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Old 04-04-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
Nick Komiya
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This must have been a handful, as when on Feb. 26, 1886 Edict Number 1 launched the “Official Documentation Practice” that defined the document formats of laws and fiats, article 16 stipulated that “Order Citations for 3rd class and above are to be personally signed by the emperor, after which, the National Stamp is to be affixed.” At this stage only the Order of the Rising Sun and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum existed, so this reduced the citations requiring the emperor’s attention to only 4 types. Thus Mutsuhito’s cleared out a lot of paperwork from his “in-tray” with this edict.

Sometime between 1890 and 1895, the intricate and subdued wreath & floral pattern that framed the citations were revamped into the much bolder style that continues today. My guess, without having checked examples from the years in between, is that this was done in 1890 at the time the Golden Kites were introduced

Here's a close-up of the top wreath of the old citations.
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File Type: jpg 3. Old style wreath.jpg (200.5 KB, 390 views)
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