Rare Imperial Japanese Navy Proficiency Badge

Today I’d like to take a look at an IJN Proficiency Badge. The Imperial Japanese Navy had ten different proficiency badges, each with a 1st and 2nd Class. These were awarded to sailors who passed tests in various skills (depending on the field). These badges were official Ministry of the Navy issue, and so were prized by the recipients. Although I am not sure, I imagine a pay raise or bonus came along with the badge.

4 badges were introduced in 1911, 1 in 1919, 1 in 1927, 2 in 1930, 1 in 1931, and the final badge was introduced in 1939. I’ll show some of the other badges in later posts, but today let’s look at one of the 1930 badges.

2nd Class Carpentry Proficiency Badge (obverse)

2nd Class Carpentry Proficiency Badge (obverse)


Above is the 2nd Class Carpentry Proficiency badge. I have found a Japanese source that gave the English translation of the badge as a Refit Superior Badge. The official name of the badge in Japanese is Kaigun Kousaku Yuutoushou (海軍工作優等章).

It was instituted on April 22, 1930 (昭和五年)

This was awarded to Navy pilots (NCOs as well) and airplane mechanics who passed tests in maintaining and repairing equipment during battle or during battle-simulated activities.

The design is striking. There is a mallet and ax crossed, superimposed on which is the IJN Anchor & Blossom insignia. The three colors (brown, gold, and silver) stand out well on this example.

The badge is a heavy metal, perhaps steel. It is a one-piece construction (excluding the back pin) and is painted or gilded the various colors. It measures about 3.7 cm long and is about 3.2 cm wide. Here is a picture of the reverse:


Note that the reverse is painted brown.

Although I have seen some photos of sailors wearing these kinds of badges, generally speaking they weren’t worn much. The 2nd Class badges came in a paulonia wood presentation box with gold gilt characters indicating the award. Sorry to say, I don’t have the box for the pictured badge. The 1st Class badges came in a nicer case. I’ll save that for a future post.

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 4:15 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

  2. Hey, thanks a lot! I will add more posts (about two or three a week), so please check back.

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