Original WWII Imperial Japanese Army Infantry Ittōhei Soldier First Class Uniform Set - Dated 1942

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a rare original WW2 Japanese Army tunic and trousers for an Infantry Private First Class. The tunic is in near unissued condition, but there is some mothing on the insignia. This is a high quality construction, cotton shell and lining with polished buttons. Features Ittōhei (Soldier First Class) collar tabs, all red with 2 gold stars. There are several lines of Kanji ink stamped to the inner lining, one being 昭 和 十 七 年. This would be read: SHOWA (current reigning emperor) Juu Nana Nen (17th year of reign - 1942).

The red chest mark featured on the tunic indicates that this soldier was in the infantry. As an Ittōhei he would not have been a unit leader, just a grunt in the eyes of the Army. The trousers also feature solid Kanji ink stamps and are dated Showa 19 which would be 1944. The pants are in similar condition as the tunic and do not have any significant damage to them.

This is truly a wonderful, clean uniform set. Comes more than ready to display!

Collar to shoulder: 9”
Shoulder to sleeve: 21”
Shoulder to shoulder: 1”
Chest width: 17”
Waist width: 18”
Hip width: 21”
Front length: 27.5"
Pant Waist: 34"
Pant Inseam: 16.5"

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army.

During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army had 51 divisions and various special-purpose artillery, cavalry, anti-aircraft, and armored units with a total of 1,700,000 people. At the beginning of the Second World War, most of the Japanese Army (27 divisions) was stationed in China. A further 13 divisions defended the Mongolian border, due to concerns about a possible attack by the Soviet Union. From 1942, soldiers were sent to Hong Kong (23rd Army), the Philippines (14th Army), Thailand (15th Army), Burma (15th Army), Dutch East Indies (16th Army), and Malaya (25th Army). By 1945, there were 6 million soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army.

From 1943, Japanese troops suffered from a shortage of supplies, especially food, medicine, munitions, and armaments, largely due to submarine interdiction of supplies, and losses to Japanese shipping, which was worsened by a longstanding rivalry with the Imperial Japanese Navy. The lack of supplies caused large numbers of fighter aircraft to become unserviceable for lack of spare parts, and "as many as two-thirds of Japan's total military deaths [to result] from illness or starvation".

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