Nippon Teikoku Rikugun
Imperial Japanese Army
Timeline : Superpowers
Flag of the Army of Japan
Gensui Yamagata Hideki
  • Urban Defense Force : Kyoto
  • Special Naval Landing Force : Yokosuka
  • Expeditionary Forces : Kokura
Headquarters Kyoto
Men 700,000

The Nippon Teikoku Rikugun is the ground forces of the Japanese Shogunate, and the second largest branch of its armed forces. Although it is a proportionally small force in light of the country's population, the Imperial Japanese Army is backed by its powerful Navy and is used efficiently enough to be highly effective. Its primary arm, the Kaigun Tokubetsu Rikusentai (Tokubetsu for short) is considered the foremost marine unit in the world due to the skill and resolve of its members.

With the navy as the central branch of Japan's military, the role of the Army is purely in a support role. Ships, obviously, cannot go on land and so the Japanese are forced to make a military force able to handle these situations. Thus the infrastructure of the army is heavily dependent on that of the Navy, just not to the same degree as the air force. Even the members of the Army who do not act as marines, namely the UDF, still work very closely with the naval branch.

Aside from the defense of Korea and amphibious assaults the primary job of the Army is to police the streets of the Tocaido Corridor, a huge urban area with a population numbering over 200 million that covers most of the Japanese Isles. Locations of importance to the government are usually protected by the UDF and the general police force of Japan is actually trained and reports to the Japanese Army. As well, in situation where crowd control is needed, something very rare in the Shogunate, the UDF troops will usually be brought in to remedy the situation.


High Command

The highest position in the Japanese Army is the Gensui (元帥), and only one person may hold the title at any time. As part of the separation of the bureaucracy and the military, no serving member of government is permitted to hold this position, or any of the high command positions directly below it. However, technically speaking, the Emperor, as Great Shogun, is the figurehead of the entire armed forces and commands directly from him must be followed without question. Below the Gensui are the Seii Taishōgun (征夷大将軍), the Generals who each controlled one of the 12 main fighting groups of the Army. For the most part these groups are completely fluid and not attached to any particular region or fleet. The only distinction is that 6 are part of the UDF, 4 are part of the Marines and the last 2 are part of the Expeditionary Force. All three branches have virtually identical command structures, only differing in the number of subordinates each rank has.

The last position within the High Command of the Japanese army is the Rikugun Taishō (陸軍大将) who control all control a force of exactly 10,000 field soldiers. Unlike the Shoguns the Taishō usually just have to relay orders and attack plans, not come up with them on their own. Still the office of Taishō is a very distinguished one though it is still the lowest Army rank that does not have to be present on the field of battle.


Japanese Troop Formation

Japanese troops lined up to greet the Roman Caesar (1712)

The lowest rank is Hei (兵), the foot soldiers who receive the lowest pay, do the hardest work and have no inferior officers. Squads of 5 are commanded by a Gochō (伍長), who themselves answer to a force leader known as the Rikugun Taii (陸軍大尉). All Taiis lead exactly 10 Squads, whilst 20 "forces" make up a Gun (軍), or Army that is led by a Gunsō (軍曹). At last, 10 Guns together form a Daigun (大軍) which are each commanded by a Taishō as mentioned before.

See Also

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