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    Order of the Sacred Treasure 4th class for foreigners, Meiji area


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    To complete an estate, I am looking for an Order of Sacred Treasure (4th class, with case), awarded to a foreigner during late Meiji time.


    Can anybody describe the difference of Meiji-awarded Order of the Treasure compare to a (e.g.) Shôwa example?

    Any help for finding this cased award would be appreicate!


    BR, Chris

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    Greetings Gensui,


    I will not be able to provide definitive assistance, but perhaps I can contribute some information that you might find useful. Most of the information will be in the form of “not this one”. Some, if not all, of what I present you might already be aware of. If so, then please forgive me.

    The kanji would most certainly need to be in gold, I would say double rowed, and contain the “Meiji/Taisho” stylization of (kun). See Medals of Asia at https://asiamedals.info/threads/orders-of-the-rising-sun-in-cases-for-foreigners.23184/page-2 where there are some fourth class Rising Suns in Tamatebako Miyake cases pictured at about a third of the way down the page. JapanX notes that “earlier variations” for the Fourth Class have the kanji on the underside of the lid and later variations have the kanji on the lid itself. On the Sacred Treasures in Tamatebako Miyake cases pages (https://asiamedals.info/threads/orders-of-the-sacred-treasure-in-cases-for-foreigners.10900/

    there is no discussion of kanji on the lid vs. the underside of the lid, but perhaps we can draw the same conclusion for the Sacred Treasures as the Rising Suns? If we can, then I would say that you probably want “earlier than later” so I would go for kanji on the underside of the lid if you find a Fourth Class Sacred Treasure Tamatebako Miyake case with such.


    I have read reference, on this forum, to earlier awards having more pronounced mirror points and later awards having more smoothed mirror points, but I have never delved into this as a reliable method for dating Sacred Treasures, although it certainly may be such. However, I can provide some information on Sacred Treasures with hallmarks or mint marks.


    Based on JapanX’s excellent study of hallmarks (see https://asiamedals.info/threads/makers-marks-of-japanese-orders-and-medals.14996/

    I would stay away from Sacred Treasures with the M mark of the Osaka Mint, as these are currently dated from March 1930 to April 1943, and the N mark of the Japan Medal Manufacturing Corporation, currently dated from January 1929 to February 1930. I would also stay away from the , hi, hallmark, currently dated from November 1915 to November 1929, and the , hei, hallmark, currently dated from December 1931 to September 1933. , dai, is too late with the first known time coordinate being associated with the 1914 - 1915 War Medal. I note that there are no time coordinates stated for the very rare hallmark (hiragana “hi”).


    Two possible hallmark candidates that are known to exist during the Meiji era are , na, currently dated to the first quarter of the 20th Century and , bi, currently dated from 1900 to 1929. However, note that these marks are not exclusive to the Meiji era.


    Fourth Class Orders of the Sacred Treasure with no marks on them? Sadly, I cannot provide any assistance whatsoever. Sorry. Maybe that’s where the geometry of the mirror comes into play.


    Hopefully JapanX will see this thread and contribute. Good luck on your search.


    All the best,



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    I forgot to briefly discuss Sacred Treasure reverses, something that JapanX has covered in various threads here on GMIC and on his Medals of Asia website.


    If the Sacred Treasure 4th Class has a flat reverse or two philips head screw reverse, then they are not the ones for you. The former are currently dated from the 1960s to 1981 and the latter are currently dated from about 1982 to 2003.


    So, if you want something that could possibly come from the Meiji era, then a four rivet reverse it should be.


    All the best,



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    Posted (edited)

    Thanks a lot, Tracy! I highly appreciate your comments!

    I heard some points, that the red mirror in the centre is less „bright“, but could not verify this comment. 

    BR, Chris

    Edited by Gensui
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