Japanese WW2 National Foundation Event Badge

In my last post I gave a brief introduction to National Foundation Day, which is celebrated on February 11. Today the holiday still exists, but there is no overt display of nationalism or patriotism as there was in the years preceeding the end of WW2. Before 1945 the holiday was widely celebrated across the nation, with the local groups putting on grand festivals. Since these festivals were large and fairly involved, officials were appointed to oversee various events and groups. These officials were given badges to be worn while performing their duties, and for the next few posts I’d like to show you a few badges I have found.

The first badge I’ll introduce is from 1934.

japanese medals ww2 badges

It came in a small paulonia wood box, so the ribbon had to be folded. Extended, it looks like this:

japanese medals ww2 badges

Inscribed ‘National Foundation’ on the obverse and on the reverse ‘Imperial Year 2594 [1934], National Foundation Festival Official’s Badge, Showa 9 [1934].’ The inscription on the paulonia wood box: ‘Showa 9 [1934], National Foundation Festival Official’s Badge.’ The inscription on the ribbon: ‘Ceremony Division Official.’

The badge is such a high quality that we should take a closer look. First, the top suspension device.

japanese ww2 badges medals

This shows a hawk (a military symbol) with outstretched wings. In either claw he holds branches, the one on the left having cherry blossoms (a symbol of Japan) and the other being a branch of chrysanthemums (a symbol of the Emperor of Japan).

The main badge:

japanese ww2 badges medals

The badge itself is in the shape of a banner. The obverse has the three Imperial Regalia (see details in tomorrow’s post): the mirror, sword, and jewels.

I think that the high quality of this badge suggests that officials around the country were all issued the same badge. These seem to be too nice for a local festival, so perhaps they were commissioned by the national government and then paid for by each locality. However, this is merely conjecture, so if anyone knows about this, please feel free to correct me.

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