The Japanese entered World War II with weapons that were already outdated. The problem with Japanese weapons, as this documentary makes clear, is that in general they weren't very useful to begin with. They were fine when used against ill-armed Mongolians, Koreans, or Chinese, but not against the weaponry of highly industrialized nations. Further, as the war progressed and Japan, having no natural resources of its own, ran out of raw materials, the quality declined even more.
This television documentary from "Tales of the Gun" is an introduction and survey of Japanese small arms in World War II. It has just enough technical detail for the non-technical mind to grasp the points being made. A survey, but a well-done survey.
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