Everyone knows there are no guns in Japan…which is why I was rather surprised when I discovered that a Japanese friend of mine who had a business building high-performance racing bicycles was also a “Remington rifle otaku” with a large collection of new and antique rifles in his home. While handguns are strictly forbidden in Japan — only the yakuza carry them, and they’re polite enough to only use them against other yakuza gangs, never against the general public — ownership of hunting rifles is surprisingly common here (well, surprising since I expected it to be zero). Getting a license for a gun in Japan is difficult, and prospective gun owners must undergo several months of training in their use and safety and be able to pass background, vision and psychiatric checks, but gun owners do exist here. (I’ve even got a gaijin friend who’s in the middle of the getting his own hunting license, which is a very rare thing indeed.) It’s not uncommon for Japanese to have a bizarre fascination with guns, something you can feel when watching anime shows like Gunslinger Girl or Aria the Scarlet Ammo.(Here’s a blog run by an American who hunts in Japan, in case you’re interested in the topic.)
I was surprised to find hunting rifles were legal in Japan.