1904-5 Russia Japan War Victory Badge

For the next few posts I’d like to show you a few commemorative badges from imperial Japan. In the past I have spent some time on badges, too, but there is such an amazing variety that it will be hard for me to exhaust the possibilities.

Badges and other military commemorative items really exploded in popularity after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. Although there were military commemorative items made before this event, after Japan defeated a Western country in battle, the country went through unprecedented spasms of patriotism. Just to document the kinds of items made during this period would take years. But I have one day, and just one post, so I will confine myself to one badge. Here it is:

The symbolism is quite accessible even for the novice. A large bomb dominates the design, and above it are three flags: the Japanese battle flag (also called the Navy flag even though it was widley used by many), a battalion flag (I think), and a third flag that is mostly hidden behind the others. However, judging by the visible portions of the design, it is a Red Cross flag. Also in the design are cherry blossoms, a symbol of Japan.

Within the bomb is written ‘Conquer Russia Commemorative (Sei-Rou kinen 征露記念).’

The reverse is plain:

At the bottom is a rectangle within which were once characters, but they are gone. Judging by the length, it was probably a maker’s mark.

This badge is rather small, having a diameter of about 2 cm. Probably offered for sale in department stores in the years following the war.

Starting tomorrow I will show badges from the WW2 era.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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