Medals and Badges
I have created this site to document the wide range of medals, awards, badges, and
fobs from imperial Japan (roughly 1874 to 1945). There are a few websites here and
there with some of these medals, but none are exhaustive. So I would like to try and
make a site with all the medals and their variants.
Start by seeing all the different medal pages I have by going to the SITE MAP.
Medals and awards issued by the Japanese government (and the puppet states of
Japan) have been documented in James Peterson's Orders and Medals of Japan
and Associated States. Some of the information I use on this site will be from that
book. I will quote directly from the book when that is the only place I have found that
specific piece of information. However, in order for this site to be comprehensive, I
will read the Japanese sources carefully and try to glean any additional information
from them. Although Peterson's book is good, it is only an introduction.
I would like this site to be as informative as possible, and for that to be successful, I
will no doubt need help. As you will see as you glance through the pages, some of
the photos are inadequate and some pages are incomplete. Little by little I hope to
rectify this. If anyone has nice photos that I might be able to use, I would really
I think that in time I will be able to have a photo of every class of award. However,
finding all of the badges from the various military groups, military academies,
regiments, units, etc. may be impossible. First of all, there is no ready checklist of
these. Oftentimes unit commanders would have some made for his men and there
is no record of this remaining (as far as I know). Unit and regiment badges--along
with event badges--exist in great numbers. I will try and document them as they
Here is a brief introduction to Japanese medals.
|I will include on every commemorative medal page (and a few of the
badge pages) a scale that shows the relative scarcity of each medal.
See the example here:
1 dot is common. 5 is extremely rare.
I have been able to write about medals
because of the information I have
gleaned from a number of sources:
books, conversations, blogs, and online
Please feel free to correct me if I am
wrong in any of my claims. I welcome all
|I also have a site dedicated to
Imperial Japan military sake cups
and bottles. Please click here:
For example, the 1900 Boxer Rebellion medal doesn't seem to be rare, yet the prices
it commands are high. This may be related to the interest in the Boxer Rebellion
itself. I would give it 2 dots with regard to scarcity. However, I have seen it sold at
prices ranging from $300 to $650 at online auctions. In Japan it routinely sells at the
lower end of that price range.
Another example is the WWI Victory Medal, which seems to be available almost
anywhere. Yet it still commands prices of over $100. This is puzzling...
Therefore, I have confined my judgements to the apparent rarity of the medals.
Values I will leave to others.
In addition, scaling the Orders in this fashion seems a bit unwieldy since the
different classes have been made for many years and continue to be awarded.
Of course, the higher the class of the Order, the fewer number exist. However, the
older medals of even the low classes can command high prices because they also
exist in small numbers.
As for the Korean commemorative medals, it is possible that they exist in higher
numbers in Korea. However, since I have no access to those markets nor the
Korean language, I really don't know.
|Do you have Japanese or
Manchukuo medals to sell?
I am always buying, so
send me an EMAIL HERE.
|Welcome to my site!
Last updated: August 23, 2016
(Make sure you refresh the page to get the latest.)
|4th Class Order of the Precious Crown
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Purchase the first 12 issues of my Imperial Japan Medals once-monthly (now on hiatus) newsletter!
One-time payment for 12 issues (plus a supplement chart for pre- and post-2003 medals) for 1200 yen.
What it includes:
13 PDF files (electronically, no paper involved) of a few pages each. The information includes detail about Japanese medals and decorations, facts that are
not readily available in English.
ISSUE #1 (February 2012): The Japanese Honor Systems explained and detailed. (8 pages.)
ISSUE #1 SUPPLEMENT: List of pre-WW2 and post-2003 medals with Japanese names transcribed & English translations.
ISSUE #2 (March 2012): Introducing the 1st private manufacturer of badges in Japan--and a few of his rare 1894 Sino-Japanese War medals described. (8
ISSUE #3 (April 2012): Statistics issue! Total numbers of each class of each order awarded in the years 1951-1960. Also the numbers of each class of each
order (excluding the Golden Kite) awarded from 1875 to 1936. And a tidbit of info about the 1964 Tokyo Olympics medals. (5 pages)
ISSUE #4 (May 2012): A profile of a Japanese sculptor, Hinago Jitsuzou. In addition to his sculptures, he designed a few of the most famous Japanese
medals. (11 pages)
ISSUE #5 (June 2012): Official weights of the main Japanese medals; pre-war standards for awarding the main decorations; book recommendation. (10
ISSUE #6 (July 2012): War dead award special. 1st five war dead award ceremonies detailed. Opinions of the bereaved, mistakes in awards, etc. (9 pages)
ISSUE #7 (August 2012): Some information about two early medal manufacturers: Hirata and Namikawa. Book recommendation. (9 pages)
ISSUE #8 (September 2012): Some information about medal manufacturing. Early Red Ribbon Medal of Honor foreign recipients. (10 pages)
ISSUE #9 (October 2012): Some information about the Japan Mint Sundays medals. Early Medal of Honor foreign recipients. (10 pages)
ISSUE #10 (November 2012): Some information about the Imperial Maritime Society with badges and medals detailed. (10 pages)
ISSUE #11 (December 2012): Some post-war medal recipients; the pre-war Decorations Bureau presidents detailed; etc. (10 pages)
ISSUE #12 (January 2013): LAST ISSUE of VOLUME 1. Who could receive the 1942 China Incident Medal? Eligible recipients detailed.
KIA badge train passes, etc.
One-time payment for
VOLUME 1 (12 issues and 1 supplement):