In stock

Original Japanese Pre WWII Imperial Japanese Wool Enlisted Mans Overcoat - Dated 1937

Regular price $395.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Before Pearl Harbor the Japanese had already begun imperial expansion in Manchuria (1931), Inner Mongolia (1936), Jehol (1933), China (1937), and in other territories and islands during World War 1. The Empire of Japan entered World War II on 22 September 1940 when it invaded French Indochina, and made its entrance into the war official five days later with the signing of the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy on 27 September 1940, though it wasn't until the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 that the U.S. entered the conflict. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S. -held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island, the Dutch Empire in the Dutch East Indies, Thailand and the British Empire in Borneo, Malaya and Hong Kong. The strategic goals of the offensive were to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet, capture oil fields in the Dutch East Indies, and maintain their sphere of influence of China, East Asia, and also Korea. It was also to expand the outer reaches of the Japanese Empire to create a formidable defensive perimeter around newly acquired territory.

This Imperial Japanese wool overcoat was worn by a Jōtōhei which is a “senior soldier” or “superior private”. The shoulder boards on each should feature an all red construction with 3 yellow stars, indicating the rank. The Kanji symbols stamped on the inside left flap shows the year on the Japanese calendar as 昭 和 十 二 年, or "Showa 12th Year" which is 1937, just 3 years before Japan officially entered WWII.

The jacket is in good condition but does display the expected wear from long service and many years of storage. There are a few moth nips throughout, but nothing too serious. Only the top button remains on the overcoat and there is a loose button in the left pocket. The wool is rough to the touch and is no longer soft. Most of the uniform items produced in the years leading up to WWII were carried over into service during the war until more updated versions of them were produced.

Comes ready to display in your IJN collections!


Collar to Shoulder: 10”
Shoulder to Sleeve: 24”
Shoulder to Shoulder: 19”
Chest Width: 16”
Waist Width: 15”
Front Length: 47

The decision by Japan to attack the United States remains controversial. Study groups in Japan had predicted the ultimate disaster in a war between Japan and the U.S., and the Japanese economy was already straining to keep up with the demands of the war with China. However, the U.S. had placed an oil embargo on Japan and Japan felt that the United States' demands of unconditional withdrawal from China and non-aggression pacts with other Pacific powers were unacceptable. Facing an oil embargo by the United States as well as dwindling domestic reserves, the Japanese government decided to execute a plan developed by the military branch largely led by Osami Nagano and Isoroku Yamamoto to bomb the United States naval base in Hawaii, thereby bringing the United States to World War II on the side of the Allies. On September 4, 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider the war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided:

Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defense and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war ... [and is] ... resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-a-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives ... In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

The Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the chief architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor, had strong misgivings about war with the United States. Yamamoto had spent time in the United States during his youth when he studied as a language student at Harvard University (1919–1921) and later served as assistant naval attaché in Washington, D.C. Understanding the inherent dangers of war with the United States, Yamamoto warned his fellow countrymen: "We can run wild for six months or maybe a year, but after that, I have utterly no confidence."

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