Order of the Golden Kite
金鵄勲章
(Kinshi Kunshou)
This medal is certainly one of the most sought-after orders. The higher classes are difficult to find, and
when they appear on the market, the prices are obviously high. In the last ten years, I have seen only
one 1st Class breast badge (not the entire set), one 2nd grade medal, and two 3rd Class medals
offered for public sale here in Japan. Of course, I cannot chart the private sales.

One reason this medal is so popular is its dynamic design. It is colorful, multi-piece, and made of
sturdy metal. It is certainly a stunning piece. Another reason may be because it is an order only given
for distinguished military service and only given to Japanese.

Here I only have a couple of pictures. I hope to add more and would appreciate any help.

There are a variety of differences between Golden Kites of the three eras (Meiji, Taisho, and Showa).
Paul Murphy has written a useful explanation of these
HERE.
And also
HERE is an interesting discussion.

I have a separate page for the 6th and 7th Classes.
3rd Class
2nd Class
Early Order of the Golden Kite 3rd Class decoration.

The 4 rivet arrangement and case inscription suggest an early
manufacture.