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Mythology of late Kites and Pillars

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Yep, you are right about this one. :lol:

I shouldn't make this statement in such incontestable manner.

Especially when I don't have any hard proofs. Just rumors.

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Well... This will be your only comment Paul?

Do you really think that rising suns in 1-5 classes are more numerous class than sacred treasures in 1-5?

I excluded 6-8 because their comparative multiplicity couldn't be estimated (even roughly).

If you have time, please answer to this question.

Yesterday (right after you anathematized statistics :lol:) you stated that clouds and pillars WERE equivalents of suns and clouds.

Could you advise on what evidence you base this statement?

And what will be yours explanation of reverse ratio for 1934-1945 period and especially for 1934-1940 period.

Or do you think this is another bloddy lie? ;)

Edited by JapanX

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Yep, you are right about this one. :lol:

I shouldn't make this statement in such incontestable manner.

Especially when I don't have any hard proofs. Just rumors.

Making sweeping statements without any hard evidence will not help anyone gain a better understanding of the subject, nor indeed will it do anything to enhance your own credibility. It seems that whenever your theories are disrupted by evidence and facts you either ignore them or twist them in order to suit your preconceived view. This is very poor scholarship. You need to adapt your theories to suit the evidence, not the other way around.

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Guess you are a little bit upset (irritated? :)) by all my activity.

You got that wrong Paul. ;)

I don't try to enchance my credibility.

I am no dealer :lol:

I am a collector who is trying to communicate with his fellow collectors.

And what we've got here is failure to communicate.

It will be really nice if you'll point me my ignorance and twisting cases.

Because indeed I am one very poor collector and very poor researcher :)

And my questions. Any hope?

Or digestion? What?! Again?!

Best regards,

Nick

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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.

This was a 6th Class award, sold June 6th, 2010. ;) Unfortunately, not to me! Do I need to get a life, or what? :lol:

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Here's hoping the discussion stays civil. Differences of opinion are fine and can lead to some interesting discoveries, as long as facts and theories are offered in a positive tone.

As for the Clouds and Pillars being equivalent to the RS & ST, that is a good question. Since Peterson wrote it with such confidence ('exact equivalent'), no one has really wondered if it is true. However, I am not sure if the relative availability of awards is an accurate way to determine this. I looked up the official ordinances for both of these orders (in Chinese and Japanese), but there is nothing written about that. I suppose the way the two orders were given (upon what occasions) would be a better determinate. Despite Peterson's assertion, I don't know yet. We need concrete evidence one way or the other.

Back to the topic of where the Manchukuo orders were minted. As always, I headed first to my Japan Mint official histories. And as always, I found some interesting tidbits. The 1943 history states that Mr. Hata (the designer) was summoned to Shinkyo (新京) to help with the medal designs. The very first order was detailed as well, so let me tell you what the Manchukuo government ordered on Showa 9 [1934] March 31:

Grand Order of Orchid Blossom Collar: 1

Grand Order of Orchid Blossom Grand Cordon: 1

Grand Cordon Order of Illustrious Dragon: 7

Order of Auspicious Clouds 1st Class: 25

Order of Auspicious Clouds 2nd Class: 40

Order of Auspicious Clouds 3rd Class: 25

Order of Auspicious Clouds 8th Class: 1

Although not specified, the 8th Class may have been a trial-run piece. And the book is clear that all the pieces were made in Japan by the Japan Mint.

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The next history published (1953) omits the first detailed order (which makes me feel OK about paying 14,000 yen for the 1943 book! Lots of tidbits like that were deleted/replaced). However, one comment in the later publication helps this discussion a bit. A paraphrase: 'Since the equipment and technical skills in Manchukuo were far below that of those in Japan, all Manchukuo orders were made by the Japan Mint. The numbers of medals needed steadily increased, so in Showa 18 [1943] some Japan Mint technicians were sent to the Manchukuo Mint to assist them in making the lower classes of the orders.'

So now we can be sure that some of them were made in Manchukuo from 1943 (unknown month) to 1945.

Cheers,

Rich

Edited by fukuoka

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A paraphrase: 'Since the equipment and technical skills in Manchukuo were far below that of those in Japan, all Manchukuo orders were made by the Japan Mint. The numbers of medals needed steadily increased, so in Showa 18 [1943] some Japan Mint technicians were sent to the Manchukuo Mint to assist them in making the lower classes of the orders.'

So now we can be sure that some of them were made in Manchukuo from 1943 (unknown month) to 1945.

Cheers,

Rich

Thanks a lot Rich!

Very interesting and important info!!!

My guess "lower classes" will be 4,5,6,7 and 8 classes (they are practically identical except for the gilt/no gilt).

But do they actually made them or just had intentions to begin production?

