Pay in Japanese Navy and Saburo Sakai's Leica

According to Saburo Sakai’s autobiography (pg 61 of book, pg 71 of pdf, he bought a Leica camera around October/November 1940 with a “Sonar[sic] 2.0 lens,” (should be Sonnar). Given his comment about size to fit in a fighter plane, this was almost certainly a 50mm lens. Although a little odd to buy a Zeiss lens for a Leica camera, they were made.

He remarks “this represented more than 3 months pay.” At the time, Sakai was a Petty Officer Second Class (二等兵曹) pilot. My question is how much was a PO 2nd on flying status paid in 1940 in the IJN?

What I am trying to do is see if I can figure out which model of Leica he bought. I can look at Asahi Camera (photo magazine 1926-1942) for camera and lens prices in Japan in 1940. If I know how much he made, I can figure between 3 and 4 months pay, then deduct the cost of the Zeiss Sonnar to give a rough idea of what the camera body cost.

I have a few pre-war “Barnack Leicas” and I want to set one up something like what Saburo Sakai possibly used.


Should I move this to the OOTF section?

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Probably should. It would be more likely to be seen by the team and be answered.

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