Gensui (Imperial Japanese Army)
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Marshal-army general (元帥陸軍大将 gensui rikugun-taishō) was the highest title in the pre-war Imperial Japanese military.
|Service branch|| Imperial Japanese Army|
Imperial Japanese Navy
|Formation||July 19, 1872|
|Next higher rank||Dai-gensui|
|Next lower rank||Army general|
The title originated from the Chinese title yuanshuai（元帥）.
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 (陸軍元帥 Rikugun-gensui) 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. Equivalent to a five-star rank (OF-10), it is similar to Field Marshal in the UK British Army and General of the Army in the United States Army.
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 colors and a naval ensign under the Imperial Seal of Japan. They were also entitled to wear a special samurai sword (katana) of a modern design on ceremonial occasions.
In the Meiji period, the title was awarded to five generals and three admirals. In the Taishō period it was awarded to six generals and six admirals, and in the Shōwa period it was awarded to six generals and four admirals. The higher title of dai-gensui was comparable to the title of generalissimo and was held only by the Emperor himself.
Note that several were promoted the same year they died; these were posthumous promotions.
|Marshal||Name||(Birth – Death)||From|
|X||July 19, 1872||Saigō Takamori||(1827–1877)||Kagoshima|
|1||January 20, 1898||Prince Yamagata Aritomo||(1838–1922)||Yamaguchi|
|2||January 20, 1898||Prince Komatsu Akihito||(1846–1903)||Imperial Family|
|3||January 20, 1898||Prince Ōyama Iwao||(1842–1916)||Kagoshima|
|4||January 31, 1906||Marquis Nozu Michitsura||(1840–1908)||Kagoshima|
|5||October 24, 1911||Count Oku Yasukata||(1847–1930)||Fukuoka|
|6||January 9, 1914||Count Hasegawa Yoshimichi||(1850–1924)||Yamaguchi|
|7||January 9, 1914||Prince Fushimi Sadanaru||(1858–1923)||Imperial Family|
|8||January 9, 1914||Baron Kawamura Kageaki||(1850–1926)||Kagoshima|
|9||June 24, 1916||Count Terauchi Masatake||(1852–1919)||Yamaguchi|
|10||December 12, 1919||Prince Kan'in Kotohito||(1865–1945)||Imperial Family|
|11||April 27, 1921||Baron Uehara Yusaku||(1856–1933)||Miyazaki|
|12||January 27, 1929||Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi||(1873–1929)||Imperial Family|
|13||August 8, 1932||Prince Nashimoto Morimasa||(1874–1951)||Imperial Family|
|14||May 3, 1933||Baron Nobuyoshi Muto||(1868–1933)||Saga|
|15||June 21, 1943||Count Hisaichi Terauchi||(1879–1946)||Tokyo|
|16||June 21, 1943||Hajime Sugiyama||(1875–1945)||Fukuoka|
|17||June 2, 1944||Shunroku Hata||(1879–1962)||Fukushima|
The title was also bestowed on King George V of the United Kingdom on October 28, 1918.