A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 22, 2023
“I would never invade the United States. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass”

“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each/every blade of grass” is a saying that has been printed on many images. It is credited to Japanese Admiral Yamamoto (1884-1943) in 1941, but there is no evidence that he ever said it. The quotation became popular by about 2000 and has been used by pro-gun Second Amendment advocates.
     
“‘You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.’ - Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941” was posted on the newsgroup alt.politics.usa.constitution.gun-rights on June 24, 2000. “‘You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.’ - Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941” was printed in the Elko (NV) Daily Free Press on October 7, 2000. “WWII, Japanese General stated it would be foolishness to invade the mainland US as there’s a rifle behind every blade of grass” was posted on the newsgroup talk.politics.guns on May 22, 2001. “Admiral Yamamoto, in fact, was once quoted regarding the basic impossibility of invading the American homeland. He said there would be a ‘rifle behind every blade of grass’. He obviously meant the 50 million civilians with their own rifles, and not the 200,000 or so guys with uniforms on at the time” was posted on the newsgroup soc.history.medieval on June 13, 2001.
 
“Rifle” is sometimes replaced with “gun.” “We cannot defeat the Americans on their soil. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass” was posted on the newsgroup alt.terrorism.world-trade-center on September 10, 2002. “Even Japan realized that America could not be conquered. There is a ‘gun behind each blade of grass’ - General Yamamoto” was posted on the newsgroup alt.terrorism.world-trade-center on September 10, 2002. “Isoroku Yamamoto is said to have said, ‘I would never invade the United States, there would be a gun behind every blade of grass’” was posted on Twitter by @reiver ⊼ (Charles Iliya Krempeaux) on April 18, 2008.
 
           
Wikiquote: Isoroku Yamamoto
Isoroku Yamamoto (4 April 1884 – 18 April 1943) was a Japanese Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II until his death.
 
Yamamoto held several important posts in the IJN, and undertook many of its changes and reorganizations, especially its development of naval aviation. He was the commander-in-chief during the early years of the Pacific War and oversaw major engagements including the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. He was killed when American code breakers identified his flight plans, enabling the United States Army Air Forces to shoot down his plane. His death was a major blow to Japanese military morale during World War II.
(...)
Misattributed
You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.
. Some have declared this attribution is “unsubstantiated” even though it has been repeated thousands of times in various Internet postings. The quote is supposed to be in a letter, but the letter hasn’t been found or no longer exists. There is no record found yet of the commander in chief of Japan’s wartime fleet ever saying it. The jury is still out on this.
 
Google Groups: alt.politics.usa.constitution.gun-rights
Over here in civilised land ...
rdr
Jun 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle
behind each blade of grass.” - Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941
 
Newspapers.com
7 October 2000, Elko (NV) Daily Free Press, “Gun control, part two” by Robert A. Deihl, pg. A2, col. 3:
“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.” - Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941
     
Google Groups: talk.politics.guns
Libertarians and child labor - and prostitution (was: Guess What, You’re Not the Libertarians, I am!)
HerrGlock
May 22, 2001, 8:10:48 PM
WWII, Japanese General stated it would be foolishness to invade the mainland US as there’s a rifle behind every blade of grass.
     
Google Groups: soc.history.medieval
Longbow vs. Longbow?
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Jun 13, 2001, 11:41:04 PM
(...)
Admiral Yamamoto, in fact, was once quoted regarding the basic impossibility of invading the American homeland. He said there would be a “rifle behind every blade of grass”. He obviously meant the 50 million civilians with their own rifles, and not the 200,000 or so guys with uniforms on at the time.
     
Google Groups: alt.startrek.vs.starwars
[OT] Are Doctors More Dangerous than Guns?
John Hansen
Mar 31, 2002, 5:42:58 PM
(...)
Well, I seem to remember a certain part of World War II, where a Japanese general (allegedly) said that if the continental US was invaded, “there would be a rifle hiding behind every blade of grass.”
 
Google Groups: rec.humor
Intervene?
Erik D. Freeman
May 10, 2002, 10:40:21 AM
(...)
Hitler failed to subdue Great Britain in 1940 (in good part due to the moral strength of the Brits, a great deal of US aid, and because conquering Britain was not part of the Fuehrer’s eastern living space plan), so he would have had little chance of succeeding against the much more distant, much larger, more populous, and better-armed USA. Even Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (the chief planner of the Pearl Harbor attack) spoke warningly of “a rifle behind every blade of grass” when discussions of invading the USA came up.
     
Google Groups: alt.terrorism.world-trade-center
Hitler, Hussein and a Presidential War
George
Sep 10, 2002, 1:29:49 AM
(...)
You tend to forget the words attributed to a certain Japanese admiral after he attacked Pearl Harbor. ‘We cannot defeat the Americans on their soil. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass.’ Indeed, there are likely many more than one gun behind every blade of grass in America.
 
Google Groups: alt.terrorism.world-trade-center
Fish Called Wanda
George
Sep 10, 2002, 4:33:08 PM
(...)
Even Japan realized that America could not be conquered. There is a “gun behind each blade of grass” - General Yamamoto.
   
Twitter
@reiver ⊼ (Charles Iliya Krempeaux)
@reiver
... Isoroku Yamamoto is said to have said, “I would never invade the United States, there would be a gun behind every blade of grass.”
2:33 PM · Apr 18, 2008
   
Twitter
Peggy Anglin
@ReluctantTwitty
RT@Zach_Lahn"U can’t invade mainland US. There would b a rifle behind every blade of grass” Japan Navy Yamamoto 6mo b4 Pearl Harb #tcot #nra
10:22 PM · Apr 18, 2009
   
Twitter
NRA RECRUITER
@NRA_RECRUITER
Admiral Yamamoto: “You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
12:04 AM · Apr 30, 2009
 
FactCheck.org
Misquoting Yamamoto
By Brooks Jackson
Posted on May 11, 2009
(...)
We contacted Donald M. Goldstein, sometimes called “the dean of Pearl Harbor historians.”
(...)
In an exchange of e-mails he said:
 
Prof. Goldstein: I have never seen it in writing. It has been attributed to the Prange files [the files of the late Gordon W. Prange, chief historian on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur] but no one had ever seen it or cited it from where they got it. Some people say that it came from our work but I never said it. … As of today it is bogus until someone can cite when and where.
   
The Japan Times
Tragic, but gun rights needed
JEROME KAVANAUGH
BRAINTREE, VERMONT
Oct 25, 2012
(...)
That being said, those firearms she wants removed were a fundamental reason one of her countrymen refused to consider invading the United States in 1941.
 
As Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto was supposed to have said, “I would never invade America, there is a gun behind every blade of grass.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Sunday, January 22, 2023 • Permalink


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