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THE MILITARY UNIFORMS OF IMPERIAL JAPAN

The Japanese military employed a wide variety of uniforms during World War Two. This section of the website covers footwear, pants, jackets, hats and helmets of the Japanese armed forces.



This guide provides information so that the visitor can identify items and determine their value.

The Japanese army service uniform is Olive Drab in color and is made of Cotton or woolen material, depending on the season of the year. Cotton is used during Summer while wool is reserved for the winter.

The enlisted man's uniform is usually ill fitting but serviceable.

Uniforms were also used by members of the preparatory military academy and the cadets at the signal school, Kumagaya Air School, Air Technical School, Engineer school and Toyama physical training school. All these institutions issued coats of similar appearance as the active duty military except that the pockets are all outside patch pockets with buttons.

The upper pockets have box pleats down the center. The pocket pleats in the case of the preparatory military school uniforms are not so wide as those of the other schools. The sleeve bands in the case of the Intendance School and other school uniforms are parallel to the cuff, but the sleeve band of the preparatory military school is slightly Chevron- shaped.

As for the trousers and breeches - Officers and warrant officers wear trousers of standard pattern usually cut very high at the waist and without cuffs. Spiral puttees are often worn in the field with trousers by officers. Mounted officers were the standard type of breeches when mounted or wearing boots. Men wear breeches and spiral puttees.

It is interesting to note that during time of peace and in very special occassions, officers were a Blue full dress uniform with French style cap and pompon.

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While the items illustrated here are not for sale, you may visit our Store to see items that are available for purchase.




WWII Japanese Army enlisted man raincoat. Of khaki color. With five light brown plastic buttons to close the front section. Built-in hood with neck closure. Long sleeve construction.


Japanese WWII Army summer field pants. Of khaki color design. Broad waist line withuot belt loops. The legs have wide cotton ties.


WWII Japanese army heavy winter coat. Double breasted design with dark brown plastic buttons. Fleece collar and cuffs. A section of the long sleeves is removable and converts into short sleeves.


This is a set of WWII Japanese Army tanker coveralls. Single piece construction. Green plastic buttons are used to close the front. A built-in cloth belt is provided.




WWII Japanese Army cotton undershirt. Grayish color. Four white plastic buttons close the half opening in the front. Long sleeve construction with elastic cuffs.


WWII Japanese Winter Flight Suit. This is a highly insulated flight suit. Used in high altitude missions. The inside is fleece lined. The suit was electrically heated as well.


WWII Japanese Army Winter Flight Suit. Khaki color. Of cotton construction. Big plastic buttons. Built-in belt with metal silver buckle.


WWII Japanese Army Dress Coat. Dark Blue color. Of cotton construction. Metal hooks used for securing jacket closed.




WWII Japanese Navy officer's belt and buckle. The belt is made of white cotton. Several stich lines are applied to the main body. The buckle is of metal construction and shows an anchor in the front.


WWII Japanese Navy pilot flight gloves. With a brown leather outer shell. Fleece lined for use in cold, high altitude environment. A leather adjustable strap is placed at wrist level.


WWII Japanese army leather belt. This is the standard belt issued to most soldiers. Complete with a metal buckle.


WWII Japanese army Samurai Sword belt. This is the belt issued to soldiers who carried Samurai swords. Combination of leather and leather.




This is a set of WWII Japanese Army gloves. Of cotton construction. Four fingers are covered together while the thumb has a separate compartment. OD cloth straps are secured to the side of the gloves.


This is a strap for the WWII Japanese Army NCO sword. Of leather construction. A metal clip attached to each end.


This is a knot for the WWII Japanese Army NCO sword. Of leather construction. Loop is used to attach to the handle of the sword.




WWII Japanese Army Cavalry Boots. This is a set of Army Cavalry leather boots. Complete with the spurs. The cloth tab remains present.


WW2 Japanese Army full length officer's boots. Of brown leather construction. Smooth sole design.


The WWII Japanese Army quarter size combat boots were made of brown leather. The front soles have metal hob nails. The laces were made of brown cotton. Wool ankle wrappers can be seen in this photo.


The WWII Japanese Army combat boots were made of brown leather. The front soles have metal hob nails. Full length.




The WWII Japanese Army Riding Boots Made of brown leather. Closed design. Full length. Complete with spurs.







WWII JAPANESE PATCHES AND CLOTH INSIGNIA

Like many other armed forces of the world the Japanese developed a series of collar insignia and patches to designate rank, unit membership and other attributes. This section of the website is dedicated to the study of such items.

Insignia of the Japanese military forces may be divided as follows:

1. Insignia of grade
2. Marking of arm of service
3. Insignia designating unit
4. Special devices
5. Flags and guidons

The Japanese made extensive use of wool as a base for the rank insignia. Red and Yellow were often an integral part of the design. In addition, metal and cloth were combined when producing higher rank officer insignia. Most of the items did not have any markings.

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While the items illustrated here are not for sale, you may visit our Store to see items that are available for purchase.


Insignia of Grade -
Grades in the Japanese army are divided in five classes, namely, privates, non-commissioned officers, Company officers, Field officers and general officers. These classes and various grades within each are designated by a cloth patch1.8 by 0.72 inches in size which is worn on both collar flaps of the coat overcoat and cape as follows:




CLASS STARS GRADE COLLAR PATCH
Private 1

2

3
Second Class Private

First Class Private

Superior Private

Plain red cloth with stars of yellow cloth sewed on center lines.
Non-commissioned
Officers
1

2

3
Corporal

Sergeant

Sergean Major or First Sergeant

Plain red cloth with one gold band lengthwise through center. Stars sewed on this gold band.
Company Officers 1

2

3
Second Lieutenant

First Lieutenant

Captain

Red cloth with gold braid border and gold band lengthwise of strap. Yellow metal stars between bands.
Field Officers 1

2

3
Major

Lieutenant Colonel

Colonel

Red cloth with gold braid border and two gold bands lengthwise of strap. Yellow metal stars between bands.
General Officers 1

2

3
Major General

Lieutenant General

General

All gold metallic cloth with gold braid borders. Yello wmetal stars on center line.




Here are some examples of ranks and patches:




WWII JAPANESE ARMY STAR PATCH - Of wool construction. Round shape with a yellow star in the center. This patch was applied to cloth hats.


WWII JAPANESE RAILROAD OFFICER PATCH - Of wool construction. Round shape with a yellow star in the center. This patch was applied to cloth hats.


WWII JAPANESE ARMY PRIVATE FIRST CLASS COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction. Rectangular shape with a red background and two yellow stars on one side. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.


WWII JAPANESE ARMY CAPTAIN COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction with bullion top and bottom. Rectangular shape with a red background and three metal stars over a cloth stripe. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.




WWII JAPANESE ARMY LANCE CORPORAL COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction. Rectangular shape with a yellow line in the center. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.


WWII JAPANESE ARMY CORPORAL COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction. Rectangular shape with a yellow line in the center and a star at one end. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.


WWII JAPANESE ARMY SEARGENT COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction. Rectangular shape with a yellow line in the center and two stars at one end. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.


WWII JAPANESE ARMY SEARGENT MAJOR COLLAR INSIGNIA - Of wool construction. Rectangular shape with a yellow line in the center and three stars. Worn on the collar of the shirt or tunic.





 
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