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Mythology of late Kites and Pillars

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Here are the approximate numbers of Pillars of State and Auspicious Clouds orders minted at the Japan Mint.

Please understand that I got these numbers from a bar graph published by the Japan Mint in 1953. No specific numbers were given, just a general idea. So for the latter, these numbers are useful.

AUSPICIOUS CLOUDS, all classes:

1934: approx. 20,000

1935: approx. 25,000

1936: approx. 25,000

1937: approx. 25,000

(NOTE: Although my numbers for these first 4 years are about the same, there was a slight increase each year. Not big enough to evaluate, but easy enough to see on the graph.)

1938: less than 500

1939: approx. 1,000

1940: approx. 3,000

1941: approx. 2,000

1942: approx. 10,000

1943: approx. 8,000

1944: approx. 10,000 (but a bit more than the 1942 number)

1945: none made

PILLARS of STATE, all classes:

1936: less than 500

1937: approx. 30,000

1938: less than 500 (but less than the 1936 number)

1939: approx. 15,000

1940: approx. 20,000

1941: approx. 10,000

1942: approx. 20,000

1943: approx. 25,000

1944: approx. 15,000 (but less than the 1939 number)

1945: less than 500

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With this new and very important statistical information from mint history books we could explore a very interesting statistical aspect of Manchukuo orders. Let’s do it!

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Clouds and Pillars: before 1940 and after …

So how many of them out there?

Allow me to remind you, that according to Peterson book (p. 146 of the 3rd edition) the numbers for auspicious clouds are

Awards 1934-1940 were

110 of the 1st class,

187 of the 2nd class,

701 of the 3rd class,

1820 of the 4th class,

3447 of the 5th class,

6257 of the 6th class,

8329 of the 7th class

33706 of the 8th class.

54 557 in toto

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Now, thanks to Rich, we have total approximate numbers of auspicious clouds issued by Japan Mint by every year. The following chart will give us a general idea about these numbers.

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Now let’s turn our attention to Pillars of State.

Numbers for Pillars of the State according to Peterson (p. 149, 3rd edition) are

Awards 1936-1940 were

47 of the 1st class,

97 of the 2nd class,

260 of the 3rd class,

657 of the 4th class,

1777 of the 5th class,

2778 of the 6th class,

9524 of the 7th class

24464 of the 8th class.

39 604 in toto

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Let’s take a look at this statistics in graphical form.

Edited by JapanX

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Approximate numbers of pillars of state issued by Japan Mint by every year reader can find at the next chart.

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136 500 for 1936-1945 period and 66 000 for 1936-1940 period.

Edited by JapanX

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Now it’s crystal clear, that there were no such things as “late-made-by-mythical-Manchukuo-Mint” pillars of states and auspicious clouds. They all came straight from Japan Mint!

It will be very interesting to compare total number of issued clouds and pillars for 1934-1940 period with Peterson total numbers of conferred clouds and pillars for the same period. Next two charts will help us with this task.

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Striking differences!

What we’ve got here is a clear cut case of overproduction or, this is more probable variant, planned finished goods inventory. With such high numbers of produced orders there is no room for Manchukuo Mint… And the variations we observe were created by same old Japan Mint.

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A little Puzzle

Well, there is one strange thing …

Let me explain.

According to Peterson Order of Auspicious Clouds was “… exact equivalent of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun” (p. 142 of the 3rd edition) and Order of Pillars of State “…corresponds to the Japanese order of Sacred Treasure” (p. 147, 3rd edition).

Usual ratio for conferred Suns/Treasures at least 1:3 (or even higher!).

And the ratio for Clouds/Pillars 0,72:1 (for conferred orders during 1934-1940) and 1,05/1 (for minted orders during 1934-1945).

Strange looking ratios!

Well, this is not exactly what you expect from “exact equivalents”...

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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A little Puzzle

Well, there is one strange thing …

Let me explain.

According to Peterson Order of Auspicious Clouds was "… exact equivalent of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun" (p. 142 of the 3rd edition) and Order of Pillars of State "…corresponds to the Japanese order of Sacred Treasure" (p. 147, 3rd edition).

Usual ratio for conferred Suns/Treasures at least 1:3 (or even higher!).

And the ratio for Clouds/Pillars 0,72:1 (for conferred orders during 1934-1940) and 1,05/1 (for minted orders during 1934-1945).

Strange looking ratios!

Well, this is not exactly what you expect from "exact equivalents"...

Cheers,

Nick

Nick,

I am a firm believer that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics ! The Auspicious Clouds was the equivalent to the Rising Sun, and the Pillars of State was the equivalent of the Sacred Treasure. Just because the award ratio is different does not change that. Also I have no idea where you got the award ratio for Rising Sun to Sacred Treasure of 1:3 ! The number of Rising Suns awarded was actually consistently higher than the number of Sacred Treasures, notwithstanding that it was the senior award. This was mainly due to the fact that the Sacred Treasure tended to be used as a long service award, whereas the Rising Sun was used for merit and low level acts of bravery. Hence it was very heavily awarded during war time.

If you look at actual awarded certificates you can very quickly realise this.

