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Statistical description of Golden Kites


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Hi Nick,

to add to your statistical data, if the information of my Japanese researcher friend is correct, during the Showa era up to april 1940, fifty 3d class Golden Kites were awarded. These were of course mainly for the Manchurian Incident, and the certificates were still signed by the Emperor (after April 1940, the Emperor only signed the 1st and 2d cl). Total number of Golden Kites for this incident were 9,000, so the number of the 3d class awarded comes to about 0.5%.

Pieter

Edited by pieter1012
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Hi Pieter!

Thanks for your critical response.

This is what I think.

So

1 067 492

I agree Pieter.

This number …

Something wrong with it…

You just feel it …

One million+ and we are talking about the most prestigious japanese award!

Let’s reduce it!

831 822

So this is our Pacific Kites pack according to Peterson (who back in 1946 (according to my information) was with SCAP (Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers) and might have access to documents that we don’t have).

We are now down single-order but number is still huge!

That’s why at the end of “my another attempt” I was taking about “phantom kites”

“Phantom”, “just wrote out”, “paper” kites.

These kites were never manufactured.

These kites were never presented.

How many of them?

All of them?

No way!

If it really was the case then we have only 116 070 kites in all classes for Showa epoch.

Is it really possible?

I think it`s not!

There are too many Showa kites. Take for example Showa 7th class! Its alone could easily “outweigh” all Meiji + Taisho kites in all classes. And then there is 5th class… One look at eBay can convince anyone. Above all there are 2nd class stars in hexagon boxes – they are definitely from 1941+ period. And look at the conditions of 6th and 7th classes – most of them are brand-new! Posthumous awards...

That’s why I am sure that there were some issued-for-real kites after 1940.

But how many?

Edited by JapanX
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Yes, but how many?

For that we need documents.

Or just one will do it.

From 1945.

Or from 1944 or 1943.

1942?

1941?

You are absolutely right about documents.

I`ve never seen any document on golden kite that was dated later than spring 1940.

Why?

I don’t have an answer.

Some change occured.

What change?

I don`t know.

Edited by JapanX
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Hi Nick,

to add to your statistical data, if the information of my Japanese researcher friend is correct, during the Showa era up to april 1940, fifty 3d class Golden Kites were awarded. These were of course mainly for the Manchurian Incident, and the certificates were still signed by the Emperor (after April 1940, the Emperor only signed the 1st and 2d cl). Total number of Golden Kites for this incident were 9,000, so the number of the 3d class awarded comes to about 0.5%.

Pieter

This is great news Pieter!

It`s once again confirms stability of distribution in lower classes!!!

I shall remind that in 3rd class we have 0,42% for Meiji and 0,38% for Taisho.

The main problem is

831 822

I think that majority (or actually all) of these kites were posthumous awards.

But how many of them exists in real world?

I don`t have an answer.

But I think that 4000 is not that overoptimistic number.

Just take a look at the 1st and 2nd class % for Showa kites.

If you will take into account scale factor, then you will have practically Meiji % for 1st and 2nd class.

Regards,

Nick

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My Japan Mint 80-Year Histroy text (published by the government of Japan) has a bar graph showing the number of various orders minted yearly. The graph is not exact in the numbers, but the rough totals are authoritative. Here are the early totals of WW2-era Golden Kites (all classes) minted by the Japan Mint:

1938: about 40,000

1939: about 35,000

1940: about 25,000

1941: about 100,000

1942: less than 1,000

1943: about 110,000

1944: about 100,000

1945: exactly 28

total: roughly 411, 028 minted. (1942 is an interesting year. The numbers of the other main orders, Rising Sun and Sacred Treasure, did not plummet in the same manner. The RS numbers increased and the ST numbers dipped slightly.)

Now these numbers refer to the minted medals, not the number of awarded medals. However, we can safely assume that the awarded number could not have exceeded the number of those minted. And in my history it also mentions that they were minted upon the direct orders from the Decoration Bureau. I think that the Bureau (or Japan Mint) may have a small stock of unissued medals on reserve, but I am not sure.

