Home      Kijiro Nambu


"The criticism that the newly adopted 6.5mm caliber offered insufficient man-stopping power is wrong. The objective of war is to destroy enemy's fighting abilities, but not to kill them. If you can hit them with accuracy, that is sufficient to deny them fighting abilities."

Major Kijiro Nambu

January 1902

Born February 21, 1869, Saga City, Saga Prefecture ( Southern Japan]; started his military career at the age of 20, when he entered military academy. He was commissioned Lieutenant of Artillery 3 years later. In 1897 he was assigned to Tokyo Artillery Arsenal. Little was it realized that this man at the age of 28 was embarking upon a career in firearms design that would bring fame to him and respect by his country and other nations.

His contribution to firearms design and their adoption for military use earned him his promotion to Lieutenant General and command of the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal in 1922. The General reorganized the army arsenal structure and system in 1923 and was further assigned Commander of the Army Explosive Arsenal and Army Institute of Scientific research. In 1924 he returned from active military service into a reserve status.

In 1927 General Nambu organized K.K Nambu-Ju Seizosho [Nambu Arms Manufacturing Company Limited], at Kokuburiji, Tokyo to manufacture ordnance under supervision and contract issued by the Imperial Japanese Army. Recommendation by Army authorities for expansion of facilities to increase capacity and produce diversified ordnance under other contracts, forced a merger with Taisei Kogyo K.K. [Taisei Industry Company Limited], in December 1936. The merged companies became known as Chuo Kogyo K.K. [Chuo Industry Company Limited]. In 1949 the company was renamed Shin-Chuo Kogyo K.K. {Shin-Chuo Industry Company Limited]. The company was active through the 1970's engaged in firearms production manufacturing their New Nambu Model 60 revolver for law enforcement and a 9 mm submachine gun for the military. Firearms however were only about 20 percent of their totals production.

During General Nambu's tour at the Army Rifle Manufacturing Plant [later renamed Kokura Arsenal], the Type 3 heavy machine gun was developed and later adopted by the military in 1914. The Type 11 light machine gun was developed also during his active service with the Army and adopted by them in 1922. After the organization of his own company, he developed the Type 92 medium machine gun that replaced the type 3 with the Japanese Army. Following the merger with Taisei Industry Co. Ltd., automatic weapon development continued with the design and adoption of the Type 96, 97, 99 series of light machine guns. Although improved prototype development and testing continued during the war years, the Type 99 was the last substantial contribution by General Nambu for light machine guns adopted and used by the Army during World War II.

The General died in May of 1949 at the age of 80. Mrs. Nambu died in 1968. The surviving son resides near Tokyo.




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