WWII Japanese tank naming conventions?
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 21:53
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:00
Army Imperial Year System
The Imperial Year was used as the standard for designating the type, based on the mystical founding of Japan in 660 BC. The accepted practice was to use the last two numbers of the year as a type number, as in the Type 89 medium tank of 1929, with Type 100 for items accepted in 1940. After 1940 only the last digit was used, so Type 2 equipment was accepted in 1942.
Each tank is given a separate name, based on the order in adapation. The Type 89 medium tank was the “I-Go”, or “first car/model” while the Type 95 light tank was the “Ha-Go”, or “third car/model” (no second model has been identified).
Starting from the Type 97 Chi-Ha, the naming system was changed to incorporate the classification of the tank. Each tank would get a two letter name, with the first letter standing for the type of tank and the second for the order in which the tanks were developed.
The majority of tanks fell into three categories – Chi, Ke and Ho, or Medium, Light and Gun, with Chi and Ke used as single character abbreviations for Chiu (or Chui) and Kei. There seems to have been a category for Heavy (O, short for Oo), but this is only "confirmed" in the sense that it was the unofficial name given to the 120 ton tank O-I.
The numbering system used was based on the Iroha, a Japanese poem. This used every character from the Japanese syllabary once, and for a long time was used to put those characters in order (in a rather poetic version of the ABC). The first two lines of the poem, transliterated in roman letters, ran:
i ro ha ni ho he to
chi ri nu ru wo
If we summarize the naming system:
Ho: Gun (Tank Destroyer)
1- I or Yi
2 - Ro
3 - Ha
4 - Ni
5 - Ho
6 - He
7 - To
8 - Chi
9 - Ri
10 - Nu
11 - Ru
12 - O or Wo
Using the medium tanks as an example:
Chi-I (Medium First): None (most likely Experimental Type 1 Tank)
Chi-Ro (Medium Second): Type 89 I-Go
Chi-Ha (Medium Third): Type 97 Chi-Ha
Chi-Ni (Medium Fourth): Type 97 Chi-Ni (never got out of prototype status)
Chi-Ho (Medium Fifth) Type 98 Chi-Ho (never got out of prototype status)
Chi-He (Medium Sixth): Type 1 Chi-He
Chi-To (Medium Seventh): Type 4 Chi-To
Chi-Ri (Medium Ninth): Type 5 Chi-Ri
Chi-Nu (Medium Tenth): Type 3 Chi-Nu
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:03
As for the names Chi-Ha, Ha-Go, Chi-Nu, etc, there is also a convention to that, but I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable than I am.
There's also a brief explanation here: http://en.wikipedia....nk_designations
Edited by cwjian90, Dec 01 2012 - 22:11.
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:12
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:21
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:21
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:34
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:53
I'm sitting here chuckling. I would never have guessed they used a poem to number their military vehicles. That's pretty classy.
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 22:56
It was all part of the nationalism thing of the day, where "Yamatoism" ("pure" Japanism) was blooming and there were attempts to completely eradicate kanji (as being of Chinese origins). It's both classy and sad.
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 23:01
it's actually funny that the Chinese also adopted a "Type" system after 1949.
Posted Dec 01 2012 - 23:58
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:06
Arjun is a new design that shares little with the T-72 - for one the gun (which IIRC is sorta like the L30) has a human loader. You're probably thinking of the Ajeya.
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:07
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:10
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:16
HAH! EAT THAT CHINA!
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:30
Nowadays Japanese people use both, Gregorian calender for "normal" life and the "reign year" calendar for more "official" stuff. When I registered for the national health service I had to use my "reign year" for my birth date, but in normal living you see the more standard Gregorian calendar for dates. Of course this is probably oversimplifying it.
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:44
So have you all switched to Emperor Akihito's reign year?
Edited by cwjian90, Dec 02 2012 - 00:45.
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 00:45
Posted Dec 02 2012 - 02:14
Edited by lostwingman, Dec 02 2012 - 02:14.