The Info List - Dai-gensui

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(grand marshal; literally "great marshal" (大元帥)) was the highest rank of the Greater Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
and the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
from the 1870s to 1945, when the Empire of Japan was dissolved. The rank was only ever held by the Emperor of Japan as commander-in-chief of the Empire's Armed Forces and, separately, the highest ranking officer in each of the Armed Services. The rank was equivalent to a generalissimo or general of the armies and admiral of the navy, being a six-star rank senior to the rank of gensui ("marshal"). It formally became obsolete in 1947 when the Imperial Japanese armed forces were abolished.


1 History 2 Insignia 3 List of dai-gensui 4 See also 5 References

History[edit] The term originated in the Chinese military title da yuan shuai (大元帥), a title higher than yuan shuai (元帥, pronounced gensui in Japanese). Decree No. 252 by the Dajokan, dated 7 September 1872 first made formal mention of the rank of dai-gensui; however, no appointments to the rank were made before the rank was abolished along with that of gensui on 8 May 1873. By "Draft Ordinance No. 142" of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Chapter 1 Part 1) of 30 September 1889, the Emperor was officially given the rank of dai-gensui and installed as supreme commander of the Army and Navy. The kanji characters also refer to a Buddhist deity, Daigensui Myō'ō (大元帥明王), a Wisdom King
Wisdom King
worshipped by the Imperial Court since Emperor Ninmyō
Emperor Ninmyō
and by the Shingon
sect, for its legendary miraculous power to quell foreign enemies and rebellions, just like a military leader. Insignia[edit]

The insignia of a dai-gensui were identical to those of a full general, with the addition of the gold imperial chrysanthemum. List of dai-gensui[edit] The holders of this rank were:

Holder Lifetime Time in rank Notes

Meiji Emperor 3 November 1852 – 30 July 1912 1872–1873 1889–1912

Taishō Emperor 31 August 1879 – 25 December 1926 1912–1926

Shōwa Emperor 29 April 1901 – 7 January 1989 1926–1945 Held the rank until 15 August 1945 when Japan surrendered to the Allies, rank officially abolished in 1947.

See also[edit]

Other pronunciations of the characters 大元帥

Da yuan shuai
Da yuan shuai
in Chinese Taewonsu, the Korean equivalent Đại nguyên soái, the Vietnamese equivalent

The higher rank of gensui (元帥)

Yuan shuai, the original Chinese title Wonsu, the Korean equivalent Nguyên soái, the Vietnamese equivalent


This article incorporates information from the corresponding article in the Japanese. Donald Keene, Emperor of Japan, Meiji and his World 1852–1912

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Highest military ranks

General officer Flag officer Air officer

Imperator Marshal of Italy Generalissimo Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Supreme Allied Commander Admiral of the Navy General of the Armies General of the Air Force Generalfeldmarschall Mareşal Marshal of the air force Marshal of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation Mushir Magister militum Spahbed Ispahsalar Beylerbey Bojni Vojvoda Chom Thap Thai Constable of France Domestic of the Schools Grand Domestic Shōgun Dux bellorum Grand marshal Hetman Jenderal besar Polemarch Reichsmarschall Federal General of Switzerland Sardar Serasker Autokrator First marshal of the empire Da yuan shuai Dai-gensui Taewonsu Yuan shuai Wonsu Mar