Color of Japanese Uniforms

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Nathan Greenfield
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Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Nathan Greenfield » 25 Sep 2008 04:54

This might seem like a simple question, but if you are almost colour blind, it is hard to tell from pictures.

What colour would the uniforms of the Japanese who invaded Hong Kong in 1941 have been?

Thanks,
Nathan.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Akira Takizawa » 25 Sep 2008 15:56

Nathan Greenfield wrote:What colour would the uniforms of the Japanese who invaded Hong Kong in 1941 have been?
Khaki

http://tksu1co.fc2web.com/chakusou.html

Taki

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Michael Emrys
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Michael Emrys » 25 Sep 2008 18:53

Hi Taki,

I have sometimes heard the uniforms of the IJA described as a mustard brown, which I take to be close to a shade of ocher. That color would approximate the one shown in the third photo from the left, top row of the ones you link to. However, in most of the photos I've seen, I would agree with you that the color falls closer to khaki. Interesting that a few of the ones on the page you link to the color is almost green. I have to wonder how much of this variation in color is due to differences in the film being used. Have you been able to examine any actual examples of the material used for the uniforms?

Michael
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David Thompson
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by David Thompson » 25 Sep 2008 21:38

I have to wonder how much of this variation in color is due to differences in the film being used. Have you been able to examine any actual examples of the material used for the uniforms?
The dye lots used in manufacturing Japanese Army uniforms appear to have been very irregular. Tadao Nakada (trans. Thomas B. Nelson)'s book Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Uniforms & Equipment, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Hong Kong: 1987 shows a wide variety of colors, ranging from washed-out khaki through reed and mustard green to olive drab and brown colors for WWII Japanese Army uniforms. Most, if not all, of the photographs of uniforms appear to have been taken especially for the book (studio-lit shots, with models and photographic unicolor backgrounds), so I'm not sure that it's a film problem. These photographs of WWII tunics are from pp. 140-141 of Mr. Nakada's book (use scroll feature to see whole page):
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Michael Emrys
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Michael Emrys » 25 Sep 2008 23:48

Yes indeed! Those are quite some variations. I think #471 is the mustard-brown shade I referred to. I think I've seen lots of pics of general officers in #469, especially towards the end of the war.

Thank you, David.

Michael
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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Akira Takizawa » 26 Sep 2008 02:06

IJA uniform color was called Kokuboshoku "国防色". It is generally said Khaki. But, its shade in uniforms is various, depending on manufacturers, periods and models. For example, summer uniforms are pale and winter unforms are darker. So, IJA uniform color is not a fixed color, but has many variations.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%9B%BD% ... 2%E8%89%B2

Taki

Brady
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Brady » 26 Sep 2008 07:21

A couple questions from the links above:

1) Suntory- I can buy this in my home state of Oregon, it's very good , I am courious about how often they were able to get thsi in the field, I suspect beer and saki were a lot easer had by the inlested ranks?

2) Are the weapons they are using real, or replica's? If the later who makes them?

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Peter H
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Peter H » 26 Sep 2008 09:28

It should be noted that humid and tropical conditions made uniforms fade,"salty" being one American term for a veteran's attire not mint anymore.

"Khaki" seems a most common description in the early years of the war.Later in 1944/45 some Australian references speak of olive or pea green hues encountered.Some changes in fabric quality must have also occurred.We are also talking about tropical uniforms here.

Here's a mention of "a new extra-lightweight tropical uniform" detected by US Intelligence in 1944.Note underarm vents introduced as well. 8O

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt/ ... s-ww2.html


Slightly off topic but the North Vietnamese also wore khaki uniforms in the Vietnam War.US accounts,especially in 1965,mention it was an effective cammo color for active service in jungle conditions,especially in the Central Highlands there.Appears the best color scheme for active service in SE Asia."Khakis" became a call sign when distinguishing PAVN troops from VC.

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Peter H
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Peter H » 26 Sep 2008 09:53

From http://www.navy.mil/

Note differing hues
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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Akira Takizawa » 26 Sep 2008 10:17

1) Suntory- I can buy this in my home state of Oregon, it's very good , I am courious about how often they were able to get thsi in the field, I suspect beer and saki were a lot easer had by the inlested ranks?

Whisky was expensive and it was not common as Sake. Only rich officers drank it.

2) Are the weapons they are using real, or replica's?

Both

> If the later who makes them?

I don't know what manufacturer's guns are used. But, there are some manufacturers of replica guns in Japan and West. Below is one of them.

http://www.tanaka-works.com/index.html

Taki

aipaul
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by aipaul » 26 Sep 2008 20:53

Peter H wrote:From http://www.navy.mil/

Note differing hues
They are IJN not IJA right? I thought SNLF personel had green uniforms.

Brady
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Brady » 26 Sep 2008 23:10

Akira Takizawa wrote:1) Suntory- I can buy this in my home state of Oregon, it's very good , I am courious about how often they were able to get thsi in the field, I suspect beer and saki were a lot easer had by the inlested ranks?

Whisky was expensive and it was not common as Sake. Only rich officers drank it.

2) Are the weapons they are using real, or replica's?

Both

> If the later who makes them?

I don't know what manufacturer's guns are used. But, there are some manufacturers of replica guns in Japan and West. Below is one of them.

http://www.tanaka-works.com/index.html

Taki
Interesting, 800 some odd dolars for a Type 38 replica, I think you can buy a real one for around that hear in the states, been a while since I checked though.

Is it leagal in Japan to own real fire arms, and or automatic weapons?

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Peter H
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Peter H » 26 Sep 2008 23:30

aipaul wrote:
Peter H wrote:From http://www.navy.mil/

Note differing hues
They are IJN not IJA right? I thought SNLF personel had green uniforms.
My understanding is that there were no SNLF at Yokosuka in 1945.Other naval base forces wore Army type uniforms?

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Akira Takizawa » 27 Sep 2008 02:30

Peter H wrote:
aipaul wrote:
Peter H wrote:From http://www.navy.mil/

Note differing hues
They are IJN not IJA right? I thought SNLF personel had green uniforms.
My understanding is that there were no SNLF at Yokosuka in 1945.Other naval base forces wore Army type uniforms?
They are IJN. In the late WWII, IJN also used uniforms in Kokuboshoku (Khaki).

P.S.
There were SNLF units at Yokosuka at the end of the war.

Taki
Last edited by Akira Takizawa on 27 Sep 2008 14:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Color of Japanese Uniforms

Post by Akira Takizawa » 27 Sep 2008 02:34

Brady wrote: Is it leagal in Japan to own real fire arms, and or automatic weapons?
It is illegal in Japan to possess a gun which is able to fire. To sell or possess a real Type 38 in Japan, it must be modified not to be able to fire.

Taki

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