Military Wiki
38th Division
Active ? - 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch  Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Garrison/HQ Nagoya, Japan
Nickname(s) "Nagoya"
Engagements Battle of Hong Kong
Dutch East Indies campaign
Guadalcanal campaign
New Britain campaign
Admiralty Islands campaign
Tadayoshi Sano

The 38th Division (第38師団 Dai sanjūhachi shidan?) was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The division saw heavy action during the Pacific campaign of World War II, including the conquest of Hong Kong in 1941, the Dutch East Indies in early 1942, and the Guadalcanal Campaign from October 1942 to February 1943. The division took heavy losses in the failed attempt to retake Guadalcanal from Allied forces and was thereafter assigned to the defense of the Admiralty Islands, New Britain, and New Ireland until the end of the war. The division's main line units were the 228th, 229th, and 230th Infantry regiments. The 228th consisted mainly of conscripts from Nagoya, Japan, the 229th from Gifu Prefecture, and the 230th from Shizuoka Prefecture. While the rest of the 229th Infantry Regiment was on Guadalcanal, its 3rd Battalion fought in the Buna area of Papua /New Guinea from 11/1942 to 1/1943 where it was destroyed. The division was disbanded at the end of World War II with the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Army.

The division's soldiers were often accused of committing war crimes during their operations in the Pacific theater.[1] One of the division's senior officers, Takeo Itō, was convicted of war crimes by an Allied military tribunal after the war.[2]

Chief of Staff

From To Name
02.12.1940 01.03.1941 Col. Yoshimitsu Abe
01.03.1941 23.03.1943 Maj. Gen. Yoshimitsu Abe

See also



  1. Budge, Kent. "Takeo Ito". Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. 
  2. Some Noteworthy War Criminals Source: History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War, United Nations War Crimes Commission (London: HMSO, 1948)


  • Frank, Richard (1990). Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58875-4. 
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-151-4. 
  • Griffith, Samuel B. (1963). The Battle for Guadalcanal. Champaign, Illinois, USA: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06891-2. 
  • Rottman, Gordon L.; Dr. Duncan Anderson (consultant editor) (2005). Japanese Army in World War II: The South Pacific and New Guinea, 1942-43. Oxford and New York: Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-870-7. 
  • United States War Department; David Isby (Introduction) and Jeffrey Ethell (Afterword) (1991 (reprint of 1944 edition)). Handbook on Japanese Military Forces. Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-2013-8. 


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