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Statistical description of Golden Kites


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“… 1 067 492 awards in all grades were made…”

(Peterson, p. 19)

That’s a lot of Kites! But how this million distributed by classes and epochs? That`s an interesting question!

The only additional information we have from Peterson is that “… the great majority of these were in two lowest grades” + total number of 1st and 2nd class. That’s it. In our following discussion we will use three sources of statistical information

1) Peterson book

2) Mr. Nakabori research + Japanese friend of Pieter (again many thanks!)

3) book Kunse (“Orders”) by Togashi Dzundzi which was published in Osaka by Hoikusya in 1972 (in turn information contained in this book I get from russian book Розанов Н.О. (2001) Япония: история в наградах. Москва: РОССПЭН//Rozanov, N.O. (2001) Japan: History in Awards. Moscow: ROSSPEN).

Let’s start.

Edited by JapanX
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But using distributions for Meiji and Taisho epochs we can easily get the missing numbers for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6-7th classes. How? By simple extrapolation (I think Meiji distribution is quite representative!). For this let’s calculate percentage of kites in every class (against total number) in Meiji and Taisho epoch.

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Take a good look at this two percentage distributions. Look how stable it is in the case of 3, 4, 5 and 6-7 classes. Of course Meiji epoch gives us much more representative distribution (because of the range) than Taisho epoch.

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Now let’s take % of kites in 3, 4, 5 and 6-7 classes for Meiji epoch and (using the total number of Showa kites (which is 947892 = 1 067 492 – (Meiji total + Taisho total)) we will have our data for Showa epoch. Here it is.

Edited by JapanX
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Posted · Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given
Hidden by JapanX, October 3, 2011 - No reason given

I am not done yet (need a couple of hours) so please don`t post anything. Thanks.

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Hey mate! What’s up with the 6th and 7th classes? The only thing I can say for sure is that we can rely on the following inequality.

Number of 6th class Kites in given epoch ≤ Number of 5th class Kites in given epoch

For some epochs maybe even < or even <<. NCOs …

Edited by JapanX
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Pacific War

But how many Kites were awarded for Pacific War? Let’s subtract from total number of Showa awards kites that were awarded for Tsinan Incident, Manchurian Incident and China Incident. We obtain the number 831822 (831822 = 947892 – (70+9000+107000)). Using the same principle as before we can construct new distribution for every conflict inside Showa epoch. But all kites in every class will be practically alike (see type 3 in classification for 3rd class, type 7.1-7.3 in classification for 4th and 5th classes and type 7 in classification for 6th and 7th classes). The major differences will be in the documents.

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And the last question – how many of this 947892 Showa pieces are phantoms – never actually issued kites? I think that all kites before 1941 were issued. But how many from 831822 pacific Kites were issued (i.e. were given to the relatives of the killed soldiers)? I don’t have an answer. Not all – this is for sure. Otherwise we would not have this set of cups from 60s.

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Hi Nick,

a very impressive statistical survey of the Golden Kite. Some small comments from my side.

I have always wondered where Peterson got his number of more than one million Kites from. even considering the severity and length of the Pacific war, about 950,000 Kites is quite a number. Your statistical deduction (derived from this figure) of almost 4000 third class Kites seems to me improbable in reality, considering the conditions to be nominated in it.

In my many years of collecting Japanese orders & medals, I have never seen an official certificate of award for the Golden Kite, issued after Showa 15nen (1940). I mean the one with the seal of State and picture of the Kite. I have several Kite documents of this period in my collection, but what happened after that year? Perhaps some other forum members have seen later date official certificates. I do have a temporary appointment document in the fifth class of the Golden Kite awarded 30th December 1941, but it is the common A4 sized document, which does not mention the number of award. So in case after 1940 the official certificates were for the duration of the war not issued anymore, it is very hard to verify numbers throught the figures mentioned on those documents. Brings me back to the question where Peterson got his number from.

Regards,

Pieter

Edited by pieter1012
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