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Hi fellow forum members,

I have in my collection a Ist WW DSO awarded to a Japanese navy officer, Lt. Commander Sakano. During the war, he was stationed at the Japanese navy base on Malta and got his DSO on 14 August 1918. How many DSO's were awarded to the Japanese navy during WW 1? I imagagine there couldn't have been so many, since the involvement of the Japanese navy was limited. Herewith a picture of Sakano wearing his DSO and his warrant. He later became rear admiral.

Thanks in advance for any information. Pieter

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And here his picture. Somehow the attachments come out sideways. itried to correct that, but it didn't work. Sorry for the inconvenience. Pieter

P1020677.JPG

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The DSO is listed as gallantry but many first world war awards, especially to the higher ranks, were more an honorary distinction. In some cases I suspect it was for conspicuous champagne consumption 50 miles behind enemy lines (such as the general Melchett (of Black Adder fame) types). The Japanese recipients would have been hand picked by the government, very much as the British picked recipients of Japanese awards.

Paul

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Hi Paul,

thank you so much for the information on number of DSO's awarde to Japanese. It is very helpful and I appreciate it very much.

Chris, I tend to agree with Paul on the reasons Sakano received the DSO. He was aide-de-camp to the Admiral commanding the Japanese squadron in the mediterrenian of one cruiser and eight destroyers. To confirm Paul's suspicion, I have attached as sample an invitation Sakano received from the Governor of Malta, for a luncheon; am sure champagne was served.

For both your interest, Sakano became later aide-de-camp to the Japanese Navy minister during the peace Conference in Paris. He received there the Panamese Solidaridad medal 2d class. Although the medal itself is regulary seen on the market, I have seldom seen the certificate, so am happy to have it. He also became Officier de la Legion d'Honneur of France.

Pieter

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Edited by pieter1012

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Paul,

thanks. What makes the set also nice, is that rear admiral Sakano was a member of the treaty faction within the Japanese Navy. In the 1930's the top of the navy was divided by those who supported adherence to the Washington naval treaty of 1922, modified by the London naval treaty of 1930 (treaty faction), and those who wanted to ditch it and increase the tonnage of the navy (fleet faction). Unfortunately for Japan, the fleet faction won and in1934 the Japanese government unilateraly abrogated the treaty. Many admirals of the treaty faction, including Sakano, were put on the reserve list and had no more service.

Pieter

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