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azyeoman

Small Japanese Collection

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That's the WWI/Siberian War Medal. There were two of them and they differ in the dates on the reverse. The first one was instituted by Imperial Edict No. 203 in November 1915 for military and naval forces who participated or assisted in the actions to capture the German colony of Kiao-chow and others in the area. It reads "Taisho 3rd-4th years war". The bar reads "Commemorative Medal" Aside from doing the lion's share of the fighting at Tsing-Tao (think of the beer that is still brewed there today), the Japanese contributed a token fleet to the Mediteranean.

The second one, which this one is, was instituted in Imperial Edict No. 41 in February 1920. No one could receive both medals. It reads on Taisho, 3rd year to 9th year and was awarded to those who were in the Siberian Expedition from 1918 until 1922 "helping the monarchists", but in reality in the hope of obtaining territory there.

The second medal is fairly easy to come across, but the first is harder and more expensive too.

Edited by azyeoman

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Calling this last group "nice" is an understatement.

My difficulity would be which collection to house it in, German or Japanese.

Thank you once again for posting these images.

Regards

Brian

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An NCO wakizashi with matching numbers and best of all an attached presentation plaque. "Presented To / Captain R. P. Allison / By / H.Q.B.M.A. Malaya 1945"

As I understand, these were given as presents to officers on Mountbatton's staff, usually to captains and above. Apparently, officers were allowed to bring them back, but NCOs and other rankers had to pay a pound and so many of them threw them overboard when the ship was docking in Great Britain as that was a fair amount then!!! The man from whom I got the officer's sword below, was an avid collector and between him and another collector, they had seen thousands of swords, but only about 25 with plaques. In my research, I've only come across one other that was in Australia. I've seen a cased sword with a printed letter and signed letter from Mountbatton for another officer's wakizashi.

Edited by azyeoman

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Now for my all time best piece in my collection. An officer's wakizashi. If anyone can translate the Japanese, I will be eternally grateful. What a Japanese friend of mine said was that part of it translates as: "Presented by Army HQ" Then the other side has the name of a Chinese City in Manchuria and the Showa date, 18 Novermber 1934. There is the name Sojurou on it too and my friend said it is an old-fashoned name.

The sword itself was made by Hibano Kin Mich.

This too was a Mountbatton present and to a Colonel W. Fairley whose service details are below. As for the Japanese officer whose sword Fairley was given, I don't know anything and any help would be very welcome.

The Army List gives the following cumulative entry for Colonel Fairley and he appeared in the Gradation list of the British Army, Army List, January 1945, p. 365.

William Melrose Fairly, OBE. Born 11/5/1892; temp 2nd Lt 1/8/1917 to 11/1/1919; Army 2nd Lt 1/5/1918; IA 2nd Lt 12/1/1919; Capt (Prov) 24/4/23; to 31/8/25; Capt 19/10/1925; Maj 24/4/36; Acting Lt Col 22/9/40; to 21/12/40; temp :Lt Col 22/12/40 to 23/4/44; Lt Col 24/4/44.

The next available list dates from 1947 and Fairly did not appear there or later. IA is Indian Army

From this, we know that he'd have had at least a medal bar consisting of at the very least an: OBE, BWM, Victory, '39 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.

Edited by azyeoman

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Hello John,

When it comes to WWII Japanese swords the presentation, or surrender, swords are the top collectable. While there are a good deal of WWII Japanese swords available on the collector's market you don't see many with the engraved presentation plate. Very nice indeed. Thanks for posting them.

Regards

Brian

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I don't have one of these cards in my collection, but as you can see, some of the Japanese surrender swords that were presented to British officers were accompanied by one of these cards in an envelope. I understand that the British sent all the swords to one warehouse and it was from there that they were selected.

Edited by azyeoman

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Hi Azyeoman,

I am not an expert in the Japanese language, therefore, with a few exceptions, I tend to shy away from making translations. Mistakes are easily made. However as Brian advised you to contact me,I looked at the Japanese text on the scabard. The side with the date is very difficult to decipher, but I recognize 19 nen 11 gatsu, which is indeed November 1934. The one line characters on the other side is a dedication. I will first write what I think is written in Japanese, so the experts amongst us can check if it is correct, and then the meaning according to my interpretation.

The first character is the character for horse, ba, from kibatai; cavalry, the second and third character stand for shosha or major. So it concerns a major of the cavalry. Then comes the name which is always a headache in Japanese, because often the character cannot be pronounced in its original meaning. looking at the second character, combined with as roof the character for ichi, my conclusion is that the name is Kazumi, which is an existing Japanese family name. The fourth character stands for nagai; long, the fifth for i or ikki; to mind, to care, the last character has a small character attached underneath which reads as sonnen, old style writing of; in memory of. Concluding I would translate it as " (to) cavalry major Kazumi in memory of longlasting friendship". Most likely the giver was a certain Sojuro of the Army HQ.

I will go to Japan beginning of next month,and, if have time, will ask some expert friends to look at the characters again.

Hope this is of any help,

Pieter

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Hi Pieter,

Thank you very much! Words cannot express how grateful I am to know the mystery of the Kanji on the scabbard. For years I've wondered what is says and I've asked some of my Japanese students, but they were so young they couldn't read it; at least that was the excuse they gave me. I can't thank you enough and sincerely wish you a very safe trip to Japan. You're a scholar and a gentleman! All the best, John

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Hi Pieter,

You're a scholar and a gentleman!

Very true!

Have a good trip Pieter! :cheers:

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Haven't bought anything for this collection for a very long time, but couldn't pass up an enamel version after already having the cloth one.

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Nice addition! :beer:

More info about these babies here http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/55554-red-cross-relief-commemorative-medal-1904-05-and-its-suspensions/?view=findpost&p=515288&hl=%2Bred+%2Bcross+%2Brusso-japanese

Exceptional article and what inspired me to add this enamel Red Cross Relief Commemorative Medal to the collection; I love enamel work. Thanks for writing such an informative article! :beer:

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Obverse

It's a shame this group did not have a Medal of Victory ... Deserving it would be ..

Lambert

Edited by lambert

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Not all the recipients of the War Medal were awarded the Victory Medal; i.e., if they were only on the Siberian Expedition.

Edited by azyeoman

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An interesting photo that somewhat goes along with the entries on the above swords.

Edited by azyeoman

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I like these lacaquer Sake cups and their boxes. I've heard they can't be faked either. They are very artistic and aesthetically pleasing. I was fortunate to obtain an actual one that was used for an illustratipon in "The Book" on Japanese Military Sake Cups as shown below.

Edited by azyeoman

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You guys have some really awesome things. I like the photo with the stacks of officer/NCO swords. I wonder how many of those were family blades?

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Here are some more sake cups etc. Hope you find them as interesting as I do. I only collect ones that are boxed.

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And some more. I particularly like the cranes on the very top of the rims of two of these.

Edited by azyeoman

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Some relics from Eniwetok in the Marshals. All brought home by the same man and never cleaned.

Maj. Gen. Yoshimi Nishida defended the atoll with 2,741 men and after the battle ended (17 Feb. - 23 Feb. 1944) only 48 labourers and 16 Japanese were captured. These were from someone who needless to say, wasn't captured. The US had 262 killed, 77 missing and 757 wounded. Eniwetok provided an airfield and harbor to support attacks on the Marianas.

Edited by azyeoman

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