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Gordon Williamson

Japanese Awards - WW1 Victory Medal

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The figure on the obverse is apparently "Take-Mikazuchni-no-Kami" son of the God Izanagi, replacing the winged victory motif featured on the medal for the other allies.

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The reverse shows a globe situated on a cherry blossom surrounded by representations of the flags of the main allies ( not the actual flag designs, but the Japanese characters for the countries) Italy, France, USA, Britain and Japan. The text below refers to the five national flags and adds "and the other Allied Nations and the United Nations" whilst above is "Great War for the protection of Civilization, Taisho 3rd Year to Taisho 9th Year"

The ribbon is in the same colours as used by all the other allies.

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Instituted on 17 September 1920 to reward all who had served between 23 August 1914 and 9 January 1920.

Hi, Gordon, thats a great looking one, :love: I am attempting to put together a set of the Inter-Allied Victory Medals. with variations. Hopefully I will obtain an official Japanese one soon.

With regard the Japanese there were two types an Official, designed by Masakichi Hata and a "REPRO" produced in France a short time after the original was issued. The copy can be identified by its ball suspension device and shall depth of striking compared to the original Official issue.

There are also die diferences such a smaller globe, slimmer characters, and the accent lines in the flags are missing. Also another point to note is the medal dosent fit exactly into the recess in the wooden box

Numbers Issued by Japan: approximtely 400,000

Some of the copies are marked on the edge "MADE IN FRANCE".

Additionaly very pale lines of green and yellow distinguish original Japanese Victory Medals from the Western made ribbons.

POINT TO NOTE: In the last couple of years this Japanese type as well as the more rarer Allied Victory medals of Brazil, Cuba, Siam-Thailand, Greece, Portugal, Romania are being copied/faked. I believe they are coming out of the Birmingham area of England, one seller on British Ebay has the decency to declare them for what they are, however another EBayer out of Belgium regularly lists them as originals :angry: , the give away is the bog standard chocolate-brown colour and same ribbon to all.

Once again thanks for showing this great item. :cheers: even in the wrong spot :P

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Hi fellas,

This is my first message, forgives for my English!

Gordon,

Very nice exemplary, congratulations!

Kev in Deva,

Thanks for the information, is of great value! Somebody would have images of the medal fake to be able to compare?

All regards

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I have a japanese WW1 Victory medal (original) in my collection, my initial intention was to get one for each country, but seeing how hard it was to find the rare ones (as mentioned previously) I gave up, I do still have the Japanese one but my hobbie has shifted to Japanese WW2 Far East Burma and Malaya and Japanese Medical items. So I am looking to sell or Trade to a good home. I do have my Great Grandfather WW1 Victory Medal which is a nice family item.

Cheers

James

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I have a japanese WW1 Victory medal (original) in my collection, my initial intention was to get one for each country, but seeing how hard it was to find the rare ones (as mentioned previously) I gave up, I do still have the Japanese one but my hobbie has shifted to Japanese WW2 Far East Burma and Malaya and Japanese Medical items. So I am looking to sell or Trade to a good home. I do have my Great Grandfather WW1 Victory Medal which is a nice family item.

Cheers

James

Hallo James, PM sent with regards the Japanese Victory medal.

Kevin in Deva :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Guest Darrell

Wow,

Great Grandfather in the Japanese forces, and you live in South America ... must be some amazing family history :cheers:

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Wow,

Great Grandfather in the Japanese forces, and you live in South America ... must be some amazing family history :cheers:

There are alot of people of Japanese decent in South America. The past President of Peru Alberto Fujimori comes to mind.

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Thanks all for the words

Correct. Many Japanese had immigrated for South America in search to land for cultivate, resulted of false publicity divulged in the entire world.

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WW1 Victory Medal, found while browsing the web.

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Nice medal :)

It's my impression that the WWI memorial medal is much rarer than the WWI 1915-20 medal.

This makes me wonder, what were the exact award criteria for the memorial medal? Was it handed out to everyone that got one of the two WW1 participation medals?

Edited by Kvart

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I heard that the WW1 Victory medals for Japan are among the rarest. Is this true?

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I heard that the WW1 Victory medals for Japan are among the rarest. Is this true?

True indeed. In part this is due to the fact that they are a "crossover" item, sought by both Japan collectors and Victory Medal collectors. Yet I share Kvart's sense that they are rare/uncommon in their own right. Peterson does not detail the comparative qualifications, but there seem to have been different rules in play for the two war medals vs. the victory medal. All of this, of course, has led to serious faking of this medal.

