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1874 War Medal: Close look


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Inscriptions

Obverse inscription could be translated as “War Medal”.

Reverse inscription could be translated as “Meiji 7th Year/First Year of the Dog”

Bar has two characters that stand for “Formosa"

Edited by JapanX
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Original expedition strike force and casualties

Thanks to Nick Komiya (who found this info in the Japanese National Archive) we know that in May 1874 under the command of Saigo Tsugumichi were 3658 men, including

NCOs and above 781

EM 2643

Civilian staff 172

Servants 62

Total Japanese casualties during the expedition were 590 men, including

Death by sickness 561

KIA 12

Sick 17

Edited by JapanX
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Number of minted medals

Thanks to Richard Catalano we know that the total number of minted 1874 War Medals was 3 677.

Quite rational number when compared with 3658 original punitive expedition members.

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Number of actually presented medals

Thanks to Nick Komiya we know that only 2638 medals were presented, including

Army Personnel 2352

Navy Personnel 286

Well, after subtracting this number (2638) from total number of minted medals (3677) we will have 1039 unissued medals.

We know why 590 medals were unissued – their cavaliers were dead.

We are left with 449 unissued medals.

Currently we don’t know why this 449 were not presented and what happened with all these 1039 unissued medals.

Regards,

Nick

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