Jump to content
Paul L Murphy

Photos of Japanese Medals being worn

Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

I am back from Japan, jetlagged and wide awake at 5am in the morning (not a usual time to find me up and about). I am busy scanning some of my latest purchases from the flea markets and here are some nice photos of Japanese medals actually in wear. These types of photos are scarce enough to find but I got a nice haul of them this time around.

First up is a picture of a civilian wearing the Red Cross Life Member Medal. He is a bit slovenly since the rosette is hanging off the ribbon and he has not bothered sewing it back on properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next up we have a nice photo of an Administrative Official in the rank of Captain Equivalent (these were uniformed civilian specialists such as paymasters etc) in his full dress uniform wearing the Sacred Treasure 5th Class, Sino Japanese War Medal, either the 1914-15 or 1914-19 War Medal, and the Taisho Enthronement Medal. You can notice that the gold braid on the sleeves and shoulders appears to be two different colours. It is a mixture of silver and gold which is what distinguished these uniforms from the normal officer dress uniform where all of the braid was in gold. The waist sash is also blue grey and white, rather than red and white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next up, the same guy 14 years later. He is still a captian but now boasts a Rising Sun 4th Class, Sacred Treasure 4th Class, Taisho Enthronement Medal, 1914-15/19? Medal, Showa Enthronement Medal, Manchurian Incident War Medal, Manchurian National Foundation Merit Medal and Red Cross Life Member Medal. The photo is dated 1936 and says that it was taken upon his return from Shanghai. He was obviously a busy little boy way out west to have ended up with a 4th class Rising Sun as a captain rated administrative official !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next we drop down the ranks and back in time to a 1st Class Private in the 53rd Infantry Regiment wearing the Sacred Treasure 8th Class and the Russo Japanese War Medal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next we have a Diplomat. He is wearing a 6th Class Rising Sun (maybe 5th, impossible to tell the difference in a B&W photo), the 1894-95 Sino Japanese War Medal and the Red Cross Life Member Medal. His uniform suggests he is about First Secretary level since it lacks the massive amount of bullion you get on the higher ranked pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bonjour Gentlemen,

Adding to this finest gallery of portraits, pray let me introduce Colonel Kurada (Torasuk?), Military Attach? at the Japanese Legation in Rome in 1903 :

Japon_CAB_Kurada.jpg

A close-up on the Decorations :

Japon_CAB_Kurada_Medals.jpg

From collar to right - if I'm not mistaken :

- Commander of Saints Maurice & Lazarus (Italy);

- Order of the Golden Kite (4th or 5th Class ?) ;

- Order of the Sacred Treasures (4th Class) ;

- Order of the Rising Sun (5th Class ?);

- Medal for Emperor Meiji's wedding's 25th Anniversary ;

- Medal for the 1894-95 China-War ;

- Red Cross Medal ;

- Medal for the promulgation of the Constitution.

The photo is dedicated to the then British Military Attach? in Rome ; a little about that here :

http://www.hussards-photos.com/Japon/Japon_CAB_Kurada.htm

As an end note, I have no clue what Colonel Kurada's uniform might be.

I'd venture something along the lines of "Staff Officer" ?

Salutations,

Jerome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless the photographer massively retouched the face, I'd say the first one is a teenaged student-- with a LIFE MEMBER Red Cross medal? :speechless1:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jerome,

Excellent photo. The Golden Kite is a 5th Class since there is no rosette on the ribbon. His uniform is the service dress uniform for an officer in a mounted service, most likely cavalry.

Cheers,

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless the photographer massively retouched the face, I'd say the first one is a teenaged student-- with a LIFE MEMBER Red Cross medal? :speechless1:

He certainly looks young. I would say he is in his late 20's. The Life Member rosette was at one time used to designate Special Member's as well so it may fall within that period. I am not sure on the exact dates when the Life rosette was used like this. No matter which, you would have thought that he could get the bloody thing sewn on properly for the photo !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Golden Kite is a 5th Class since there is no rosette on the ribbon. His uniform is the service dress uniform for an officer in a mounted service, most likely cavalry.

Many thanks Paul !

Cheers,

Jerome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jerome,

Excellent photo. The Golden Kite is a 5th Class since there is no rosette on the ribbon. His uniform is the service dress uniform for an officer in a mounted service, most likely cavalry.

Cheers,

Paul

Hi Paul! I have a question. How can that Golden Kite be identified positively as a 5th Class? I understand that the rosette was not introduced to differentiate the two classes untill 1937. Is this an incorrect assumption on my part? The only difference between the two is that the 4th Class is gold plated. I had the good fortune of acquiring one last month from a gentleman in Colorado. To me, the 4th Class is one of the most rare of the series.

Best Regards,

Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul! I have a question. How can that Golden Kite be identified positively as a 5th Class? I understand that the rosette was not introduced to differentiate the two classes untill 1937. Is this an incorrect assumption on my part? The only difference between the two is that the 4th Class is gold plated. I had the good fortune of acquiring one last month from a gentleman in Colorado. To me, the 4th Class is one of the most rare of the series.

Best Regards,

Dick

Hi Richard,

A very good point, I had completely forgotten about that. Back to the drawing board, it could be 4th or 5th !

Cheers,

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

Very nice Photos,never seen this before,thanks for sharing. :jumping::jumping:

All the best

Nesredep

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some more photos of Japanese medals in wear which I recently acquired. This one is of a colonel in the 1st Regiment (can't tell which arm of service unfortunately). He is wearing the Sacred Treasure 3rd Class, Rising Sun 5th or 6th class, Taisho Enthronement Medal, 1914-20 War Medal, Victory Medal, Showa Enthronement Medal and Manchurian Incident War Medal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next we have a Captain, also from the 1st Regiment. He is wearing the Rising Sun 6th class, Showa Enthronement Medal, Manchurian Incident War Medal and Manchurian National Foundation Merit Medal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one is a Senior Sergeant in the 1st Regiment wearing a Rising Sun 8th Class, Manchurian Incident War Medal, Manchurian National Foundation Merit Medal and Red Cross Member's Medal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last one for today is a sailor from the Tokiwa wearing the Rising Sun 8th Class and either the 1914-15 War Medal or the 1914-20 War Medal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realize that corporals were authorized to carry swords-- or is that a clue to his branch of service?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corporals were not authorised to wear swords so I suspect this was borrowed from a friendly sergeant in order to make the photo look better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...