Japanese Army Officers Service Visor- Imperial Guards

Model 45 summer weight officers hat with Imperial Guards Insignia. . Exterior is tightly woven gabardine with red wool band and piping. Higher quality black silk liner.

The Imperial Japanese Army had its origins in the Imperial Guard, which was established in 1867 as the personal army of the Emperor Meiji. The Imperial Guard was trained and equipped according to the French military model, and it played a key role in suppressing the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. The Imperial Guard was divided into two brigades, each with two regiments. The 1st Guards Infantry Brigade comprised the 1st and 2nd Regiments, while the 2nd Guards Infantry Brigade consisted of the 3rd and 4th Regiments.

The Imperial Guards Division was divided into two brigades in 1939. The 1st Guards Brigade, with the 1st, 2nd, and cavalry regiments, and some support units, went to South China and became the Mixed Guards Brigade. It occupied French Indo-China in 1940 and returned to Tokyo in 1941. The 2nd Guards Brigade, with the 3rd and 4th regiments, was sent to China and then to Hainan Island. It was joined by the 5th regiment in 1941 and fought in Malaya and Singapore. In 1943, the Mixed Guards Brigade became the 1st Guards Division and the Imperial Guards Division became the 2nd Guards Division. The 3rd Guards Division was formed in Japan in 1944 with the 8th, 9th and 10th regiments. There may have been a 7th regiment but sources are unclear. All Imperial Guard divisions were disbanded after World War II.