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With regards the Japanese Inter-Allied Victory Medal,

page 61 of the book by Mr. Alexander J. Laslo

The Inter-Allied Victory Medal of WW1.

2nd Revised Edition:-

Designer:- Masakichi Hata (1882 - 1966)

Manufacturer:- Osaka Mint.

Number Issued:- Approximately 400,000 (21) .

(21) In correspondence with the author, the osaka Mint states the Japanese Victory Medal was struck during the 1920 but that the production quantity was not known. The Osaka Mint report for fiscal year 1921-22 noted that the Victory Medal was struck during the fiscal year: that is, between April 1, 1920 and March 31 1921. Given the statement of the Mint that the Voctory Medal was struck during 1920 together with the September 16 1920 date of the Imperial Order which established the medal, it is presumed the Victory Medal was struck sometime between the date of the order and December 31 1920.

The total production of bronze medals for the fiscal year 1920 - 21 was 908,975. In addition to the Victory Medal, this figure included the 1914-1920 War Medal, the First National Census Commemorative Medal, and a number of other Medals. For this reason, the First Edition, estimate of issued Victory Medals has been reduced from 700,000 to 400,00 medals

A copy of the Japanese Victory Medal was produced in France, probably a short time after the original was issued. This copy is easily to recognise by its ball suspension device and shallow depth of striking compared to the original. There are also die variances such as smaller globe, thinner characters, and the absence of accent lines inside the flags. Some are marked on the edge with "MADE IN FRANCE".

Since the above book was published there are at least two modern copies being touted on the market, one in a very dark chocolate brown material, the other in shinny brass material, both have the British Inter-Allied medal ribbon attached and are usually offered without the box.

The original Japanese Victory Medals complete with wooden box show up on the online auction pages more often than the original Greek, Portuguese, versions, with the most rare being the Brazilian, Siamese, Philippines, followed by the Greek, Romanian and Czechoslovakian Medals.

The "Polish" Inter-Allied version is pure fantasy and offered mainly on American Ebay.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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I have been keeping a record of certificate numbers which I encounter for Japanese medals since the medal rolls were sequential. So far the highest number Victory Medal certificate I have encountered is 99,533.

For the 1914-15 War Medal the highest certificate I have seen so far was 136,512 and for thw 1914-20 War Medal it is 310,037. I suspect that the Victory Medal was only given to those who got the earlier 1914-15 medal and not the 1914-20, which was mainly for the Siberian Expedition in 1919-20. This is only a personal view and I have no evidence to support it (yet).

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How many numbers have you seen?

Are you saying that there is reason to belive only a little bit more than 100 000 Victory medals were made?

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There may be two questions here: Made and awarded. The mint records (cited by Laslo) suggest (but do not document) the numbers manufactured. Paul's study of award certificates (I assume the original rolls/registers did not survive the war?) speaks to the numbers sctually awarded. I think the approx. 100,000 number is a good working theory.

We're learning stuff here. Thanks!

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To all,

For a direct L-R side by side comparison here are a French made repro and a Japanese vic official. The first of the French made repro's were produced in the mid to late 1920's and were not all edge marked. Some have been seen with just BRONZE on the edge with others unmarked. Those produced in the 1930's have the edge marking 'MADE IN FRANCE' to comply with the US Tariff Law of 1931, which required marking with the country of origin.

There is, in addition, to the standard repro, a cast copy of the French repro as well. It has an even shallower field of detail, is suspended by a ball suspender and has the same French made ribbon. When I can find it I shall post pics.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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And the reverses.

Note the differences in detail of the flags and the slight differences and weight of the japanese inscriptions around the edge. In addition there are a number of instances where different characters are used, in particular at the bottom centre 6 o'clock position on the rim inscription.

Hope these pics help comparisons.

Regards,

Rob

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Wow. The ribbons really seem quite different! Thanks for the post!

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Wow. The ribbons really seem quite different! Thanks for the post!

Hello Dieter3,

The ribbon that is used on the Japanese vic is generally chacterised by having quite a paler appearance than the ribbon used by other countries for their vics. Of note is that the yellow and green bands are generally quiet pale and almost absent, although I have a specimen in my collection that has a definitive green band. All original Japanese vics will have the standard 'hook and eye' on the ribbon reverse, for mounting, as well. The French ribbon again has a number of different variations depending on when it was produced but the colours are generally consistent, pretty vivid and strong.

I shall post a side-by-side comparison of two Japanese vics with slightly different ribbon hues when I have time shortly.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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