Scarcity Scale
1 dot is common. 5 is extremely rare.
       
Scarcity Scale
1 dot is common. 5 is extremely rare.
The replica medal:
The Great East Asia
War Medal
大東亜戦争従軍記章
The Great East Asia War Medal was established in 1944 to commemorate the latter stages of WW2. It is not
clear to whom this medal would have been awarded, but it was probably designed to become a common medal
like
the China Incident War Medal. However, soon after the war ended in defeat and the struck medals (about
10,000 according to Peterson) were destroyed by the American occupying forces. Before this, according to
Peterson, a few posthumous awards were made, so a few original medals exist. A history of the Japan Mint
(published in 1965 by the Japan Mint and authorized by the Ministry of Finance) states that although some
medals were minted, none were awarded. The latter seems like a reliable source, so we can assume that there
were no cases nor medal award documents made.

This medal was designed by Hinago Jitsuzou (1892-1945), a famous sculptor and designer. This gentleman
also designed
the 1939 China War Dispatch medal and, unrelated to medals, the logo of the Japan Football
Association (the three-legged crow design). He may have designed others, too, but I'm not sure.

The medal is a tin alloy. The attached bar reads 'War Medal.' Read from left to right.

OBVERSE: The Imperial Mum crest is in the center. Two crossed Japanese swords and a rayed star are
beneath the mum. A ring of blossoms is on the rim
REVERSE: Inscribed 'Great East Asia War.'

What you will usually see on the market are post-war replicas made for veterans. These were first made in the
1960s, but I have heard that some are being made today and sold at shrines. I have not seen this, though.

There are two main varieties of the medal. The obverse is the same on each (with a ring of alternating anchors
and stars sometimes replacing the original blossoms), but the reverses are different. One mimics the original
but the other has a completely new design. See below.

The cases vary, too.
Inscribed 'Great East Asia War, Showa 16 [1941] December 8th to Showa 20
[1945] August 15th.'

This was made to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the end of the war. The
group that made it is a right-wing organization that works closely with the
Self-Defense Forces, actively pursues ways to promote nationalism/patriotism,
and other activities. The name of the group is
Nihon Gouyuu Renmei, which may
be translated as Federation of Japan Nationalists.
Gouyuu has two kanji: gou
meaning homeland, and
yuu meaning friend.

This group was established in Showa 31 [1956] and recognized by the
government of Japan.
The attached bar reads 'Commemorative Medal.'
The attached bar reads 'War Medal.' The obverse has a ring of
stars around the rim.

The case: 'Great East Asia War Dispatch Soldier Medal.'
The interior has a cut-out outline for both the medal and the rosette.
Some didn't come with a rosette, so of course there was no cut-out
on these.

'Great East Asia War Badge

This badge is to honor those who served in the Great East Asia War and to make
sure that they are not forgotten. As we approach the 35th anniversary of the end of
the war, we can see that the war showed the pure spirit of the Japanese through
the sacrifice of her war heroes. This was also made so that we can pray for the
peace of Asia and our home country.

Showa 54 [1979] December 8.
Nihon Gouyuu Renmei (which may be translated as Federation of Japan
Nationalists)
Post-war 1944 Great East Asia War Dispatch Medal.
Unlike other replicas, this is thick and made of silver (marked
ginsei). The case is
larger, has a gold gilt mum, and is thicker than the regular replicas. In addition, it is
lacquered wood, not plastic.

The ribbon on this medal is a thick cotton, and the reverse hook is unusual.
There is some wear and tear here and there, but this is a really nice, high-quality
item that rarely appears on the market.
Post-war 1944 Great East Asia War Dispatch Medal. This is the first one of this
design that I have ever seen. Unlike other replicas, this is based on the 1939 China
Incident War Dispatch Medal.

The obverse seems to show a dove instead of a crow, and the reverse has a
mountain that appears to be Mt. Fuji. The inscription says 'Great East Asia War.'

The case is the same as the other 1944 replica cases, though. The small business
card says that this medal was awarded to those who served in the Pacific War.
Originals?
This outer cardboard box is for the 35th
anniversary of the end of the war, so it dates
to 1980.