A Look at Japanese Type 98 Rank Insignia

Prior to 1938 (Showa period, 13th year), Japanese Army rank was designated on shoulder straps. With the adoption of the Type 98 uniform, however, rank designation was moved to both sides of the collars of the tunic, overcoat and raincoat.
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Measuring about 40mm x 18mm, the red wool patches were constructed on a stiff backing and utilized silver stars and/or gold tape to indicate rank. The Japanese Army issued Type 98 rank insignia from 1938 into 1943 when it was replaced by Type 3 insignia. Regardless, Type 98 insignia continued to be worn through the end of WWII.

In 2008, the military relic business Advance Guard Militaria (AGM) handled a fascinating war souvenir. Consisting of three 23.5cm x 33cm pieces of pasteboard, each mounted nine pairs of Navy and Army collar insignia. The unknown soldier who assembled the display gently attached each piece of insignia to the cardboard with two loops of thread. Through the generosity of AGM, some of these insignia are reproduced here. Values are included to assist the collector.

Private, $8-$10

Private, $8-$10

Private, FirstClass, $12-15

Private, FirstClass, $12-15

Private, Second Class, $10-12

Private, Second Class, $10-12

Superior Private, $15-16

Superior Private, $15-16

Staff Lance Corporal, $16-18

Staff Lance Corporal, $16-18

Corporal, $20-25

Corporal, $20-25

Sergeant, $25-30

Sergeant, $25-30

Sergeant Major $30-35

Sergeant Major $30-35

Warrant Officer, $30-35

Warrant Officer, $30-35

Second Lieutenant, $55-65

Second Lieutenant, $55-65

Lieutenant, $65-75

Lieutenant, $65-75

Captain, $80-$115

Captain, $80-$115

Major, $100-135

Major, $100-135

Lieutenant Colonel, $125-165

Lieutenant Colonel, $125-165

Colonel, $150-$195

Colonel, $150-$195