These are called kunshou kake in Japanese, which means 'medal hanger.' the medals are suspended from
this piece, and then the medal bar was attached to the garment. A variety of makers produced these, and you
can see a lot of different designs. Some have the maker's name stamped on the reverse, but most don't. The
larger bars (8 and more) are rare, and the value usually goes up according to the number of hangars.
The first example is probably one of the earliest versions (Meiji era).
The second example shown has a flat main suspension, and this may be an earlier version.
Medal
Suspension Hangers
勲章掛け
Obverse
Reverse
Rare medal bar for 8 medals. These larger bars are a bit hard to find.
Meiji era
This one has individual hangers that are removable.
Post-war version.
Post-war version.
Medal hanger/bar for 4 medals.
Medal hanger/bar for 8 medals.
Medal hanger/bar for 7 medals.
Post-war medal hanger. This holds two medals. Gold-plated. Imperial mum crests on either end.
Original kiri wood case.