I thought に was the universal particle with 志願, but I have seen を used quite commonly too and I wonder if there are some nuances in meaning.





田舎教師(1909)〈田山花袋〉六「小島は第一を志願するらしい」 〔嵆康‐与山巨源絶交書〕1 (精選版 日本国語大辞典)

They don't appear to differ in meaning.

  1. I am not quite sure about this entry. So it is from a work titled 田舎教師 by 田山花袋. But what is 〔嵆康‐与山巨源絶交書〕?

Xに志願する and Xを志願する are sometimes interchangeable, but I feel the latter has a stronger implication of choosing or asking for X from multiple options. Less commonly, Xを志願する can mean just "to make up one's mind to become X" without explicit request/application to some authority (を志望する is more common in this sense, though). I don't know why but it may because it's close to を選ぶ or を志望する.

  • 死刑を志願する
    to ask for (one's own) death penalty (instead of life imprisonment)
    (You cannot say 死刑に志願する because 死刑 is not a job/role.)
  • 落語家に弟子入りを志願する
    to ask a rakugo performer for an apprenticeship
    (You cannot say 弟子入りに志願する because it's not a job/role.)
  • 政治家を志願する
    to make up one's mind to become a politician
    (政治家 is a job name, but 政治家に志願する does not make sense because no authority can grant this job to you.)
  • 看護師を志願する
    to apply for the job as a nurse (rather than something else) / to make up one's mind to become a nurse
    (This makes sense only when there are multiple options.)
  • 小島は第一を志願するらしい。
    Looks like Kojima will rather apply for Dai-ichi (School).
    (This is almost synonymous with 第一に志願するらしい.)

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