Various information
about Japanese medals & orders
page 3
A few words about the Order of the Precious Crown
(Information  from the Nakano Library online resource)
The first 5 classes of the Order of the Precious Crown (sometimes translated as the 'Sacred Crown')
were instituted in 1888 and the 6th through the 8th classes were added in 1896. In 2003 the class
system was changed, so the following information refers to pre-2003 awards.

You can read about the differences in the designs of the different classes on the Precious Crown
page, but here I'd like to show you a few examples of what kind of person would receive each class of
medal.

1st Class (Grand Cordon): Imperial princesses and foreign royal family members. A Japanese
Imperial Princess (daughters and sisters of the Emperor) would get this medal on her 15th birthday.
For other women who married into the Imperial family, they would get this medal upon marriage. This
includes Queen Consorts.

The first Grand Cordon awarded was on November 1, 1888 and given to Princess Tadako Arisugawa,
whose
husband was the uncle of Emperor Meiji. Both the birth mothers of the Meiji and Taisho
Emperors also were awarded the Grand Cordon.

The most recent example is Princess Masako, who is married to the current (as of 2009) Crown
Prince. Since she was a commoner before her marriage, she got the medal the day of her wedding.

No Grand Cordon has been awarded since the 2003 revisions. (I am writing this in 2009.)

2nd Class: Queens Regnant received this on their 15th birthdays. Imperial princesses received this
on the day of their wedding ceremonies. In addition, female Diet members have been awarded this
class.

3rd Class: Examples of people who received this class: Diet members, national and private university
presidents (headmistresses), private university professors, family court judges, vocational school
presidents

4th Class: Examples of people who received this class: vocational school presidents, artists, poets,
actresses, singers,
Ryoukyoku performers.

5th Class: Examples of people who received this class: vocational school presidents, performers,
hospital nurse staff heads

6th Class: Examples of people who received this class: vocational school presidents, hospital nurse
staff heads, regional government group members, designers

7th Class: Examples of people who received this class: primary school presidents, public health
nurses

8th Class: Examples of people who received this class: airline stewardesses who helped
passengers. One famous example is the
Himeyuri students (Lily Corps), most of whom were given
their awards post-humously.
A few words about the Order of the Rising Sun
(Information  from the Nakano Library online resource)
The Order of the Rising Sun was instituted in 1875. In 2003 the class system was changed, so the
following information refers to pre-2003 awards.

A few examples of what kind of person could receive each class of medal. Note that these are only
examples and not limitations.

Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum: Emperors, Heads of Royal families of other
nations

Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Paulonia Leaves: Prime Ministers, National Office
Ministers, Imperial Family members

1st Class (Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun): Prime Ministers, National Office Ministers,
distinguished professors, heads of national committees

2nd Class: Examples of people who received this class: National Diet members, Ambassadors,
Imperial Household Agency heads, heads of government offices, Chief of Staff, Supreme Court
judges, public prosecutors, national and private university presidents, national and private university
professors, National Center heads, presidents of rail transport companies

3rd Class: Examples of people who received this class: National Diet members, Ambassadors,
Imperial Household Agency heads,  government leaders, government court officers, national police
department heads, Supreme Court judges, family court judges, local court judges, national and
private university presidents, national and private university professors, national art museum
directors, prefecture governors, vice-governors, mayors

4th Class: Examples of people who received this class: Imperial Household Agency department
heads, regional law office heads, regional government department heads, Self-Defense Forces & Air
Forces department heads, tax office heads, family court judges, national university professors,
national hospital department heads, local Diet members, mayors, public high school principals

5th Class: Examples of people who received this class: military officers of the 2nd & 3rd Classes,
police prefecture & department heads, tax auditors, court secretaries, labor officials, local Diet
members, city mayors & vice-mayors, land surveyors, fire station chiefs, fire department heads, post
office department heads, public junior high school principals, public school principals

6th Class: Examples of people who received this class: military officers of the 3rd Class, police
department heads, head nurses, judges and people in the court system, national university
professors, fire station chiefs, post office heads of various departments, land reform officers, regional
community group members, care of children group members

7th Class: Examples of people who received this class: government workers, judges and people in
the court system, police officers, patrolmen and women, fire station heads, post office heads

8th Class: Examples of people who received this class: The above named and everyone else
Information on the Sacred Treasure coming soon...
Total number of Japanese and Manchukuo medals made each year from Showa 12 [1937] to Showa
20 [1945]. Also the number of workers in the Mint each year.

