Ranks of the Imperial Japanese Army

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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 ranks[edit]

Imperial Japanese Army ranks Collar insignia Usual command
Grand Marshal
Daigensui-Rikugun-Taishō (大元帥、陸軍大将)
Generalissimo collar rank insignia (Japan).png Imperial Army
OF-10
Marshal
Gensui-Rikugun-Taishō (元帥、陸軍大将)
As General, plus enamelled breast badge:
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―大将.svg元帥徽章.svg
General army
OF-9
General
Rikugun-Taishō (陸軍大将)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―大将.svg General army
Area army
OF-8
Lieutenant General
Rikugun-Chūjō (陸軍中将)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―中将.svg Area army
Army
Division
OF-7
Major General
Rikugun-Shōshō (陸軍少将)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―少将.svg Division
Brigade
OF-5
Colonel
Rikugun-Taisa (陸軍大佐)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―大佐.svg Brigade
Regiment
OF-4
Lieutenant Colonel
Rikugun-Chūsa (陸軍中佐)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―中佐.svg Regiment
Battalion
OF-3
Major
Rikugun-Shōsa (陸軍少佐)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―少佐.svg Battalion
OF-2
Captain
Rikugun-Tai-i (陸軍大尉)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―大尉.svg Battalion
Company
OF-1
First Lieutenant
Rikugun-Chūi (陸軍中尉)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―中尉.svg Company
Platoon
OF-1
Second Lieutenant
Rikugun-Shōi (陸軍少尉)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―少尉.svg Platoon

Warrant Officer & Enlisted ranks[edit]

All-forces ranks Collar insignia Usual command
OR-9
Warrant Officer
Jun-i (Associate Officer) (准尉)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―准尉.svg Platoon
OR-7
Sergeant Major
Sōchō (曹長)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―曹長.svg
OR-6
Sergeant
Gunsō (軍曹)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―軍曹.svg Squad
OR-5
Corporal
Gochō (伍長)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―伍長.svg
OR-4
Second Corporal
Gochō Kimmu jōtōhei (Senior Soldier acting as Corporal) (伍長勤務上等兵)


Lance-Corporal
Heichō (Leading Soldier) (兵長)

帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―兵長.svg
OR-3
Superior Private
Jōtōhei (Senior Soldier) (上等兵)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―上等兵.svg None
OR-2
Private 1st Class
Ittōhei (Soldier First Class) (一等兵)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―一等兵.svg
OR-1
Private
Nitōhei (Soldier Second Class) (二等兵)
帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―二等兵.svg

See also[edit]