Type 4 grenade
Type 4 "Ceramic" grenade
Two Type 4 grenades. The one on the left doesn't have the rubber cover on.
Type Hand Grenade Place of origin Empire of Japan Service history In service 1944-1945 Used by Imperial Japanese Navy Wars World War II Specifications Diameter various Detonation
Fuse delay of 4 to 5 seconds
History and development
By late 1944 and early 1945, much of the industrial infrastructure of Japan had been destroyed by Allied strategic bombing, and there was a growing shortage of raw materials due to Allied naval blockades and submarine warfare. Lacking in metals to mass produce hand grenades in the vast quantities that would be needed against the projected Allied invasion of Japan, the Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Bureau developed a design for a cheap, easy-to-make grenade made of ceramic or porcelain materials. Kilns famous for the production of traditional Japanese pottery, such as Arita, Bizen and Seto were pressed into service to manufacture these relatively crude weapons. There were a tremendous number of variants on shape, size and color, because the design depended on each kiln.
The Type 4 grenade had a fragmentation body made of terra cotta or porcelain materials. The grenade was round-shaped with a bottle neck with a rubber cover and a simple fuse. This detonator was no more than a blasting cap crimped on to a five-second length of fuse. The other end of the fuse, which was outside the rubber plug, was covered with a match-head composition. A slip-on rubber cap covered the whole neck, and fuse. A small, loose wooden block with an abrasive composition on one side was contained in the rubber fuse cover.
The Type 4 grenades were passed out in large quantities to civil defense organizations, such as the Volunteer Fighting Corps, Yokusan Sonendan, and to reservist organizations involved in preparations against the possible invasion of the Japanese home islands by Allied forces. They were also supplied to front line combat troops in large quantities, and are known to have been employed at the Battle of Iwo Jima and Battle of Okinawa. 
Japanese Infantry Weapons of World War II
- US Department of War (1994 reprint). Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, TM-E 30-480 (1945). Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-2013-8.
- Japanese Explosive Ordnance, TM 9-1985-4. Departments of the Army and the Air Force. 1953. ASIN B000H7NCDS.
HistoryFirearms of Japan Swords Bayonets Side Arms Rifles / Carbines Submachine GunsTokyo Arsenal Model 1927 · Type II · Type 100 Light Machine Guns Heavy Machine Guns Grenades Support Weapons Cartridges9mm Japanese · 8×22mm Nambu · 7×20mm Nambu · 6.5×50mm Arisaka · 7.7×58mm Arisaka · 7.7×58mmSR Arisaka Semi-Rimmed
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