Cheers,

Rich

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My Japan Mint 80-Year Histroy text (published by the government of Japan) has a bar graph showing the number of various orders minted yearly. The graph is not exact in the numbers, but the rough totals are authoritative. Here are the early totals of WW2-era Golden Kites (all classes) minted by the Japan Mint:

1938: about 40,000

1939: about 35,000

1940: about 25,000

1941: about 100,000

1942: less than 1,000

1943: about 110,000

1944: about 100,000

1945: exactly 28

total: roughly 411, 028 minted...

Thank you very much Richard! :beer: :beer: :beer:

So now we have 336 028 actually manufactured kites for Pacific War.

Great!

Again many thanks for this information and for your excellent site!

Regards,

Nick

Edited by JapanX
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Hi Nick and Richard,

Indeed very useful figures! To me the almost 340,000 Kites awarded for the Pacific war sounds more realistic. Making the statistical extrapolation of Nick on this figure, the number of 3d class Kites awarded would be about 1400, still a lot, but plausible.

Could the drop of Kites in 1942 be because in 1941 the production suddenly quadrupled, resulting in a surplus?

Regards,

Pieter

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Hi Pieter!

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.

I`ve been thinking about this remark. An yes, you are absolutely right. Its not easy to be nominated for 3rd calss during Meiji/Taisho epoch. And statute of the order is not very precise. "For outstanding military deeds..."

I think the main factors (in order of there importance) for this or that class nomination were

Your rank and current position

Current accomplishment for nomination

Your previous accomplishments

Your previous awards

Your age

But maybe during Pacific War conditions for nomination become more democtatic because of the posthumous factor?

I know that in 1942 one japanese fighter-ace were posthumously awarded by 2nd class!!! It is unbelievebly high decoration for "ordinary" fighter pilot - even if he is ace of aces!!!

Maybe this is the answer for why so many kites in higher classes??? And of course the scale factor. The scale of war.

Regards,

Nick

Edited by JapanX
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Erratum

...Above all there are 2nd class stars in hexagon boxes – they are definitely from 1941+ period.

I should be read: ...Above all there are 2nd class breast stars in rectangular boxes – they are definitely from 1941+ period.

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  • 2 months later...

In addition to one possible explanation of very high number of awards reported by Peterson in his book.

After 1941 every recipient of golden kite award should

a) commit extraordinary act of bravery

b) be dead

If these two points were accomplished, then he simultaneously was promoted and awarded with golden kite order (with class appropriate to his rank).

For example kamikaze pilot chief petty officer Kazuo Tanaka was killed 6th April 1945.

He was posthumously promoted to ensign and awarded with 4th class golden kite order (still unbelievably "no-way-it-could-happen-before-1941" high class for ensign!!!). Just to remind you gents - ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer (same as fähnrich in German army).

It will be quite realistic to assume that this practice maybe be the main reason behind such high number of awards made.

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And statute of the order is not very precise. "For outstanding military deeds..."

False statement!

Actually there is a regulation established back in 1894, that lists in every detail the acts of bravery that count for a Golden Kite order. It includes 80 different articles!

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very interesting research ,the drop off of kites in 1942 may also be due to the fact that this was the height of japanese military sucess in many theatres almost advances everywhere with not much opposition,then from the end of 1942 it was desperate defence till the end of the war which may explain the increase again.

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Hi Mickey

It may be...

Or this drop may be a consequence of introduction "only dead will get his Kite" practice...

Or was it material problems? Which resulted in "let's postpone the actual issuing of the awards to the next of kin"?

They didn't even issue the standard classical documents for kites after 1940 ...

There are a many different possibilities...

Cheers,

Nick

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  • 3 years later...

I am dusting off an old conversation.  In particular, the issue of post 1940 documents.

 

1.  Rich has a GK5 full document from 1941.  It is numbered 308098

 

http://imperialjapanmedalsandbadges.com/gkdocs.html

 

2. There is a GK4 (rosette style) full document, dated October 30, 1944.  It is numbered 473027

 

http://page11.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/n146646092

 

I hope my number reading is correct.  I am not sure if that changes the discussion of the number of Golden Kites actually awarded.     

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