In March 1905 certificate number 74,011 of the Rising Sun was awarded.

In May 1905 certificate number 100,520 of the Sacred Treasure was awarded

The lowest number certificate for the 1st April 1906 bestowal relating to the Russo Japanese War that I have seen for the Rising Sun is certificate number 95,954. The highest is 719,509. Hence at least 623,555 Rising Sun awards were made for the Russo Japanese War.

The lowest certificate number I have seen for 1906 for the Sacred Treasure is 111,965 and the highest is 363,239 (certificate 396,491 was awarded in 1908). Hence the number of Sacred Treasures handed out in the mass 1906 bestowal was at most 251,274, about 40% the number of Orders of the Rising Sun.

Counter-intuitive but true !

This pattern continues in other conflicts. The China Incident saw at least 1,763,941 awards of the Rising Sun (the highest certificate number is 3,005,155 in the April 1940 bestowal) but about 480,904 Sacred Treasures.

I have been observing certificate numbers and dates for many years now and intend writing an article on the subject when I have the time. The Golden Kite certificate numbers also throw a lot of light on the numbers awarded for the different conflicts so I will try to write on that shortly. Suffice to say at the moment that certificate number 296,773 was awarded in April 1940 and this is the highest numbered certificate I have seen thus far. Most awards of the Golden Kite were made post 1940 and were posthumous awards. Japanese sources (I will need to dig them out) estimate that nearly 30% of all Japanese combat deaths post 1940 resulted in a posthumous award of the Golden Kite in the appropriate class for the casualty concerned. This would explain the number of pristine Showa era pieces that turn up in their boxes of issue !

Paul

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I am a firm believer that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics !

Kinda strange to hear that from a banker :lol:

If you look at actual awarded certificates you can very quickly realise this.

The numbering is not continuous Paul, but thanks for advice.

Also I have no idea where you got the award ratio for Rising Sun to Sacred Treasure of 1:3 !

My subjective estimate. Maybe a little bit overoptimistic.

Numbers on the documents? (sorry, but I think there was some tricky strange things with this numeration)

But what about market prices?

Don't you think that in phaleristics market price of the piece is a function of it's quantity (at least this is the main variable).

Of course prices is not 1 to 3, but who's is talking about perfect market?!

Ok. Maybe not 1:3, but I think suns are dominated by treasures - this is for sure.

And even more truthful statement is that pillars are dominated by clouds.

Anyone could pass this test - try to get yourself a sacred treasure in any class (excerpt 7-8) and than try to get a rising sun order. And one will know what I am talking about.

The Golden Kite certificate numbers also throw a lot of light on the numbers awarded for the different conflicts so I will try to write on that shortly. Suffice to say at the moment that certificate number 296,773 was awarded in April 1940 and this is the highest numbered certificate I have seen thus far. Most awards of the Golden Kite were made post 1940 and were posthumous awards. Japanese sources (I will need to dig them out) estimate that nearly 30% of all Japanese combat deaths post 1940 resulted in a posthumous award of the Golden Kite in the appropriate class for the casualty concerned.

We discussed this issue with Pieter not a long time ago and yes, it is well established fact that after the spring of 1940 nobody saw any official standard documents on golden kites - only notifications (these ones should be a temporal measure, but became a permanent one).

Japanese sources (I will need to dig them out) estimate that nearly 30% of all Japanese combat deaths post 1940 resulted in a posthumous award of the Golden Kite in the appropriate class for the casualty concerned. This would explain the number of pristine Showa era pieces that turn up in their boxes of issue !

Thank you for that revelation Paul! ;)

To sum up

a) I am sure that pillars quantitatively dominates clouds

b) I am sure that treasures quantitatively dominates suns

The only question by how much in case of b)

Although in case of b) - the proportion might changed in 1960s - after massive posthumous awarding were made.

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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And another thing - I've never said that clouds are NOT exact equivalent of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun and pillars are NOT exact equivalent of the Japanese order of Sacred Treasure. I said that from my point of view we have pretty strange ratio.

The strong argument for equality

clouds=suns

is that my man Isoroko Yamamoto (山本五十六)

was awarded by auspicious clouds and not by pillars of state.

Yes, I think this one is pretty strong.

Best regards,

Nick

P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy new year Paul (guess I forgot that I am not un ours mal léché :lol:)

Cheers!

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And another one.

I believe that during peace time this inequality holds pretty well

number of sacred treasures issued and conferred > number of rising suns issued and conferred

What happend during war time is another thing. I agree with Paul. In times like these rising sun order became some sort of "not enough done - try harder" substitute for golden kite. From my experience rising suns were issued more often for combatants and sacred treasures for non-combatants (transport units, rare services, etc).

And indeed for low classes (6,7 and 8) during war time such inequality could be right

number of sacred treasures issued and conferred in lower classes < number of rising suns issued and conferred in lower classes

But I believe for higher classes original inequality will still be right for war period.

Maybe during war periods there was massive issues of rising suns in lower classes and that's why we observe such high numbers in documents on them. I think this is the only explanation.

But the strangest thing with clouds and pillars is that pillars were dominated by clouds on every time period in every class.

This is really strange.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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