Ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy

The following graphs present the rank insignia of the Imperial Japanese Navy from its establishment in 1868 to its defeat during World War II in 1945. These designs were used from 1931 onwards.

Commissioned officer ranksEdit

[1]

Cap badges:

All-forces ranks English translation IJN insignia (sleeve) IJN insignia (collar & shoulder boards)
大元帥海軍大将
(Daigensui-kaigun-taishō)
Lord high admiral
(Admiralissimo)
   
元帥海軍大将
(Gensui-kaigun-taishō)
Admiral of the fleet
(Grand admiral)
  
(Same insignia as admiral; with enamelled breast badge)
 
海軍大将
(Kaigun-taishō)
Admiral    
海軍中将
(Kaigun-chūjō)
Vice-admiral    
海軍少将
(Kaigun-shōshō
)
Rear-admiral    
海軍大佐
(Kaigun-daisa)
Captain    
海軍中佐
(Kaigun-chūsa)
Commander    
海軍少佐
(Kaigun-shōsa)
Lieutenant-commander    
海軍大尉
(Kaigun-dai-i)
Lieutenant    
海軍中尉
(Kaigun-chūi)
Sub-lieutenant
(Lieutenant junior grade)
   
海軍少尉
(Kaigun-shōi)
Ensign    

Cadet and warrant officer ranksEdit

All-forces ranks English translation IJN insignia (sleeve) IJN insignia (collar & shoulder boards)
兵曹長
(Heisōchō)
Warrant Officer    
海軍少尉候補生 (Kaigun-shōi-kōhosei) Midshipman    

Enlisted ratesEdit

All warrant and commissioned officer ranks had the same names as their army counterparts. For seamen and petty officers, which were selected from enlisted men or conscripts and given one year of training in the Navy PO Academy, the naming changed in November 1942. Both of the names were different from the army names but were equal in rank.

All-forces ranks IJN insignia (upper sleeve)
Before 1942 After 1942
Rank English translation Rank English translation
Petty officers 下士官 (Kashikan)
一等兵曹
(Ittōheisō)
Petty officer first class 上等兵曹
(Jōtōheisō)
Chief petty officer  
二等兵曹
(Nitōheisō)
Petty officer second class 一等兵曹
(Ittōheisō)
Petty officer first class  
三等兵曹
(Santōheisō)
Petty officer third class 二等兵曹
(Nitōheisō)
Petty officer second class  
Enlisted/Seamen 水兵 (Suihei)
一等水兵
Ittōsuihei
Seaman first class 水兵長
(Suiheichō)
Leading seaman  
二等水兵
(Nitōsuihei)
Seaman second class 上等水兵
(Jōtōsuihei)

(senior seaman)
Able seaman  
三等水兵
Santōsuihei
Seaman third class 一等水兵
(Ittōsuihei)

(seaman first class)
Ordinary seaman  
四等水兵
(Yontōsuihei)
Seaman
(seaman fourth class)
二等水兵
(Nitōsuihei)
(seaman second class)
Seaman recruit  

Service branch colorsEdit

The branch of the Navy in which non-executive personnel served was indicated by a color code. For officers, including midshipmen, it was the color of cloth placed as background to the cuff stripes, on both sides of the gold lace on the shoulder boards, and as longitudinal piping on the collar patches. Midshipmen and cadets wore a colored anchor on the cap, which cadets wore on the shoulder boards as well.[2] The branch of enlisted men was denoted by the color of the Chrysanthemum flower on their rank patch; line personnel using the default gold.

Color Branch
Violet Engineering
Brown Ship and engine construction
Purple-brown Ordnance construction
Red Medical
Pale green Legal
White Paymaster
Black Survey officers
Light blue Aviation (Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service) and Hydrography
Green Chief carpenters (warrant officer)
Grey-blue Band master (warrant officer)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rosignoli, Guido (1980). Naval and Marine Badges and Insignia of World War 2. Blandford Colour Series. Link House, West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1LL: Blandford Press Ltd. pp. 152–153.
  2. ^ Rosignoli, Guido (1980). Naval and Marine Badges and Insignia of World War 2. Blandford Colour Series. Link House, West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1LL: Blandford Press Ltd. pp. 152–153.