Illinois

Chicago businessman thinks he has Japanese commander's tooth

The founder of a Chicago hot dog empire thinks he may have a gold tooth that belonged to a Japanese World War II admiral who orchestrated the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Dick Portillo tells the Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/2ck4eBC ) he'll "do whatever it takes to find out" if the gold incisor in his office safe belonged to Japanese naval commander Isoroku Yamamoto.

Portillo traveled last year to Papau New Guinea where U.S. pilots shot down Yamamoto's plane. The tooth surfaced from mud. A clan that owns the site confiscated the tooth, but later sold it back for $14,000.

Japanese naval historian Yukoh Watanabe told the newspaper it's unlikely a match, in part because multiple people were on the plane. But like Portillo, Watanabe says it would be a great historical find.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com