Victory Medal 1914-1918, unnamed as issued, in Japan, 1920.
At the end of the First World War the Allies resolved that, if they wished to issue a Victory Medal (only China and Montenegro did not), it would share a common feature of a depiction of Victory on the obverse and a ribbon of red, yellow, green, blue and violet merged into a rainbow pattern - both combining all national colours and symbolising the end of conflict).
This Victory medal was created by Imperial Edict #406 on September 17, 1920. "As the Winged Victory, who should be on the obverse, has no meaning in Japanese culture, a figure of Take Mikazuchi no Kami, a son of the ancient Japanese god Izanagi who defeated his brothers to conquer Japan, was chosen. The reverse shows, within the outline of a sakura (cherry blossom), a globe with the flags of Japan, United States of America, Britain, Italy and France, with Japanese characters below that translate to "and the other allied and united nations". The cherry blossom, was a highly prized symbol for Japanese warriors because the cherry blossom falls to its death at the height of its beauty. Around the edge there are the Japanese characters for "Great War for Protection of Civilization The medal is dated Taisho 3rd year (1914) to Taisho 9th year (1920)."
The other Allied countries that issued Victory medals were: Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Union of South Africa and the United States of America.
A full length figure of Take Mikazuchi no Kami, a son of the ancient god Izanagi, standing facing and holding a quarter-staff.
At centre, the outline of a sakura (cherry blossom), a globe with the flags with the Japanese character for Japan, USA, Britain, Italy and France, with additional characters below (Translation - and the other allied and united nations). Around the edge there are further Japanese characters (Translation - Great War for the Protection of Civilization, Taisho 3rd year to Taisho 9th year).
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
78 mm (Height), 36 mm (Outside Diameter)
Round with loop and ribbon