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The Emperorís New Clothes (The Evolution of the Emperor's Uniforms and Swords 1872-1947)

Article about: The Emperorís New Clothes Foreword and Warning This is a story of the evolution of uniforms worn by three generations of Japanese Emperors, Emperor Meiji, Taisho and Showa from 1872 until 19

  1. #21

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    1943 Army Uniform Update (Type 3)

    12th October 1943 saw sleeve stripes and stars added to the cuffs of Hirohitoís uniform, which was in line again with the general revision of army uniform regulations introduced on the same date. 1943 on the Japanese calendar was year 2603, so the uniform series was called the Type 3.

    The prolonged war demanded that the army maintain strict order, so the concept was to emphasize rank and enhance visibility of rank insignia. Thus collar tabs were increased in size as the rank got higher, and sleeve stripes and stars made rank distinctions obvious even from behind. Generals got 3 stripes and a full general further had 3 stars. Hirohito got one additional stripe in a show of one-upmanship and had 4 stripes and 3 stars.
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  2. #22

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    1945 Hirohitoís Post War Uniform

    As defeat in WW2 disbanded both the Army and Navy, they put the Emperor in a newly designed uniform on 7th November 1945. Later that month on the 12th, when he paid his respects at the Ise Shrine to report on Japanís defeat, he was wearing this uniform. A similar uniform was also worn by other members of the royal family, but without embroidery on the front skirt edge of the jacket. However, these uniforms were abolished on 2nd May 1947, when the Imperial Household Ordinances were all declared void.
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  3. #23

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    I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did writing it.

    THE END

  4. #24

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    thank you for your time,very interesting.

  5. #25

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    The swordsmith Horii Toshihide was contracted to make 10 of these swords; however, in 1943 he died half-way through and his son Tanetsugu took over. The Horii family of swordsmiths is related to [edit: they might have been cousins or just friends ...] my mother-in-law who is from Muroran, Hokkaido. The smithy is still located at the Japan Steel factory in Muroran .... and I have a standing offer to visit. (I think I got the names in correct order .....)

    There is still a "Kogarasu-maru-zukuri" blade at the smithy.

    There are two fully-dressed swords (not Horii's as I recall) at the Yamaguchi Ground Self-Defense Force Base museum.
    A now "404" page I earlier copied had a 15 January 2008 article stating the museum has two of these Gensui-tou; about 30 were made and only a total of 7 are known. I was able to find the Yamaguchi Museum page.


    --Guy
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  6. #26

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    Oops ... In my eagerness to contribute, I overlooked the fact that you are writing specifically of Showa Tenno's gensui-to, and not gensui-to in general.

    Sorry 'bout that, chief!
    --Guy

  7. #27
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    Another well presented and very informative thread. Well done Nick and thank you.

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

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  8. #28

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    Quote by ghp95134 View Post
    Oops ... In my eagerness to contribute, I overlooked the fact that you are writing specifically of Showa Tenno's gensui-to, and not gensui-to in general.

    Sorry 'bout that, chief!
    --Guy
    Yes, a different sword, a grand version of the field marshal's sword. I was familiar with the field marshal swords, but never had seen any like the golden Grand Marshal's sword, so I went on Google, because I really wanted to see how the end product looked, but all hits mistakenly led to the field marshal swords or to the Emperor's Type 94 sword at the Ohmura site. No one knows a thing about the Grand Marshal's Sword, which was almost as frightening as being in the "Twilight Zone", as a historical piece seemed to have completely disappeared into thin air and even erased from everyone's memory. But this sword existed and is shown in every Compendium of Laws of that time, as it was part of the Imperial Household Laws that come right after the Constitution of Japan.

    I recall reading that your relatives were Smiths in Hokkaido, but didn't know they did the Field Marshal swords. That is a great heritage to have.
    Last edited by nick komiya; 07-01-2016 at 09:08 AM.

  9. #29

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    Actually, the photo of Hirohito in Naval Dress Uniform in post 14 should be showing the Grand Marshal's Sword, because they also amended the navy dress regulations to make it the sword for their dress uniform as well. But he is holding it the wrong way for history!

  10. #30

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    Collectors of militaria often seem to believe too much in Darwinism and believe that these things had a life of their own after being conceived and set upon earth, self-reproducing and even mutating into endless variants like Galapagos Finches without being ordained by law, but that is utter nonsense, and I have demonstrated in this story the fallacy of not properly tracking the legal process of these changes.

    The Grand Marshal's Sword was not born through a Darwinian process in which two chrysanthemum buds on a field marshal's sword suddenly bloomed to create a flowerbed of 7 blooms.

    The IJA and IJN were meticulous and fastidious to a fault, so the birth of a new design was always carefully planned and officially sanctioned. You don't slap on cherry blossoms and mums to suit your taste. So in this sense, if readers wish to see the official announcement of the Grand Marshal's Sword, it is already uploaded as post 12. The box to the right of the Emperor's Naval jacket with collar tabs is the official introduction, showing specs of the sword. The illustration is on the flip side of that Government Gazette, which is shown below.

    Mr. Ohmura must not be aware of this announcement, because if so, the only way for him to explain the Type 94 is to say that it replaced this 1919 version. However, the Statute of Laws from 1942 still shows the Grand Marshal's Sword and of course no sign of a Type 94, as being just an army officer's sword, it was replaced by the Type 98 and that is what was shown besides the Grand Marshal's sword in 1942.
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