Portillo's founder may own WWII Japanese commander's tooth

tribalicious | Flickr

The founder of Chicago's Portillo's hot dog empire is trying to find out if a gold tooth he owns belonged to a Japanese World War II commander.

Dick Portillo, founder of the Portillo's fast food chain, tells the Chicago Tribune he'll "do whatever it takes to find out" if the gold incisor in his office safe belonged to Japanese naval commander Isoroku Yamamoto. The commander was opposed to war with the U.S. but orchestrated the Pearl Harbor attack.

Portillo came to own the tooth after visiting the Papau New Guinea island where U.S. pilots shot down Yamamoto's plane in 1943.

Portillo is working with others to confirm the tooth's authenticity. He says he wants to make a documentary about his find and give the tooth to the Japanese government.