Ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy

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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 ranks[edit]

[1]

Cap badges:

All-forces ranks IJN insignia (sleeve) IJN insignia (collar & shoulder boards)
大元帥 Dai-gensui
(Lord high admiral)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-10-sleeve.svg OF-10 - Kaigun Daigensui.gif
OF-10
元帥、海軍大将 Gensui-kaigun-taishō
(Grand admiral)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-9-sleeve.svg元帥徽章.svg
(Same insignia as admiral; with enamelled breast badge)
OF-8 - Kaigun Taisho.gif
OF-9
海軍大将 Kaigun-taishō
(Admiral)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-9-sleeve.svg OF-8 - Kaigun Taisho.gif
OF-8
海軍中将 Kaigun-chūjō
(Vice-admiral)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-8-sleeve.svg OF-7 - Kaigun Chujo (collar).gif
OF-7
海軍少将 Kaigun-shōshō
(Rear-admiral)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-7-sleeve.svg OF-6 - Kaigun Shosho (collar).gif
OF-5
海軍大佐 Kaigun-daisa
(Captain)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-5-sleeve.svg OF-5 - Kaigun Taisa (Collar).gif
OF-4
海軍中佐 Kaigun-chūsa
(Commander)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-4-sleeve.svg OF-4 - Kaigun Chusa.gif
OF-3
海軍少佐 Kaigun-shōsa
(Lieutenant-commander)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-3-sleeve.svg OF-3 - Kaigun Shosa (collar).gif
OF-2
海軍大尉 Kaigun-daii
(Lieutenant)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-2-sleeve.svg OF-2 - Kaigun Taii (collar).gif
OF-1
海軍中尉 Kaigun-chūi
(Sub-lieutenant/Lieutenant junior grade)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-1b-sleeve.svg OF-1b - Kaigun Chui (coll).gif
OF-1
海軍少尉 Kaigun-shōi
(Ensign)
Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-1a-sleeve.svg OF1a - Kaigun Shoi (collar).gif

Cadet and warrant officer ranks[edit]

All-forces ranks IJN insignia (sleeve) IJN insignia (collar & shoulder boards)
OF(D)
海軍少尉候補生 Kaigun shōi kōhosei
(Midshipman)
OF-D Kaigun Shōi Kōhosei (cuff).png OFD Kaigun Shōi Kōhosei (collar).png
OR-9
兵曹長 Heisōchō
(Warrant Officer)
OR-9 Kaigun Jun'i (cuff).png OR9 - Kaigun Jun'i (collar).png

Enlisted rates[edit]

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 1942. Both of the names were different from the army names but were equal in rank.

Before 1942 After 1942 IJN insignia (upper sleeve)
Petty officers 下士官 (Kashikan)
OR-7
一等兵曹 Ittōheisō
Petty officer first class
OR-7
上等兵曹 Jōtōheisō
Chief petty officer
Rank insignia of jōtōheisō of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
OR-6
二等兵曹 Nitōheisō
Petty officer second class
OR-6
一等兵曹 Ittōheisō
Petty officer first class
Rank insignia of ittōheisō of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
OR-5
三等兵曹 Santōheisō
Petty officer third class
OR-5
二等兵曹 Nitōheisō
Petty officer second class
Rank insignia of nitōheisō of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
Enlisted/Seamen 水兵 (Suihei)
OR-4
一等水兵 Ittōsuihei
Seaman first class
OR-4
水兵長 Suiheichō
Leading seaman
Rank insignia of suiheichō of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
OR-3
二等水兵 Nitōsuihei
Seaman second class
OR-3
上等水兵 Jōtōsuihei (senior seaman)
Able seaman
Rank insignia of jōtōsuihei of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
OR-2
三等水兵 Santōsuihei
Seaman third class
OR-2
一等水兵 Ittōsuihei (seaman first class)
Ordinary seaman
Rank insignia of ittōsuihei of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg
OR-1
四等水兵 Yontōsuihei
Seaman
(seaman fourth class)
OR-1
二等水兵 Nitōsuihei (seaman second class)
Seaman recruit
Rank insignia of nitōsuihei of the Imperial Japanese Navy.svg

Service branch colors[edit]

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 also[edit]

References[edit]

  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.