These types of small binoculars are appealing and handy

Text Box: VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. Internet MUSEUM

 

- GERMAN ORIGINS #1

- GERMAN ORIGINS #2

- GERMAN ORIGINS #3

- GERMAN ORIGINS #4

- GERMAN ORIGINS #5

- GERMAN ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #1

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #2

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #3

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #4

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #5

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #7

- INTRODUCTION #1

- INTRODUCTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #1

- DISTRIBUTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #3

- DISTRIBUTION #4

- DISTRIBUTION #5

- DISTRIBUTION #6

- DISTRIBUTION #7

- DISTRIBUTION #8

- DISTRIBUTION #9

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #1

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #2

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #3

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #4

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND A-B

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND C-G

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND H-M

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND N-Q

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND R-S

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND T-Z

- PHOTO GALLERY #1

- PHOTO GALLERY #2

- PHOTO GALLERY #3

- PHOTO GALLERY #4

- PHOTO GALLERY #5

- PHOTO GALLERY #6

- PHOTO GALLERY #7

- PHOTO GALLERY #8

- PHOTO GALLERY #9

- PHOTO GALLERY # 10

- PHOTO GALLERY # 11

- PHOTO GALLERY # 12

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #1

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #2

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #3

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #4

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #5

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #6

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #7

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #8

- ORIGINAL BOXES #1

- ORIGINAL BOXES #2

- CAN YOU REPAIR THESE?

- REPAIR SEIZED OCULARS IF

- COLLIMATE AND REPAIR CF

- MORE REPAIRS #1

- MORE REPAIRS #2

- MORE REPAIRS #3

- IDENTIFY THIS

- SWAP SHOP & MISC

- MISC #1

- MISC #2

- BIG & SMALL #1

- BIG & SMALL #2

- BIG & SMALL #3

- BIG & SMALL #4

- BIG & SMALL #5

- BIG & SMALL #6

- BIG & SMALL #7

- BIG & SMALL #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #1

- OTHER BINOCULARS #2

- OTHER BINOCULARS #3

- OTHER BINOCULARS #4

- OTHER BINOCULARS #5

- OTHER BINOCULARS #6

- OTHER BINOCULARS #7

- OTHER BINOCULARS #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #9

- OTHER BINOCULARS #10

- OTHER BINOCULARS #11

- OTHER BINOCULARS #12

- OTHER BINOCULARS #13

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #01

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #02

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #03

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #04

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #05

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #06

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #07

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #08

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #09

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #10

- DATA BINOCULARS BRANDS

- INDEX #1 (A-L)

- INDEX #2 (M-Z)

- JB JE MFGR. CODE LIST

- TRADEMARKED LOGOS

Japanese Miniature Binoculars Made Prior to WWII. Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan Jumelles Miniatures Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Realizzato Prima Della Guerra Mondaile 2.

In addition to the “Nikko” Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha ( 日本光学工業株式会社 ) Mikron binoculars produced just after WWI in 1922 (see JAPANESE ORIGINS #1 ) some other brands of similar designs of miniature binoculars were also produced in Japan during the interwar period, perhaps mostly in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. They seem to be rather uncommon. There is some documentation that there were pre WWII efforts made to develop Japanese non military binocular exports. In 1935 a Japanese Trade Organization in Singapore created a traveling exhibition of Japanese goods to promote exports, and that exhibit included binoculars (Southeast Asia Studies Vol 21 Issue 4). Based on where they turn up today, interwar miniature binocular export seems to have been primarily to the UK and to the Commonwealth (including Canada). In order to consider a miniature Japanese binocular to probably have a pre-war origin I would expect to see the following characteristics

        -Painted entirely black (always on pre war)

        -Prism covers with crinkle (textured) black paint (usually on pre war)

        -Independent Focus: (always on pre war)

        -Prism cover screws of unplated brass (usually on pre war)

        -Metal eye cups of brass (normally or perhaps always on pre war)

        -No marking of “occupied Japan” (always)

        -No marking of “Japan” (almost always)

        -Prism covers of brass and not steel (normally or perhaps always)

        -No chrome plating, with the exception being that the hinge pin screw &

            related taper fitting are sometimes chrome plated (always).

 If the binoculars are accompanied by a case, one prefers a pattern seldom or not encountered with post war binoculars, such as a folding flap but molded “clamshell” seamed case. One prefers a provenance of originating from a country that probably had pre war trade with Japan, but that did not have early post war commercial importation of binoculars from Japan. (such as the UK, Canada, Australia/NZ, Ireland, & Commonwealth). Importation of pre war Japanese binoculars to the US seems to be fairly uncommon, but with a few documented exceptions such as the “Race” brand.

Delika Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. „Delika“ M iniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures de «Delika» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale. Delika» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй ировой войны в Японии Delika ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます   «Delika» Prismáticos en Miniatura abricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Delika» Binocolo Giaponese

Delika 6x15 Binoculars and Delica marked case. Serial number 1881, Binocular obtained in the UK. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. Collection of Mark Ohno

Portrena Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars x 2. Portrena“ Miniaturferngläser x 2 sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures x 2 de «Portrena» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale. «Portrena» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии x2 . Portrena ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます x2. «Portrena» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Portrena» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra x2.

