The Type I rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so under the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact, the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and utilizes a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was utilized primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces. It is chambered for the 6.5 x 50 mm cartridge. Approximately 120,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan between 1937 through 1939.
On the collector market in the United States, the Type I rifle is uncommon but not particularly popular among collectors. Since the heritage of the Type I rifle is both Japanese and Italian, it tends to be shunned by collectors of Japanese focus. The Type I also lacks the Japanese Imperial Chrysanthemum markings, or other markings that typically interest collectors of Japanese militaria. Many Type I rifles brought back to the United States as War Trophies were reportedly captured at Kwajalein Atoll, the Philippines, or from Japan at the conclusion of hostilities.