So you want to BANZAI?!!!!!
Site note: this is from the legendary Kenneth Young. For the PLA guide, click HERE.
JGSDF Kit is not something for the faint of the heart, The cost of goods in Japan is very much comparable or exceeds US domestic prices. Because of current export laws very little to no surplus is available on the open market so bargain hunters need not apply.
That being said the supply chain for products from most supply stores is fast and efficient and one can expect a item to arrive from Japan within a week from being shipped. Most Japanese stores will have a mix of post exchange and fantasy goods, while some will also have replica goods thrown into the mix.
There are three type of equipment available on the Japanese Market.
PX Goods (Post Exchange):
These are high end items designed for use with JGSDF troops and are frequently sold at bases. Quite often PX goods are exactly the same as issued goods as the suppliers will sell directly to JGSDF units. In this case the supplier will normally state GSDF regulation item.
Type 66 Helmets (Both Steel and Training Liner)
The next type of PX item are privately made goods designed to augment or exceed the performance of issued goods. These items typically are designed to make the soldier’s Job easier.
Dump Pouches (Not Issued by GSDF)
Alice to Molle Adapters (GSDF doesn’t always issue out Molle Pouches)
Sweat Wicking T-Shirts (Superior performance to issued undershirt)
Knee Pads (Most Militaries don’t issue these out)
Assault Packs (GSDF doesn’t issue out Assault packs)
Cold/Wet weather Clothing (Superior performance to issued goods)
Notable Companies that carry PX goods include:
Ranger (PX goods mixed with Replica and fantasy goods)
Tatezakura (PX goods mixed with Replica and fantasy goods)
S&Graf (PX goods mixed with Replica and fantasy goods)
Militant (Mostly reselling Senjin PX goods, also sells a mix of Replica and fantasy goods)
Senjin (Low prices and reasonable to excellent quality, most of the goods they sell are designed for use with GSDF troops.)
TOP Japan (PX goods mixed with Replica goods)
TY Corp (PX goods mixed with replica goods)
It is highly advisable to choose PX goods whenever possible unless the replica offers superior performance.
These items can often be identified by having a blank issue tag somewhere, but this is not always the case as some replica will try to pass as PX goods.
Not all issued items are available as PX goods for legal or just procurement reasons.
Most of the time the items in question would normally be considered government controlled goods and must be accountable and returned to the armoury.
However do to demand from the Japanese public, a company will make reproduction goods to satisfy demand. More often than not one should consider these types of good reproduction for airsoft.
Ballistic Helmets (Non Replica items are considered controlled goods)
Ballistic Vest (Non Replica items are considered controlled goods)
Bayonets (Non Replica items are considered controlled goods)
Gas Mask Bags (Non Replica items are considered controlled goods)
Notable Companies that carry goods include:
S&Graf (Ballistic Vest, helmets, inexpensive variations of PX goods)
Ranger (Ballistic Vest, helmets, inexpensive variations of PX goods)
Tatezakura (Ballistic Vest, helmets, inexpensive variations of PX goods)
Militant (Ballistic Vest, helmets, inexpensive variations of PX goods)
Egears (Known for the JME Line)
TOP Japan (Ballistic Vest and Helmets)
These are generally goods the troops wish they got issued in lieu of the cold war era load bearing equipment and half assed molle vest.
Mostly high end copies of modern tactical gear, but sometimes they are made by foreign companies for a undisclosed purpose. Most are designed for airsoft players with deep pockets.
Bwolf (Low end ACM Nylon gear designed for Airsofters)
Jtech JSDF camo Gear (High end bags and some tactical gear)
LEM Supply Co (High end tactical gear)
Tactical Tailor (Limited run items for Aggressor Group)
Volk Tactical (High end tactical gear aimed towards airsofters)
Blackhawk (Limited run items for Willey Peets)
Tatezakura (low to mid end tactical gear)
Sandgraf (low to mid end tactical gear)
CAB Clothing (Mid to High end hot/cold/wet weather gear)
So you don’t live in Japan and you want to build a loadout.... Common question I get asked, it’s not easy being a special snowflake. Here are the reasons why:
Most Japanese retailers do not have any presence outside of Japan, and even fewer have any command of English, getting familiar with using forwarders is highly recommended.
The only shop at the moment that directly sells JGSDF equipment is a Hong Kong shop called Royal tiger, these guys know it and have artificially higher prices.
Unknown to most Jtech a Taiwanese company also sells internationally, although their american webpage has limited stock of what they call JWC or Japanese woodland camo, one can email them directly to inquire about stock.
S&Graf is the only Japanese store that is willing to ship outside of Japan. They have a limited command of english so it’s best to do your own research and also send them purchase orders in simple english. They can take orders via email and payment via paypal but be aware they focus on local orders first and international orders second.
The retailer list is still a work and progress and more will be added as time goes on.
Forwarders and Proxy services:
By using the services of a forwarder, buyee is recommended. But some knowledge of Japanese is necessary as none of these sellers will post in english.
You now open up the services of Rakuten, Amazon.co.jp, Yahoo Shopping and Yahoo Auctions. This now enables you to access 98% of the shops selling GSDF goods.
LEM Supply Company
They have a website, but they aren’t hooked up with any of the popular online shopping networks. They produce high end fantasy tactical gear. Anything purchased from them will have to be from a proxy shopper.