Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 23 Jan 2008 17:07

..i've a limited number of characters for naming units (16), and i don't think the wargaming world is ready for japanese calligraphy, so has anyone any idea how to abreviate the name..

..Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun

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VJK
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Post by VJK » 23 Jan 2008 20:13

Hi!

A very short abbreviation - IJA (Imperial Japanese Army - Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun).

Regards,

VJK

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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 24 Jan 2008 14:23

..:))))..

..nooo, really ?...maybe i should just call it Guards Infantry Division then..

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Post by Gormadoc » 24 Jan 2008 21:03

hisashi wrote:The most likely word is heidan(兵団). This word refers to a combat group from regiment to corps size, especially a temporal formation. Iwojima garrison was often referred as Kuribayashi Heidan. But heidan was called by a location, leader or a codename, not by number.
Another candidate is hoheidan(歩兵団). After disbanding two infantry brigades in each square divisions, IJA left hoheidan as a group of three infantry regiments. Some independent hoheidan were formed from split infantry regiments with various number, but hoheidan in old divisions had its number from its division number. For example 6. hoheidan belonged to infantry 6th division
Infantry 6th division
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Divisi ... se_Army%29
Thx, I had given up hope any could answer this question.

I found out that they had used Hendan as translation for Area Army, since Hen can mean Area and dan means Corps. So they had just merged that to Hendan.

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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 02 Feb 2008 15:06

..if the above merger is correct, i assume as one pictogram, one word for two English ones, would other names be written as one pictogram, so only one word in English..?..

..example.. Yahoheidaitai, or even Yahohei'tai ?..

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Post by Gormadoc » 02 Feb 2008 20:21

a white rabbit wrote:..if the above merger is correct, i assume as one pictogram, one word for two English ones, would other names be written as one pictogram, so only one word in English..?..

..example.. Yahoheidaitai, or even Yahohei'tai ?..
The merger of Hen & Dan to Hendan is not correct. After what i have could dig up, the word "Hendan" does not exist in Japanese.

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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 03 Feb 2008 14:38

a white rabbit wrote:..if the above merger is correct, i assume as one pictogram, one word for two English ones, would other names be written as one pictogram, so only one word in English..?..

..example.. Yahoheidaitai, or even Yahohei'tai ?..


..i'll answer my own question, i'm sure someone will correct me if i'm wrong..

..from the US docs on page 1, the symbol for "tai" is always the same and in second place, it's the pair at the bottom, the beta being sniffed by the shocked long-nosed tripod, all that changes is the preceding character. Fair to reckon the that "tai" means unit or group or even formation, perhaps more accurately something like soldier or miltary or warrior group/unit/formation, and the preceding pictogram gives the level/size...

..add to the that the number of names already given here that end in tai, s'a good bet tai can be tacked on to almost anything..

..and just for good measure, given it's two symbols, then maybe it should be written t'ai or ta'i..

Nathan Greenfield
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by Nathan Greenfield » 13 Apr 2008 21:21

I'm getting a bit ahead of my self, but I can predict that in two years when my book on the Canadians in Hong Kong is going through copy editing, the information on this thread will drive him/her crazy. [I had enough trouble with the copy-editor for my book on 2nd Ypres --she did not like German and hated Flemish!]

Cheers,
Nathan

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Ambitious
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by Ambitious » 10 Dec 2008 16:12

I've got one.

艦砲射撃: Kampo shageki = Naval bombardment.

phx1138
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by phx1138 » 16 Jan 2011 01:43

Am I off-point adding Navy? :oops: Kaigun =IJN. Kido Butai =Striking Force. And in a/c designs, the "-kai" abbreviation was the equivalent of "Mod' in U.S. I understand "Admiral" in IJN actually translates more accurately as "Sea General".

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hisashi
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by hisashi » 16 Jan 2011 14:22

phx1138, thank you for getting in.
Ranks and insignia of NATO armies officers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_and_ ... s_officers
shows several equivalent, but different rank names in European countries. All armies and navies have histories of their own. Japan introduced Western military system after 1868, so we were free to choose rank names. Our ancestors thought they could completely resolve the name equivalence between army and navy, say

陸軍少佐 Maor
海軍少佐 Lt.Cdr.
陸軍中佐 Lt.Col.
海軍中佐 Cdr.
陸軍大佐 Col.
海軍大佐 Capt.
陸軍少将 Maj.Gen.
海軍少将 RAdm.
陸軍中将 Lt.Gen.
海軍中将 VAdm.
陸軍大将 Gen.
海軍大将 Adm.

Japan used another common but inofficial word 提督(teitoku) for admirals (RAdm, VAdm or Fiull Admiral). As a trivia, commodore (navy post captain acting as flottila leader etc.) is 代将 (daisho) while brigader general or rear admiral (lower half), retaining their title as a rank, is 准将 (junsho). IJA and IJN did not have 准将 as a rank of their own.





I once wrote something related to this topic;
Dai,Chu,Sho and Tai: A Japanese guide for unit size
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=29623

I abandonned my maisov.com several years ago. The links related to maisov.com in the above thread moved to;
http://maisov.if.tv/m/index.php/Short_Articles
http://maisov.if.tv/m/index.php/Categor ... anizations

OpanaPointer
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by OpanaPointer » 01 May 2011 00:24

HANDBOOK ON JAPANESE MILITARY FORCES

WAR DEPARTMENT • 1 OCTOBER 1944

Chapter XIII is of special interest to this thread.
Come visit our sites:
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Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

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The_Strategic_Digger
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by The_Strategic_Digger » 03 Jul 2011 06:26

This holds pride of place in my library, although I suspect I paid too much for it. I was amazed how difficult a Japanese-English dictionary of military terms was to obtain.
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durb
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by durb » 25 Jan 2015 22:42

Although touched before, I would be interested to know the exact translations and average combat strengths of different IJA and IJN air units as they were different names in the two air arms. Chutai, Shotai, Sentai, Hikodai, Kokutai etc - they tell nothing to someone who is not well versed in these Japanese terms. What was the flight, squadron, regiment, air division and the nominal combat strength of these in Japanese terms in both Army and Navy air forces? How they are to be compared with the standards of US and British air units? Differences of strength in fighter, bomber, recce units? Reorganizations of units and their combat strengths?

I think that all the military terms should be put in easy-to-use dictionary list and when it comes to units at least theoretical combat strength should be mentioned instead of using X,Y,Z etc. without translation and explanation. Sometimes there is not a clear straightforward translation but then the one which is practically closest is enough.

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Wellgunde
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Re: Glossary of Japanese Military Terms

Post by Wellgunde » 07 Feb 2015 05:07

This is a very difficult request. There were hundreds of IJA and IJN flying units. Composition and strength varied widely during the war, so much so that determining a standardized figure is well nigh impossible. Plus you have the problems of authorized strength, actual strength, and ready for duty strength. Also, Japanese military units do not always have an exact equivalent to those in western military forces. Wikipedia might be a good place to begin looking for information. If you are really interested, I suggest going to amazon.com and purchasing one of the several Japanese-English military dictionaries available.

A dictionary type list would certainly be helpful, but who is going to do it? It would be a very, very large task.
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