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Order of the Rising Sun 1874 Formosa War Medal

Date of institution: 14-Jan-1888
Awarded until: Today
Class & Preview
Size
Obverse
Reverse
1st
67 mm.
Not avalaible
Not avalaible
2nd
76 mm.
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3rd
55 mm.
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4th
46 mm.
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5th
46 mm.
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6th
40 mm.
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7th
37  mm.
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8th
37 mm.
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The Order of the Sacred Treasure (Zuihosho) is awarded generally for long and meritorious service both to Japanese and foreigners. From 1919 it can be awarded to women too, in a bow ribbon. It ranks lower in the three main Japanese orders.

The order represents two of the imperial treasures: the Yata  Mirror and the Yasakani Jewels. It is said that the mirror is so sacred that even the Emperor cannot look to it, representing purity and wisdom. The Jewels symbolize benevolence, obedience and affection.

The mirror is in bright polished silver over a blue enameled surface encircled by a raised double ring. These piece is encircled by the jewels (in red paste), who are united by red lines. This set is mounted on a white cross with four sets of rays enameled in white. Reverse is plain with the four characters "order of the merit decoration" engraved at the center. Sometimes a mintmark can be found on the lower arm. The metal used in the construction is silver. Ribbon is 37 mm. (pale blue, but in older specimens the color is sligthly different, more greyish) wide with two 4 mm orange stripes at 3 mm. of the edges. Ribbon in 4th-8th class is triangular.

The breast star (2nd and 3rd classes) is convexed. The images of 2nd class Breast Star in this page are supplied by courtesy of Yuri Yashnev.

The 4th class is distinguished of the 5th by having a 22 mm. rosette. 1st-5th classes are made of goldplated silver, while 6th is made  in polished  non-goldplated silver. These awards are made at less in two pieces. On the reverse we can see a small rivet head on each arm of the cross.

7th and 8th classes have no enamel, the former is goldplated, the latter entirely in silver. These lower awards are made in a single piece (obviously, there are no rivet heads on the reverse). The mirror is raised on a oxidized or grained surface.

There are many coinage and varieties of this order. Older badges are lighter, have a larger mirror and shorter lines than the more modern. Sizes can vary sligthly from the officially stated.

Repro alert: this order has been faked too from early times. Copies were made in France by Chobillon before WWI. They can't deceive a collector if compared with an original item, having obvious design faults.


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