-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Thu, 07 Oct 1999 20:15:28 -0700


At 14:23 10/8/1999 +1300, you wrote:
>Another interesting note, Japanese people use their family name
>first and then their given name. However the characters in the
>Gundam series use given name first then the family name as in
>English speaking countries. But when referring to them using
>military rank they use the first part of the name as they do in
>Japan, when in effect they should be using the last part of the
>name if they were to maintain the English name format. So for
>example Char Aznable should be Aznable Sho-sa, not Char Sho-sa.
>This as you can see for 'John Smith', is equivalent to saying
>Lieutenant Commander John instead of Lieutenant Commander Smith.
>Since most character names are unlike any 'normal' names most
>people don't notice it but if you really think about it, it does
>get weird.

This may simply be a matter of bowing toward people's expectations.
Gundam's audience was Japanese and would therefore expect the rank to be
attached to the first of two given names.

On the other hand, there's a custom in the American South of using the
honorific with the first name for minors and unmarried women, thus: Master
Dick, Miss Vicky. This parallels the Japanese use of the -chan suffix,
which is usually attached to the personal rather than the family name.
(I'm a bit hazy on the -kun suffix, which I've seen used both ways -- if
you can explain it, please do!)
>
>non-commissioned personnel
>
>Hei-sotsu Private
>Go-cho Corporal
>Gun-so Sergeant
>So-cho Sergeant Major/Master Sergeant

By "Private" do you mean E-1 (Private, no insignia, sometimes called
Recruit or Recruit Private), E-2 (Private, one chevron) or E-3 (Private
First Class, one chevron with "rocker")? There are three distinct pay
grades here. There are also two pay grades, E-6 (Staff Sergeant) and E-7
(Sergeant First Class) missing between Gun-so (E-5) and So-Cho (E-8) and
another at the top of the chain: E-9 (Sergeant Major). If you have
Japanese equivalents, please post them.

For the record, here are the enlisted ranks used here in the U.S.:

         Navy Marines Army USAF
        ------ ------- ------ ------
E-1 = Seaman = Private = Private = Airman
        Recruit Basic

E-2 = Seaman = Private = Private = Airman
      Apprentice 1st Class

E-3 = Seaman = Lance = Private = Airman
                   Corporal 1st Class 1st Class

E-4 = Petty = Corporal = Corporal / = Senior
       Officer Specialist Airman /
      3rd Class 4th Class Sergeant

E-5 = PO 2nd = Sergeant = Sergeant = Staff
                                             Sergeant

E-6 = PO 1st = Staff = Staff = Technical
                   Sergeant Sergeant Sergeant

E-7 = Chief PO = Gunnery = Sergeant = Master
                   Sergeant 1st Class Sergeant

E-8 = Senior = Master / = Master / = Senior
         Chief 1st 1st Master
          PO Sergeant Sergeant Sergeant

E-9 = Master = Sergeant = Sergeant = Chief
         Chief Major / Major / Master
          PO Master Command Sergeant
                    Gunner Sergeant
                   Sergeant Major

>commisioned officers
>Sho-i 2nd Lieutenant - Army(US)
> Ensign - Navy(US)
> 2nd Sublieutenant - Navy(UK)

Marines and Air Force officer ranks are the same as Army in the US, only
the Navy differs. All four US services use the same collar insignia, but
the Navy uses stripes on the sleeves of their jackets while the other three
do not.

Note also that "Lieutenant" is pronounced "Leftenant" in British English.

>Chu-i 1st Lieutenant - Army(US),AirForce(US)
> Lieutenant - Army(UK)
> Lieutenant Junior Grade - Navy(US)
> Sublieutenant - Navy(UK),AirForce(UK)
>
>Tai-i Captain - Army(US)
> Lieutenant Senior Grade - Navy(US)
> 1st Lieutenant - Navy(UK)

US Navy uses just Lieutenant for O-3. "Junior Grade" is tacked on to O-2
to distinguish it for O-3, which is sometimes called "full Lieutenant" to
clarify but is not an official rank.

>Sho-sa Major - Army
> Lieutenant Commander - Navy
>
>Chu-sa Lieutenant Colonel - Army(US),AirForce(US)
> Commander - Navy
> Flight/Wing Commander - AirForce(UK)
>
>Tai-sa Colonel - Army,AirForce
> Captain - Navy
>
>Jun-sho Brigadier General - Army(US), AirForce(US)
> Brigadier - Army(UK)
> Air Commodore - AirForce(UK)
> Commodore - Navy(UK)

This rank used to be called Commodore in the US Navy, after British usage,
but is now called Rear Admiral (Lower Half).

>Chu-jo Lieutenant General - Army,AirForce
> Vice Admiral - Navy
> Air Marshall - AirForce(UK)

"Vice Admiral" is incorrect here. This used to be Rear Admiral in the US
Navy, but is now Rear Admiral (Upper Half).

>Sho-sho Major General - Army,AirForce
> Rear Admiral - Navy

This is where Vice Admiral fits into US Navy parlance. "Vice" means "in
place of" but is usually meant as "second to" -- as in vice president.

>Tai-sho General
> Admiral
>
>Tei-toku Admiral
>
>Gen-sui General of the Army (US)
> Fleet Admiral - Navy(US)
> Admiral of the Fleet - Navy(UK)
> Field Marshall - Army(UK)

I have this Japanese rank down as "Gun-sui"....
                                    ^

>Also 'Kan-cho' is not a rank but a term used to address a warship's captain.

This is the equivalent of "Skipper" in American parlance. It distiguishes
Captain as a position from Captain as a rank and title.

In the US Navy, when a Captain was visiting another ship commanded by a
Captain, he was addressed as "Commodore" as a courtesy, because the ship's
commander was the only one who could ever be addressed as Captain. I don't
know if this tradition still holds true now that Commodore is no longer a
US Navy rank.

Thanks for the rundown and, hopefully, you can now fill in the gaps....

-Z-

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