Portrena 6x15 binoculars

Portrena 6x Binoculars and unmarked cases. Identical markings. No serial numbers present. First example obtained from Ireland, thanks to help by Niall Syms of Dublin in Ireland. Second obtained from the UK. Both manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. Both Collection of Mark Ohno

I suppose this Delika name was intended to invoke the famous German Leica products of Leitz Wetzlar. Note the similarity of the Delika marked case (top) to this Mikron marked case (above) that was found with a Nkko Mikron  binocular manufactured between 1932 and 1945.

I could find no likely meaning for “Portrena”. Marking the brand on the frame rather than on the prism covers is rather unusual (it was done on Ofuna post war miniature binoculars)

Yamato Kogaku Pigmy Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. „Yamato Kogaku Pigmy“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan Jumelles Miniatures de «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale.«Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии . Yamato Kogaku Pigmy ニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます . «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra.

Race 6x15 binoculars

Race Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. Race“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures de «Race» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale.  «Race» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии. Race ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます . «Race» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Race» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra.

Race 5x15 Binoculars. Serial number 10616. Ca 1937-1941. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan, Collection of  Mark Ohno (believe “Race” is intended to evoke racing, rather than skin color)

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd Pigmy 6x15 Binoculars, without Case. No serial number present. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. Collection of  Mark Ohno

Fuji Kogaku Race 6x15 Binoculars with case. Serial number 16426. Ca 1937-1941. Collection of  Mark Ohno.( I appreciate the help of my friend Nico Westphal, of the Netherlands, for facilitating this acquisition)

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd Pigmy 6x15 Binoculars with case.  No serial number present. Collection of Mark Ohno, Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. (Appreciate the help of my friend Nico Westphal, of the Netherlands, for facilitating this acquisition)

RKK Riken Post War Japanese Miniature Binoculars (1947-1952 period ). „RKK Riken“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan (1947-1952).Jumelles Miniatures de «RKK Riken» Fabriquées Après la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale (1947-1952).«RKK Riken» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска после войны  мировой войны в Японии ( 1947-1953).RKK Riken ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます (1947-1952).«RKK Riken» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón 1947-52. ).«RKK Riken» Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Post-Guerra (1947-1952).

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd. Is a fairly generic name. Yamato can be interpreted as being a traditional name for “Japan”. Kogaku means “optical”. So in “English Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd.” is “Japan Optical Co Ltd”.

A number of binoculars were produced in the early post war occupation period of 1947-1952 which still had most of the features of pre war miniature binoculars, but are identified as being post war and were either produced when the “occupied Japan” marking was mandatory (2/47-12/49) or when it was optional (12/49-4/52). These RKK Riken binoculars are typical of these. RKK was for R iken K ōgaku K ōgyo, a company with a complicated history that (see its entry in DISTRIBUTION #7 , and which became Ricoh. I have observed serial numbers for these RKK binoculars from 12,706 to 41,725 so at least 29,000 were made and probably at least 42,000 were made (pending more info.).

RKK Riken Binoculars

Four RKK Riken 6x15 Binoculars. Made in Occupation period 1947-1952. Collection of  Mark Ohno

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 13268

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 20250

Markings common to all of these RKK Riken binoculars are “coated lens” on left side of left front prism, and “Riken 6x15” and “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” on the right hand prism cover

RKK Riken binoculars serial number 30951

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 31022

A fairly unique feature of RKK Riken binoculars serial number 31022 is that one of the objective prism covers is a factory overpainted reused reworked serial numbered front cover from a different [reject? spoiled? ] binocular serial number 31205. Both binoculars would presumably have been from the same batch and binocular 31205 was for some reason cannibalized for parts.

AOCo Asahi Post War Japanese Miniature Binoculars (1947-1952 period). „AOCo Asahi“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan (1947-1952). Jumelles Miniatures de «AOCo Asahi» Fabriquées Après la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale (1947-1952). «AOCo Asahi» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска после войны  мировой войны в Японии ( 1947-1953). AOCo Asahi ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます (1947-1952) «AOCo» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón 1947-1952. «AOCo» Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Post-Guerra ( 1947-1953).

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. binoculars serial number 5846. Made during Occupation period (pre-1950). Some pre war characteristics. Collection of  Mark Ohno

AOCo Jupiter Jr 6x15 binoculars Jupiter Jr binoculars

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. binoculars serial number 7507

Made during Occupation period ca 1950.Case Inscribed Christmas 1950 from General Joe Battley . Collection of Mark Ohno

AOCo 6x15 Jupiter Jr binoculars AOCo 6x15 binoculars

Brigadier General Joseph F. Battley (1893-1970) was Chief of Service Command Div 1942-1943, Deputy Chief of staff for Service Command Army Service Forces 1944-1945, Chief of Public Relations Army Service Forces 1945-1947 and retired in 1947.

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. ,serial number 9105, Made during Occupation period (ca 1951-1953) Pre war characteristics. Collection of Mark Ohno

Jupiter Jr binoculars Yamato Kogaku Binoculars