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Wound Badge Evolution

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For a long time I’ve been fascinated by japanese wound badges (especially by their early types).

But lack of any serious information about these badges (together with amazing scarcity of early types) prevented

any (more or less) serious classification attempts.

But few days ago everything has changed. Thanks to Nick Komiya. He managed to get and translate some real amazing info from Japan’s National Archive and he did it amazingly fast. He was kind enough to give me a permission to use his chart summary of official regulations for this badge as well as some scans of original regulation documents.

Time has come to pay a little tribute to this little beautiful treasures of Japanese phaleristics.

Edited by JapanX
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Oval badge with white enamel? I think we are talking about this one. There is a whole family of these badges out there. It is "on the occasion of ..." badges. Association started issuing them in

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Four types

Contrary to common belief there were four types of wound badge 1913 type, 1920 type, 1924 type and 1938 type (not just 1913 and 1938 type).

And not only every type has two variations or classes (Sensho variation (or Sen’Sho) – badge for wounds in battle (higher class) and Kosho variation (or Ko’Sho or Kousho) – badge for wounds in public service (lower class)), but different types of badges were intended for different ranks. Yep. Kinda tricky.

First type has been created in March of 1913 and was strictly limited to privates and NCOs (EM). No officers were allowed… This badge had two variations (Sensho and Kosho).

Second type had two sub-types – one intended for ET and another for officers. In turn each sub-type had two variations (Sensho and Kosho).

Third type again had two sub-types – one for ET and another for officers. In turn each sub-type had two variations (Sensho and Kosho).

Fourth type was most unified. One badge for all ranks in two variations (Sensho and Kosho).

Here comes the summary of this mess.

Edited by JapanX
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Design of the early types (1913, 1920 and 1924) were in the shape of a shield with Sensho and Kosho written in Kanji in the middle. But the most suprising fact - bigger shield badges were intended for EM and not for the Officers!!!

Here comes last page from 1913 regulation order.

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Smaller size badge was created only in 1920 for Officers wounded in battle or public service.

In 1924 badges for EM and Officers became identical size (smaller one).

This is the last page of 1924 order.

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Type 1.1 and 2.1 box


The box is labeled with a kanji that means ‘higher’ or ’superior’ and its means that this box comes with the Sensho badge (not that this box badge intended for officers).

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