Is the phrase in the book could be clearly interpreted?

What do you think Rich?

And another thought - 3rd class pieces have same enamel and reverse allegedly "late" features as 4-8 classes.

So maybe "lower" means 3-8 classes?

I don't recall any 1st or 2nd class pieces that have these "late" patterns. But I will recheck this.

I wonder how many pieces in lower classes were actually made in Manchuko in the last two years... Not much - this is for sure...

If any at all...(especially if we'll remember the golden kites production story)

Anyway - amazingly surprising information Rich.

So they actually were trying to made something on their own...

Big mistake!

It never worked in this region :)

At least it never worked right in Mongolia ;)

And what timing! 1943! Everything is falling apart. Maybe all this nonsense was initiated by Japan Mint as some kind outsourcing decision for the hard times? Because I don't think that back in 1943 the last emperor has any illusions about his status and status of his country.

Regards,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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The Japanese says: '...同国[満州國]でも下位勲章の製作ができるようになった。' Such a phrase, strictly translated, would mean that they (Manchukuo Mint) would have been able to make the medals on their own. However, the very fact that such a sentence was written means that they indeed made some of the medals. Logic would demand that if they were unable to make them for some reason or another, than another explanatory sentence would have been included. Or if they never made any of the medals, there would have been no reason to include such a sentence as written above.

As for the meaning of the lower classes (下位), that is a bit unclear. Since there are 4 classes, one would expect the highest four to be the upper classes, which would mean 5th though 8th for the lower classes. But again, presuming a bit, a 5th Class (and maybe even a 6th) would not be considered a lower class. If I had to guess, I'd say the 7th & 8th because they were in much higher demand--and that is the stated reason for the Manchukuo Mint to become involved, right?

Thoughts?

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Yes, of course you are right and the lower classes have always been 7 and 8.

My hypothesis (lower= 4-8 classes) was based on the simple logic:

since 4-8 classes have identical badges, then one who is able to make 8 class will be able to make 4 class (he just will need a little gilt + two enameled bars).

In addition all these classes (4-3) are having same "late production" pattern.

But then again 3rd class has it too (enamel pattern + reverse pattern)

Isn't it strange?

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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Ok. Let me explain in every detail why I asked Rich about the true meaning of this sentence.

For this let`s examine two beatiful 3rd class pillars of the state.

One marked M (so its definitly was made in Japan) and the other unmarked (with specific features of allegedly late-Manchukou badges.

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Let`s take a close look at the cental octahedron.

Edited by JapanX

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Looks familiar? Allow me to remind you how cental octahedrons will look like for lower classes.

These two 5th class pieces will help us with this.

Edited by JapanX

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Well I think we all agree - this is same enamel pattern.

Most profoundly this pattern could be seen in blue lines.

That`s why I think the only really stable sign of allegedly "late" pieces is enamel shade of cental octahedrons (reverse pattern is not that stable, although pieces with M mark in higher classes (1-3) usually have polished reverses and visa versa).

This is one and only thing that we really have for identification of "late" pieces.

But as for today we have no hard proof evidence that exactly these pieces with such enamel pattern were created by Manchukou Mint. But if there indeed were pieces actually manufactured by Manchukou Mint, then these pieces are the first candidates for this role.

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Interesting theory but can we look at the blue in isolation ? If you look at the central octahedron of the unmarked 3rd class piece it looks slightly convex in the photo. Is that a trick of the light or is it actually the case ? The reason I ask is that the other three all look flat. Also if you look at the size of the silver dots in the outer rim of the 5th class pieces there is a considerable difference in size, however this is not the case for the two 3rd class pieces.

None of this is easy, hence the need to avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly !

Edited by Paul L Murphy

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Well. I just rechecked central yellow octahedrons of all classes that I have (marked/unmarked/polished/unpolished/frozen...) and they are all convexly (slightly) done. So this is optical illusion. And yes, I mentioned this "more larger diameter dots rule" for allegedly "late-Manchokuo-made" pieces. This feature holds pretty well for lower classes and still holds for higher classes, but not that profoundly (the dots for late pieces in higher classes (1-3) are more "smudged" as some of my friends are saying - this is still visible I think in the pictures). But in reality you couldn't notice that feature unless you holding two pieces ("late" and "early") simultaneously in your hands. That's why I think blue line colore is easier way to distinguished between these two types. I think it is the most striking feature (along with red line) of "late" pieces.

Anyone who actually has these orders could check my empirical (not really theoretical ;)) conclusions and see they actually work for himself (or herself ;)).

But in one thing Paul is certainly right - this is not that easy.

That's why this 5 pages long thread contains more information than any book or forum had before on this subject ;)

But of course without Richards generous help (not to mention the top notch statistical info!) and no less generous support of some my colleagues and friends this thread will be not that interesting and definitely not so rich in content.

