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Paul L Murphy

A little Imperial Japanese quiz for you all !

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OK folks, here is a photo of a Japanese gentleman wearing a uniform that is Imperial Japanese but not the run of the mill uniform one is likely to encounter. A simple question, what is he ?

Thinking caps on and guess away !

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No takers so far ? What happened to the spirit of adventure and throwing caution to the wind ????

OK, here is another clue.

These are the buttons worn on this tunic.

Now, any guesses as to what he is ?

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Uhmm.....

I will try it....

Either an ambassador or a member of parliament??

kind regards,

Jacky

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Afraid not. He has the same rank as an ambassador but is actually a high ranking Japanese official in the Korean administration. Here is a more impressive photo of him wearing his orders and decorations.

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Hummm,

Quite strange isn't it??

A japanese in the korean business???

However what is the christmastree wearing on the last picture??

Kind regards,

Jacky

Edited by Paul L Murphy

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P.s

the buttons didn't really tell me anything,

The embossed flowers are powlonia flowers, or... they appear like powlonia flowers to me.

Kind regards,

Jacky

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A fascinating example of Japanese imperialism in Korea. A nice set of Korean and Japanese awards! :love:

Edited by Paul L Murphy

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As Ed says, a very good example of a Japanese Imperial uniform and Japanese Imperialism (offending phrases have been edited out by yours truely). This was worn until 1945 during the period when Korea was under Japanese occupation. His orders are the 2nd class of both the Order of the Taeguk and Order of the Eight Trigams (both Korean under Japanese occupation), the 3rd Class Sacred Treasure and 4th Class Rising Sun. The commemorative medals do not show well here but he has a decent selection of Japanese and Korean awards.

Before you ask, unfortunately I only have the two photos, I do not have his orders or documents.

With regard to the buttons, they are a pawlonia leaf however this style of pawlonia leaf button was only worn on Korean uniforms, not on Japanese. The pawlonia leaf on Japanese buttons is raised out, not recessed in as on these.

Cheers,

Paul

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Surprised (showing my ignorance) at the pawlonia leaf in Korea. Would they have used an orchid in "Manchuguo". What was the Korean flower?? :P

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This next one is a lot easier. What type of uniform is he wearing ??

Most Japanese collectors should be more familiar with this style of uniform than the previous one.

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Right now, sorry, my heart is going pitter-pat at his medal bar (and ignoring the uniform). Can you please do a high-res close-up, pretty please . . . .

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Afraid this next one is as good as I can get since I am working from a photo of a photo (the original is with my in-laws in Japan since I did not want to bring it back to Moscow with me).

Regarding your earlier comment on Manchurian buttons, I am not sure if they had a special pattern. I do not have any decent photos of Manchurian official uniforms that show the buttons sufficiently to enable them to be identified. I think most of the Japanese officials in Manchuria continued to wear Japanese uniform since in the scheme of things it was a much younger conquest, but that is just my own theory on it.

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If my memory (and eyesight) are correct he has the following on his medal bar : - The Imperial Constitution Promulgation Commemorative Medal; Meiji 25th Wedding Anniversary Medal; Korean Annexation Commemorative Medal; Taisho Enthronement Commemorative Medal; Merit Medal; Korean Imperial 50th Birthday Commemorative Medal; Korean Imperial Tour Commemorative Medal; Capital Rehabilitation Commemorative Medal; unclear ?; Red Cross Cross of Merit; Red Cross Special Member Medal.

Not sure on the two Korean awards but pretty certain on the Japanese ones. All in all a nice medal bar and unfortunately one that is not in my collection. I suppose I could try to recreate it but I tend to be a bit of a purest in these things.

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Was that person maybe a privy councillor or maybe a government minister

I've seen the same type of uniform on pictures of people like Mochiaki Hachisuka, Keigo Kiyoura, Masayoshi Matsukata etc.

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It appears to be a full rank or just this service only had one rank...

However... Hat, simple gold-work....

However full honours grandcrosses etc.....

HUmmmmmmm somewhere in his eyes I read..... either court-marshall or an ambassador???

Kind regards,

Jacky

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Final clue, this uniform was worn by five different ranks but the difference is shown by the colour of the collar, cuffs and piping. Otherwise the same uniform is used for the five different ranks.

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Ok here's my next guess I think this might be the uniform of a nobleman and I think that I might be correct.

Because there are five ranks Baron, Viscount, Count, Marquis and Prince....

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I, too, am thinking nobleman. I look at this chap and further think genro. The name is elusive.

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I'm pretty sure the uniform is not specific to a genro since there were only 9 and his face doesn't ring a bell, ofcourse I might be very wrong

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Well done, it is the uniform of a nobleman. I have not yet tried to find out who he is but it should be researchable since he has the first class of the Rising Sun, Sacred Treasure and Taeguk. Don't we all wish we had his medals and orders !

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there are five ranks Baron, Viscount, Count, Marquis and Prince....

You're correct,

little Wiki helped it out;

Wiki

However I will stick to the ambassador as it's quite boring when everyone goes Noble ;)

.... Hummm my answer did quite a long time to post itself???... anyway, it's a noble??

Can we see which rank he had, based on the picture?

Kind regards,

Jacky

Edited by Jacky

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