Circular silver medal with grip and laterally pierced loop suspension; the face with the emblem of the Society of a phoenix (ho-o) above a Geneva (Greek) cross with pauwlonia and bamboo wreath; the reverse with two rows of characters ‘Meiji 21st year’ (1888) ‘Japanese Red Cross Society’; on replaced correct ribbon with hook and eye fittings and special membership rosette.
The Japanese Red Cross Society grew from the Benevolence Society founded in 1877 to give aid to those wounded in the Satsuma Rebellion which spelled the end of Samurai power.
The Society acceded to the Geneva Convention in 1886 and adopted its current name in 1887. The medals were official awards that could be worn with uniform and were often worn with other military and civil decorations.
This example dates from before the introduction of the medal in light zinc alloy or aluminium during World War II when material shortages were prevalent.