The Japanese Type 99 Gas Mask is a relatively uncommon mask to find on the market but unfortunately, people with the knowledge on this mask cease to exist and if there are knowledgeable people on the topic, they are not able to communicate with us collectors to tell us the history behind this mask. The ‘99’ in its name comes from the 2599th anniversary from when the first Japanese emperor took the throne.
The mask was issued in two main versions, the mask which had a hose, and the other which didn’t. The mask was also issued in different colours, brown, beige and the rare black. The most common of these masks is the hoseless beige mask. It was issued to both civilians and the military. Unfortunately many of these masks are ridden with dry rot, making them stiff and unable to be worn. The problem with dry rot is that it cannot be repaired or reversed so these masks remain unfortunately damaged. This is why it is safest to always keep these masks on display.
All variations of the Type 99 gas mask were issued in a small bag. The masks with a hose were also given a filter carrier, which could be hung around the neck. Some of the masks had aluminum removable lens covers, so that the glass lenses could be replaced if damaged. Some filters were able to input a 'prefilter' which further filtered airborne chemicals and other gases.
The mask was designed specifically to fit Japanese faces. If a person with an occidental (people living on the west side) face tried to don the mask it would prove to be uncomfortable.
The Type 99 is made out of rubber and covered in some form of mesh fabric (having the same texture of a sack), of which is unknown. The Mask also has a 'nose' looking very human.
There are a few Japanese Markings (Kanji) on the filter, the mask in the main picture has these symbols embosed on the surface of its filter. More pictures can be seen below. The filter also had a plug which when removed remained hung from a string attached to the filter.