(Information found in
Zouhei-kyoku Hyaku-nen Shi [100-Year History of the Japan Mint], pg 275)
1937
942
80,948
48,641
1938
1,867
421,451
2,810
1939
2,811
701,975
13,220
1940
3,011
1,010,979
20,876
1941
3,207
725,709
10,955
1942
4,142
668,582
23,525
Year
# of Workers
Japanese
medals
Manchukuo
Medals
1943
4,899
1,093,386
26,612
1944
3,996
975,433
18,749
1945
2,555
751
1,046
The numbers given here are fairly interesting in a limited way. We can see the output of medals during the war years, but we
cannot determine which medals were made in what quantities, nor can we see the various classes.

These numbers include the different orders, but they do not contain the commemorative and war medals. The workers
included a large number of students as well. The Japan Mint established a 6-month training program for workers under 17,
and they recruited young people frequently.
Year
Red
Ribbon
Green
Ribbon
Yellow
Ribbon
Purple
Ribbon
Blue
Ribbon
Total
Dark Blue
Ribbon
Grand
Total
up to
1945
273
761
--
--
1,323
2,357
8,060
10,417
1946
0
0
--
--
0
0
304
304
1947
0
0
--
--
1
1
263
264
1948
0
1
--
--
0
1
618
619
1949
0
0
--
--
0
0
236
236
1950
25
10
--
--
119
154
75
229
1951
45
11
--
--
98
154
129
283
1952
21
49
--
--
101
171
221
392
1953
100
33
--
--
97
230
158
388
1954
125
40
--
--
138
303
265
568
1955
37
0
398
52
412
899
367
1,266
1956
10
0
300
37
333
680
469
1,149
1957
13
0
362
44
365
784
1,026
1,810
1958
7
0
408
54
443
912
1,313
2,225
1959
12
0
412
48
540
1,012
1,850
2,862
1960
58
0
429
54
527
1,068
1,774
2,842
1961
1
0
460
59
636
1,156
2,447
3,603
1962
2
0
448
52
633
1,135
2,911
4,046
1963
1
0
485
54
672
1,212
4,488
5,700
1964
1
0
493
55
679
1,228
3,771
4,999
1965
4
0
529
56
631
1,220
5,903
7,123
1966
2
0
468
79
698
1,247
3,834
5,081
1967
4
0
429
84
693
1,210
816
2,026
1968
22
0
431
87
701
1,241
508
1,749
1969
2
0
430
73
711
1,216
577
1,793
1970
4
0
429
34
689
1,156
737
1,893
1971
2
0
446
122
816
1,386
798
2,184
1972
0
0
512
88
879
1,479
879
2,358
1973
4
0
486
87
902
1,479
1,053
2,532
1974
1
0
486
91
888
1,466
1,348
2,814
1975
4
0
500
91
919
1,514
2,424
3,938
1976
4
0
533
89
809
1,435
1,960
3,395
1977
5
0
539
58
839
1,441
2,209
3,650
1978
1
0
550
41
865
1,457
2,612
4,069
1979
0
0
549
29
936
1,514
3,097
4,611
1980
0
0
566
36
887
1,489
3,759
5,248
1981
3
0
560
51
937
1,551
5,007
6,558
1982
1
0
602
44
917
1,564
827
2,391
1983
2
0
619
54
910
1,585
500
2,085
1984
2
0
594
57
941
1,594
531
2,125
1985
0
0
609
51
1,042
1,702
532
2,234
1986
1
0
635
51
1,000
1,687
560
2,247
1987
0
0
629
54
1,012
1,695
540
2,235
1988
1
0
638
64
964
1,667
767
2,434
1989
0
0
621
62
949
1,632
754
2,386
1990
0
0
621
69
919
1,609
855
2,464
1991
0
0
625
65
885
1,575
754
2,329
1992
0
0
626
61
906
1,593
749
2,342
1993
0
0
596
68
885
1,549
749
2,298
TOTALS
800
905
20,053
2,405
32,247
56,410
76,384
132,794
Below are the yearly numbers of Merit Medals awarded as of Heisei 5 [1993]. Note the paucity of awards
immediately post-war. The Dark Blue Ribbon medal is listed apart from the others because this was received
after donating a certain amount of money. The other Merit Medals are for notable service of different kinds.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that both the Yellow and the Purple Ribbon medals were established in
1955, so no number is listed in years prior to that.

Source:
Eiten no Shiori
This is an official publication of the Medals and Awards Association. It is given to those who have received an
Order or Merit Medal. It was not offered for sale.

Although the colored chart looks a bit tacky, it's easier to identify the medals once you get deeper into the chart
and away from the headers.
Merit Medal Yearly Number of Awards
RED