So I would like to thank them again for their support.

All errors of course are mine :lol:

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Rich, Paul, Nick and Dieter,

This is a very informative discussion so thank you for all your efforts. It's certainly appreciated!

There was a very interesting Pillars of the State, 2nd Class if I recall, on sale earlier this year at a European auction house's site (I won't name the auction house or include a link). The case was in superb condition. Unfortunately, the red enamel of the medals were heavily pitted that they appeared to be a sea of white spots.

It was such a shame that a rare and beautiful Order could have been so affected by the vagaries of time and ... I wonder ... poor manufacturing. Is this a problem to watch out for with Pillars? I ask because often the quality of the photos on YJA might not make such faults obvious. Would this support the theory of poorer quality late war manufacturing?

Happy New Year to all!

Gavin

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I wonder ... poor manufacturing. Is this a problem to watch out for with Pillars? I ask because often the quality of the photos on YJA might not make such faults obvious. Would this support the theory of poorer quality late pieces.?

Well Gavin, as I've already said it earlier, there are no obvious problems with the quality pillars of the state. All specimens in all classes have superb enamel work. The most common problem with pillars in higher classes are

1) missing rivets on the reverse of 2nd class

2) missing pearls on 2nd class star (it maybe also be the case with 1st and 3rd class badges)

3) red enamel is exclusive feature of 1-3 and I only once saw damaged red enamel (on 2nd class star) and never on 1st and 3rd class badges

Lower classes of pillars are usually problem free, only sometimes you can see specimens with damaged enamel in "pearls" or/and in central octahedron.

So the answer will be "Not really". The quality is amazingly high even for allegedly "late" pieces.

Happy new year Gavin!

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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Well, I must say that the interpretation of 'lower classes' remains unclear. Depending on who you are, the 3rd Class badge could be a very high award or a low one...

Here is another tidbit of information found in my 100-Year Japan Mint history (pub. 1976). They included a simple floorplan of the Manchukuo Central Bank Mint in Mukden, which was the main bank of Manchukuo. It was established in 1932 and the building was completed in 1933. What is interesting is the floorplan (see next post) that includes two medal factories (workspaces), one for male workers and one for female workers. Nothing else was written about Manchukuo medals, but it's a big book and everything is all spread out. Maybe I'll find more stuff.

Since my previous information showed that in 1943 Manchukuo began to make some of the orders, one wonders how the workers spent their time in the 10 years prior to this. Three possible scenarios (others of course possible): First, the spaces could have been provided for any future medals that would have been made and not used for making medals until that time arrived (e.g., 1943). Second, the workers could have been packaging (or perhaps polishing?) medals that arrived from Japan. Maybe they put them with the papers, cases, etc. Third, they could have been involved with the war & commemorative medals (not the orders). I think that I neglected to mention in my previous posts that the 1943 dispatch from Japan was made to assist in making orders (勲章), not medals (記念章 or 従軍記章). However, kunshou is often used for both orders and medals...

As a side note, there were about 370 workers in the Mint: 300 were workers and 70 were management. Of that first number 100 were Japanese (60 workers and 40 management).

Sorry to complicate matters, but facts must be faced.

Edited by fukuoka

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Sorry but I cannot figure out how to post a picture here. So here is a link to the Mint picture on my site:

http://www.imperialj...om/manbank.html

Note that I titled the picture as the Manchukuo Bank, but it is the Manchukuo Central Bank Mint.

Edited by fukuoka

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Well, I must say that the interpretation of 'lower classes' remains unclear. Depending on who you are, the 3rd Class badge could be a very high award or a low one...

I personally consider the 3rd class a high level!

Here is another tidbit of information found in my 100-Year Japan Mint history (pub. 1976). They included a simple floorplan of the Manchukuo Central Bank Mint in Mukden, which was the main bank of Manchukuo. It was established in 1932 and the building was completed in 1933. What is interesting is the floorplan (see next post) that includes two medal factories (workspaces), one for male workers and one for female workers.

Very interesting. I wonder why the segregation? A sex-based thing, or a work-based decision? Is there any indication to dimensions or a sense of scale of the builidng or the spaces?

As a side note, there were about 370 workers in the Mint: 300 were workers and 70 were management. Of that first number 100 were Japanese (60 workers and 40 management).

Seems over-managed if you ask me! That ratio seems odd - so I can only guess that there were either a lot of independent functions occuring there that required this, or there was some favoritism going on, people appointed to unnecessary positions?

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Dieter, not sure why they were segregated. And no dimensions of the building were noted.

The ratio of workers to managers does seem high, but since it was a new operation and it involved the currency of a new nation, perhaps they were concerned about any errors (pure speculation on my part).

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