At the start of World War II, equipment issued to troops by the Japanese Army typically was based on European designs. As the war progressed, material shortages became extreme and the Japanese took many measures to minimize the use of metal in any form. Metal features such as buckles on packs, helmets and other equipment were replaced by cloth or rubberized leather.
The Army officer’s frame pack shown here is an early war issue of a German design. It features metal roller buckles and rivets. The interior is lined with canvas and has the previous owner’s name (Hiroshi Zaki) painted inside the flap. The pack’s construction and workmanship is of high quality, in stark contrast to later mass production versions made of thin canvas sewn with cloth tie closures.
The approximate value of this item is $275-$350. Packs and other equipment for officers are of higher quality than equipment for enlisted personnel.