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I.D. on Japanese Officer ?


Gordon Williamson
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Can anyone suggest a way to ID this guy. His rank insignia suggest he is a full Colonel. Any way of knowing which branch ? Is the "39" on the collar a Regimental number ?

Needless to say, I grabbed this photo because of the Orders and Medals he is wearing. All three orders, Sacred Treasure, Rising Sun and Golden Kite on display with a load of other medals.

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Early 1930s from the low-crowned hat? A mounted branch from the European style sword?

I can't make out what the medals are.

Didn't the higher crowned hats and collar ranks with (at least theoretically) right over the pocket "M" come in about 1935?

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I think it is earlier.

It is hard to tell, but I don't think I see a Showa Enthronement Medal (1928). However, I do see what appears to be at #6 a Taisho Enthronement Medal (1915). There also appears to be a Korean Annexation Commemorative Medal (authorized in 1912) at #4.

So, possibly...

1. Order of the Golden Kite

2. Order of the Rising Sun

3. Russo-Japanese War Medal

4. Korean Annexation Commemorative Medal

5. ? (maybe an Interallied Victory Medal)

6. Taisho Enthronement Medal

7. ?

The last may be a WW1 War Medal, but if so the order of precedence is odd. If a 1931-34 Incident Medal, the lack of a Showa Enthronement Medal and perhaps even a First National Census Medal would be odd.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay - just to throw in a name here I am taking a wild guess here. Could it be Colonel Kodama Yoichi (小玉与一)?

Now my guess is based solely on the fact that he was CO 39th Infantry Regiment on the 22nd February 1936. However this seems to be too late and the wrong branch according to the other information here.

I will leave it to the rest of you to rule him out as I just thought that we needed a name.

Kind Regards

Steen Ammentorp

The Generals of World War II

Edited by Steen Ammentorp
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