gunpuku

A useful lexicon of military-related Japanese terms

第二次世界大戦 (Dainiji Sekai Taisen, World War II)

兵隊募集 (heitai boshū, military recruitment)

軍事義務 (gunji gimu, compulsory military service)

徴兵 (chōhei, military conscription)

軍服 (gunpuku, uniform)

軍人手帳 (gunjin techō, a pocket-sized booklet carried by every soldier and sailor, containing the bearer’s identity and military record)

腕章 (wanshō, armband)

はちまき (hachimaki, headband)

千人針 (senninbari, a “thousand-stitch sash,” a sash sewn by women and worn by soldiers for good luck)

二等兵 (nitōhei, private [the lowest enlisted rank])

気をつけの姿勢で立つ (ki o tsuke no shisei de tatsu, to stand at attention)

安めの姿勢で立つ (yasume no shisei de tatsu, to stand at ease)

立ち番 (tachiban, person on guard duty)

階級 (kaikyū, rank)

将校 (shōkō, officer)

勲章 (kunshō, medals or decorations)

軍刀 (guntō, military sword, carried by officers)

鉄帽 (tetsubō, literally, “steel hat,” i.e., a helmet)

防暑帽 (bōshobō, a pith helmet)

帽垂れ (bōtare, cloth strips attached to the rear of a cap to keep the sun from the wearer’s neck)

背嚢 (hainō, a back pack)

落下傘 (rakkasan, parachute)

工兵 (kōhei, combat engineer)

十六条旭日旗 (jūrokujō kyokujitsu-ki, rising sun flag with 16 rays)

民兵 (minpei, militia)

兵営 (heiei, barracks)

本営 (hon’ei, headquarters)

司令官 (shireikan, commanding officer)

起床らっぱ (kishō rappa, morning reveille)

点呼 (tenko, roll call)

装備 (sōbi, equipment)

飯盒 (hangō, mess kit)

水筒 (suitō, [water] canteen)

歩兵銃 (hoheijū, infantry rifle)

機関銃 (kikanjū, machine gun)

弾丸 (dangan, bullet)

銃剣 (jūken, a “gun sword,” i.e., bayonet)

引鉄 (hikigane, trigger)

雷管 (raikan, detonator)

遊底 (yūtei, bolt of a rifle)

手投げ弾 (tenage-dan, a hand grenade)

前線 (zensen, front line)

迫撃砲 (hakugekihō, mortar)

戦車 (sensha, tank)

塹壕 (zangō, military trench)

蛸壺 (takotsubo, foxhole)

鉄条網 (tetsujōmō, barbed wire)

停戦線 (teisensen, armistice line)

無人地帯 (mujin chitai, no-man’s land)

爆弾 (bakudan, bomb)

地雷 (jirai, a land mine)

魚雷 (gyorai, a torpedo)

火炎放射器 (kaen hōsha-ki, flame thrower)

トーチカ (tōchika, a pillbox [from the Russian tochka])

占領軍 (senryōgun, army of occupation)

民間人 (minkanjin, civilian)

非戦闘員 (hi-sentōin, non-combatant)

衛生兵 (eiseihei, combat medic)

衛生下士官 (eiseikashikan, corpsman)

救急救命士 (kyūkyūkyūmeishi, paramedic)

担架 (tanka, a stretcher or litter)

従軍記者 (jūgun kisha, war correspondent)

従軍牧師 (jūgun bokushi, military chaplain)

軍票 (gunpyō, occupation currency or military payment certificates, used outside of Japan)

防空壕 (bōkūgō, air raid shelter)

防空電球 (bōkū denkyū, light bulbs for observing blackouts)

非常袋 (hijōbukuro, emergency kit)

観兵式 (kanpeishiki, military parade)

出征 (shussei, departure for the front)

休暇 (kyūka, leave)

除隊 (jotai, military discharge)

開戦準備 (kaisen junbi, preparation for war)

同盟国 (dōmeikoku, allied country)

枢軸国 (sūjikukoku, countries of the Axis pact)

連合国 (rengōkoku, the Allied countries)

最後通牒 (saigo tsūchō, ultimatum)

宣戦布告 (sensen fukoku, declaration of war)

遠征隊 (enseitai, expeditionary force)

掃討戦 (sōtōsen, mopping-up operation)

戦争症候群 (sensō shōkōgun, “shell shock” or post-traumatic stress disorder)

空襲 (kūshū, air raid)

持久戦 (jikyūsen, protracted warfare)

抵抗運動 (teikō undō, resistance movement)

略奪 (ryakudatsu, looting)

悪虐 (akugyaku, atrocity)

軍事裁判 (gunji saiban, military court martial)

戦犯 (senpan, war crime or war criminal)

銃殺刑 (jūsatsukei, execution by firing squad)

戦死 (senshi, to be killed in action)

殉国 (junkoku, to die for one’s country)

大和魂 (Yamato damashii, the Japanese fighting spirit)

玉砕 (gyokusai, literally “jade shards,” meaning an honorable death or death without surrender. Sometimes referred to in English as “banzai charge.”)

弔電 (chōden, telegram of condolence informing of someone’s death — also called お悔やみ電報 okuyami denpō)

竹槍 (takeyari, bamboo spear or, figuratively, people’s last line of defense against invaders)

白旗を揚げる (shirahata o ageru, raise a white flag of truce)

無条件降伏 (mujōken kōfuku, unconditional surrender)

捕虜収容所 (horyo shūyōjo, prisoner of war camp)