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Gordon Williamson

Japanese Awards - Order of the Sacred Treasure

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Introduced 4 January 1888. Comes in eight grades. This is the lowest, 8th Grade. I weill add the higher grades as I obtain them.

Edited by Gordon Williamson

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Awarded for both civil and military merit. The obverse design shows in the centre the legendary Yata Mirror, symbolising purity. Apparently so sacred, that even the emperor was not permitted to look into it. The circular discs represent the Yasakani jewels, which legend has it the Gods hung on the trees to entice the sun godess out of hiding and bring light to the world.

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The reverse is plain with the inscription "Order of Merit Decoration"

Despite looking brand new, this is an original 1930s piece, the period during which the tiny "M" mark of the Osaka Mint was applied on the lower arm

Edited by Gordon Williamson

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I've always wondered why an AUSTRIAN style trifold ribbon was chosen for this Order, making it rather odd looking in Japanese mounted groups.

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Rick,

You are right. As the only Japanese award with an Austrian style triangular ribbon, it looks totally out of synch with all the others. They were influenced by many other countries. The medals here have ribbon suspensions which are very "British" in style. The ribbon rosettes they used are said to have been French influence.

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Guest John Harman

Here is an example of the 6th class:

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Very nice John. Glad to see someone else likes these. I have a 6th Class on its way to me now. Pity that prices jump quite a bit when you get to the top grades !

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My 6th Class. Interesting that the Kanji on the box lid are slightly different to John's. You can see that they are basically the same but executed in a slightly different style

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Here's my 3rd class with short ribbon. This is also marked with what at first appears to be a letter m. It's actually a Japanese sign.

KR

Peter

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Fifth Class. Identical basic design to the Sixth, but larger at 46mm. Note the metal parts are gilded except for the outer rays to each arm which are silver

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Fourth Class. Same size as the Fifth, but all gilded (apart from the central mirror of couse which is always silver) This grade also has the rosette on the ribbon

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Gordon, I see that you found a 3rd class beer.gif . One small observation,

when looking at the obverse on both your's and mine, they appear to be

in silver, obviously due to the scanning. The reverse on mine shows the same

pale gilding you refer to on the 4th class, whereas your reverse on your's seems to be silver. Both the reverse and obverse on mine are actually gilded and I take it

your's is as well. I'm making this remark in order to avoid any doubts amongst new collectors about the gilding on 3rd class smile.gif

KR

Peter

Reverse

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