Tomonaga (
Fri, 08 Oct 1999 19:16:30 +1300

-Z- wrote:

> > ... 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.

I agree with your reasoning but still, some of the characters had clearly
Japanese names eg Hayato Kobayashi, Ryu Hosei, Mirai Yashima and it is quite
clear which is the family name. The people who came up with the names either
(1)assumed the audience didn't know the English order for names and expected them
to think of the first part of the name as the family name (in which case the
reference with rank to characters with Japanese names sound strange) or (2) they
assumed that the audience did know the English order of names yet still used the
first part with the rank.(which also sound strange).

> 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!)

I would be disinclined to draw the parallels above. Yes, it is true that the
-chan suffix is used most commonly with first names but it is mostly a very
informal and intimate attachment to the name for use with close family and
friends only. It is not an official form of address by any means and its use is
far from clear cut. Here are some loose guidelines: In most parts of Japan
-chan is used openly with little girls only. Used in any other way, it could be
considered offensive especially by little boys. In the Kansai region its use is
openly accepted for young boys and girls. When a name is used with -chan in most
cases it is an abbreviated form of the name or even a nickname. In some
circumstances adults (predominantly from the Kansai region) can have the -chan
suffix, this is a) the person's nickname b) the form adopted by the person as a
child and still in-use c) cutey idolizing reference to the person (usually
celebrities,sports stars etc...) For example, in Japan, Arnold Schwarzenegger is
lovingly called Shuwa-chan! because of the often silly Japan-only TV commercials
he appears in.

For a) and b), you would only use that form of the person's name with their
consent. So basically don't use -chan for adults.

The -kun suffix on the other hand is a definite male only term and can be used
formally. Most Japanese boys grow up with the -kun suffix being used with their
first name/nickname by adults(parents,relatives, kindergarten teachers etc...).
Once they start going to school, boys are usually referred to by their teachers
by -kun attached to their family name(or no suffix at all). At university/college
level -kun may be replaced by the -san suffix depending on the teacher. Once in
employment , a lot of older bosses will use the -kun suffix with the family name
of young male employees. There is no cut and dry line as to when a man is too
old to be called -kun but it is generally the late twenties. Note the -san
suffix is the standard formal form and can be used with both the first/nickname
and family name at whatever the age except children. This suffix can be used
safely with all adults.

Sorry, I didn't think you would be so interested, so omiited the less commonly
known in between ranks not used in Gundam, but here is the rest...

> >>non-commissioned personnel
> >
> >Hei-sotsu Private
> >Go-cho Corporal
> >Gun-so Sergeant
> >So-cho 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.

Shin-pei is Recruit so it's E-1
Hei-sotsu is your E-2
Jo-to-hei is Private First Class so it's E-3
Go-cho-kin-mu-jo-tou-hei is Lance Corporal so it is E-3 equivalent

Ni-do-gun-so (Sergeant Second Class) is Staff Sergeant so it's E6
Itto-gun-so is Sergeant First Class so it's E7
to-ku-mu-so-cho is Sergeant Major E9

Here are some other terms - Sorry I don't know the terms for the different
Sui-hei = Seaman
Hi-kou-ka = Airman
Ka-shi-kan = Petty Officer

> 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 - (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 - (US)
> > Lieutenant - Army(UK)
> > Lieutenant 'Junior Grade' - Navy(US)
> > Sublieutenant - Navy(UK),AirForce(UK)
> >
> >Tai-i Captain - (US)
> > 'Full' Lieutenant - 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 - (US)

                                          Rear Admiral(Lower Half) - Navy(US)
> Brigadier - Army(UK)

> > Air Commodore - AirForce(UK)
> > Commodore - Navy(UK)

Proper title - Ku-gun-jun-sho = Air Commodore

> >Chu-jo Lieutenant General - Army,AirForce
> > Rear Admiral (Upper Half)- Navy(US)
> > Air Marshall - AirForce(UK)

Proper title - Ku-gun-chu-jo = Air Marshall

> >Sho-sho Major General - Army,AirForce
> > Vice Admiral - Navy(US)
> >Tai-sho General
> > Admiral
> >

Proper title - Ku-gun-tai-sho = Air Chief Marshall

> >Tei-toku Admiral
> >

Proper full title...
Kai-gun-tai-sho = Kai-gun-tei-toku= Admiral (To distinguish from other Tai-sho)

> >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"....

It is definitely Gen-sui. Gen pronounced more like Gyen with a hard G not Jen.
The proper titles are ...
General of the Air Force = Ku-gun-gen-sui
General of the Army = Riku-gun-gen-sui
Admiral of the Fleet= Kai-gun-gen-sui

The 'Gun' part means military. Also there is a word Gun-sei which means
military administration or military rule.

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

To elaborate a little further...
This 'Kan-cho' is a military form of address for the person in command of a
military vessel. Civilian equivalent is 'Sen-cho'.
There are other homophones which use different Japanese/Chinese characters which
mean super-intendant/director among other things.

> This is the equivalent of "Skipper" in American parlance. It distiguishes
> Captain as a position from Captain as a rank and title.
> Thanks for the rundown and, hopefully, you can now fill in the gaps....
> -Z-

I hope this helps. And thanks for your input.

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