Manchuria (Manchukuo) National Foundation Badge

I’d like to spend a few posts on some badges from Manchuria and Manchukuo. The former is the area of China in the northeast; the latter is the puppet empire of the Japanese, which lasted from 1932 to 1945. The two terms are often confused because they were used interchangeably during the war years, especially since very few countries recognized Manchukuo as an independent nation.

Badges and medals from Manchuria can be divided into two large categories. First, there are badges commemorating Army dispatches to Manchuria as well as various commemorative items made in Japan for Japanese. The latter are especially concerned with the foundation of Manchukuo.

Then there are the official Manchukuo badges and medals, made for the government to award to people and also made for various Manchukuo associations for members and other related people. Two very broad categories, I know. I suppose there may be a third category as well, but until it comes to me, I’ll go with these two.

Celebrating the birth of Manchukuo was really popular in Japan, judging by the huge numbers of postcards, badges, and other items made with the phrase kenkoku (建国), which means National Foundation. You can find a lot of items, both cheap and well-made, with this phrase. Let’s take a look at one for today’s post.



The central round figure within which are the two kanji is in the shape of the Japanese Imperial Sacred Mirror. You can see this shape on many Japanese items.

The reverse:



The inscription is ‘Imperial Year 2592 [1932], Showa 7 [1932], National Foundation Festival.’ Note that the two dating inscriptions are Japanese. The Manchukuo Empire  dating is called Kang Teh, so if this were made for those in Manchuria, we would expect to find ‘Kang Teh 1.’ So we can assume that this was a badge made for Japanese people, probably those living in Japan.

However, just by the inscription we cannot discover for whom this badge was made. It is possible that it was sold during some local celebration sponsored by the Japanese government.

More info and a new badge next time.

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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