Military Reservist Association
Badges
帝国在郷軍人会
ZAIGO GUNJIN-KAI is often translated as the Imperial Veteran's Association, but a more accurate
translation would be Military Reservist's Association. It was a nationwide group that unified reservist
groups, veteran groups, and martial associations. It was established in 1910 and disbanded (abolished)
in 1945.

'Independent on paper, the reservist association was in fact one of a growing number of semi-public
voluntary organizations with administrative ties to the central government and financial support from local
authorities.' From
Japan's Total Empire (page 132) by Louise Young (1998).

Click
HERE to see some other military groups.
The four enameled officer's badges. Each has a box with matching color. See examples below.
Regular member's badge with thin
cardboard box.
Lower-grade officers received a pin with a circular ribbon back. The color of the ribbon signified the office held.
Two large membership badges. Note the differences in the pin backs.
The various officers were also given enameled badges indicating their rank or position in the group. There are four different colors, and
each came with in a box that was the same color as the badge. The inscription on the box (as well as the inscription on the badge
reverse) stated who wore that color of badge. Note that the following are my own translations, so there could be errors.
These are listed in the order of importance, with blue being the highest badge and orange being the lowest. However, these are not merit
badges, so they corresponded with the rankings of the officers.

BLUE: Advisors; Honorable Participants; Honorable Deliberation members
GREEN: General Affairs Heads. Counselors, Participants, Directors & Trustees, Inspectors,
Regular Deliberation Members, Councilors, Navy Heads & Vice-Heads
RED: Meeting Leader and Vice-Leader; Association Unit Leaders and Vice-Leaders
ORANGE: Group Leaders and Vice-Leaders; Unit Leaders and Vice-Leaders
Gold Imperial Military Reservist Association badge with ribbon backing.
The case is inscribed: 'Imperial Military Reservist Association Special Member badge.'

Note the various differences with the red box above. The inscription is in essence the
same. The color is almost maroon on this box
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, center orange ribbon.
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, purple ribbon.
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, red ribbon.
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, outer orange ribbon.
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, green ribbon.
Imperial Military Reservist Honorary
Member Gold Gilt badge, blue? ribbon.
The obverse ribbon is faded, but the reverse
stripe looks blue.
Two small membership badges. Note the differences in the pin back and the thickness.
The badge to the right is probably late -WW2 vintage.
Imperial Military Reservist Special Member badge.
Imperial Military Reservist Special Member badge.
You can see the big difference in size in this
photo. The large one is an earlier version.
A portion of a letter written by Ted de Bary and sent to Donald Keene.
Dated October 15, 1945.

'My work here has been for a navy captain whom I knew back in Hawaii.
More as a matter of personal curiosity than anything else, he is making an
informal investigation of the recently disbanded Reservists' Association.
Nothing startling has come out of our interviews with navy and civilian
officials on the subject; indeed, if there were anything startling to be
learned, we could not have obtained it by this means. The Reservists'
Association seems to have been a group much like our American Legion
which got together several times a year for military training with ancient
firearms, wooden spears and other obsolete weapons. Their influence on
the community was felt most in educational matters, where they played a
big part in preparing children for a military life.'

From
War-Wasted Asia: Letters, 1945-6 (page 97).
Edited by Otis Cary (1975).
Slightly different inscription.
Imperial Military Reservist Association Branch
President/Vice-President Badge.
Photo courtesy of Brenton W.