Marshal (Japan)

Marshal (Japan)

nihongo| Marshal |元帥| gensui (also frequently translated as Field marshal) was the highest title in the prewar Imperial Japanese Military.

The term "gensui", which was used for both the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy, was at first a rank held by Saigō Takamori as the Commander of the Armies in 1872. However in May 1873 Saigō was 'demoted' to General, with "gensui" thereafter no longer a rank as such, but a largely honorific title awarded for extremely meritorious service to the Emperor - thus similar in concept to the French title of Marshal of France.

While "gensui" would retain their actual ranks of general or admiral, they were entitled to wear an additional enamelled breast badge, depicting paulownia leaves between crossed army colour and naval ensign under the Imperial Seal of Japan. They were also entitled to wear a special samurai sword of an modern design on ceremonial occasions.

In the Meiji period, the title was awarded to 5 generals and 3 admirals. In the Taishō period it was awarded to 6 generals and 6 admirals, and in the Shōwa period it was awarded to 6 generals and 4 admirals. The higher title of "Dai Gensui" was comparable to the title of Generalissimo.

Note that several were promoted the same year they died - these were posthumous promotions.

ee also

*Imperial Japanese Army
*List of Field Marshals
*Field Marshal

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