local small town WWII Museum where for over fifty years they remained on display. I purchased these years ago when this museum closed it doors and they have never been displayed since – but kept in the dark - boxed in storage. A laminated photo of an “1943 New Guinea “Aussie” jungle fighter whimsically pondering the alien looking “Tabi”, the same photograph used in the original Australian museum display, is included with the sale.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an extremely scarce piece of WWII Japanese SNLF kit. Please take a look at the pictures as they are a part of the description. This item is described to the best of my ability, therefore, all sales are considered final with no returns unless some gross error was made by the seller in the listing description. Full payment must be received by the seller (in hand) not more than ten calendar days after auction’s end. Sorry, domestic USA sale only.

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