Japanese Imperial Navy Watch Fob (Graduation Badge) Part 2

Continuing my short series on Navy watch fobs, here is the second piece. (See my previous post for a little background.)

Japanese navy engineer watch fob badge medal ww2

Photo courtesy of Brenton W

This badge, too, has a hawk in an aggressive pose. It is perched on a circular device that encloses a gold gilt cherry blossom. The edge has gilt branches, probably laurel. We can see the anchor in the background along with a few waves here and there. The two kanji here are kou (高), which means ‘high,’ and ren (練), which means ‘practice.’ One may imagine that this could translate into something like ‘high level of practice,’ but the ‘high’ probably means ‘senior,’ as in senior student, or a student at the higher levels.

The reverse has kanji that show this was awarded to a renshuusei (練習生), i.e., a cadet. So the two kanji on the obverse could be translated as senior cadet, I suppose. Anyway, they refer to the student.

Here is the reverse:

Japanese navy engineer watch fob badge medal ww2

Photo courtesy of Brenton W.

The inscription reads ‘Naval Engineer Academy, Engineering Cadet Graduation Commemorative, 4th Graduating Class.’ I have translated this as ‘Navy Engineer Academy,’ but this is a bit misleading. Tomorrow I will discuss this academy a little bit.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This information may be of some help when dealing with navy school fobs; Many of the navy fobs made before Nov 1942 bore the symbols of the school (as an example a hammer with a sakura above it was for the elementary construction school) The same symbol was seen on the patch worn on the sleeve by sailors that would show their level of training. In Nov 1942 naval rank and training patches (called round rates by collectors) were eliminated and replaced with new rank insignia which included 2 small patches worn on the left sleeve that indicate the level of training. The area of training was indicated with a metal color sakura worn on the right sleeve rank patch. i.e. engineering = purple , medical=red, music=royal blue and there were others. The level of training was indicated with a single yellow sakura on a black circle patch for elementary level training and a double yellow sakura (one behind the other) for advanced training. The symbols on the fobs also changed to reflect the new rates. If you look closely, the symbol in the circle of leaves on your fob is the double sakura which would mean advanced school or training most likely reserved for a petty officer. Given this symbol was used on the fob… indicates your fob was made after 11-1942. I hope this helps you but if you need pictures of copies of some fobs and the cloth patches to show how they were connected I would be happy to send them you.

    John Egger

    • Thanks for the great information.

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