Ranks of the Imperial Japanese Army

The following tables present the rank insignia of the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II. These designs were worn on shoulders as passants (shoulder straps) between the years 1911 and 1938, then on collars afterwards until 1945, when the army was dissolved.

The same officer ranks were used for both the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy, the only distinction being the placement of the word Rikugun (army) or Kaigun (navy) before the rank. Thus, for example, a captain in the navy shared the same rank designation as that of a colonel in the army: Taisa (colonel), so the rank of Rikugun Taisa denoted an army colonel, while the rank of Kaigun daisa denoted a naval captain.

Officer ranksEdit

Imperial Japanese Army ranks English translation Collar insignia Command
大元帥陸軍大将
(Daigensui-Rikugun-Taishō)
Grand Marshal of the Japanese Empire
(Generalissimo)
  Imperial Army
元帥陸軍大将
(Gensui-Rikugun-Taishō)
Field Marshal
(Marshal)
  
(enamel badge)
General army (Role:Army group)
陸軍大将
(Rikugun-Taishō)
General
(Army General)
  Area army (Role:Field army)
Army (Role:Army corps)
陸軍中将
(Rikugun-Chūjō)
Lieutenant General
(Divisional General)
  Area army
Army
Division
陸軍少将
(Rikugun-Shōshō)
Major General
(Brigade General)
  Division[1].
Brigade
陸軍大佐
(Rikugun-Taisa)
Colonel   Brigade
Regiment
陸軍中佐
(Rikugun-Chūsa)
Lieutenant Colonel   Regiment
Battalion
陸軍少佐
(Rikugun-Shōsa)
Major   Battalion
陸軍大尉
(Rikugun-Tai-i)
Captain   Battalion
Company
陸軍中尉
(Rikugun-Chūi)
First Lieutenant   Company
Platoon
陸軍少尉
(Rikugun-Shōi)
Second Lieutenant   Platoon

Warrant Officer & Enlisted ranksEdit

All-forces ranks English translation Collar insignia Usual command
准尉
(Jun-i)
(Associate Officer)
Warrant Officer   Platoon
曹長
(Sōchō)
Sergeant Major  
軍曹
(Gunsō)
Sergeant   Squad
伍長
(Gochō)
Corporal  
兵長
(Heichō (Leading Soldier))
伍長勤務上等兵
(Gochō Kinmu jōtōhei (Senior Soldier acting as Corporal))
Lance Corporal
Second Corporal
 
上等兵
(Jōtōhei (Senior Soldier))
Superior Private
(Specialist)
  None
一等兵
(Ittōhei (Soldier First Class))
Private 1st Class  
二等兵
(Nitōhei (Soldier Second Class))
Private  

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The purpose is to appoint young general officers at the end of World War II.