Medals and Badges
I have been interested in Japanese medals and badges for many years, but I am surprised at how little
has been written about them. There is the famous book by James Peterson, there is a book on badges,
and there are slim bits and pieces around the net, usually embedded deep within sites about other topics.
So I thought that a comprehensive website would be a nice way to fill in some of the gaps--or at least
provide some nice photos of medals. I admit that in the area of medals I am no expert. When I read
forums and other pieces on the web, I realize how little I know about them. But the problem is the
scattered information has not been collected.
Even so, the things I have read are most often unsubstantiated. For example, one interesting topic is the
dating of the orders. That is, what are the differences between Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei versions
of the same class of medal? Although I have read a variety of opinions, I rarely see any solid confirmation
of the opinions. Perhaps none exist for some points of dispute...
Actually, dating the orders is one of the most important issue that needs to be addressed. There may be
no definitive answer, but some general answers would be good, too. In time, this site may have the
answers to some questions. Of course, input from other collectors is essential.
Other issues: Who received medals? Why did they receive them? Where were they awarded? What
monetary gifts, if any, accompanied them? Why are there so many differences in the presentation cases?
What do those differences mean? How many of each medal were minted? Where were they made? etc.
The list goes on.
Of course, presently this site does a poor job of answering those and other questions. But as the site
matures, little by little perhaps I can add information that will be of value to collectors.
I am now beginning to read the Japanese language books on medals. There are not many and they
seem to be aimed at the layman. I would like to think that some primary sources are gathering dust in
some out-of-the-way storerooms and that I will manage to find them. Who knows?
Anyway, please enjoy looking at the different pages. This site will always be a work in progress. There are
no completed pages. Even now few pages contain little more than basic descriptions of the medals. That
is because I wanted to get the site online quickly--hoping that a flood of information will rush in from
others and allow me to beef up the text. If not, I will do it alone but that will take more time.
Finally, as always, I humbly accept any corrections. The cool thing about a website is that corrections can
be made effortlessly and new pictures can be added with just a few clicks. I'd love to have an error-free
resource for everyone to consult.