The Order of the Sacred Treasure ("Zuihosho"), established in January of 1888, was awarded to either military or civilian personnel for long and distinguished service. It came in eight classes, of which only the lowest two could be given to enlisted personnel. It is the lowest ranked of the three main Japanese Orders. The silver medal takes the form of an eight-pointed star whose points terminate in small circles, with even smaller circles marking the intersections of the edge lines, forming a stylized necklace. To the center is a raised, silver "mirror" against a pebbled, originally more golden colored, background. These are the "sacred treasures" from which the award takes its name: the "Yata" mirror, representing purity and wisdom, and the "Yasakani" jewels, which represent benevolence, obedience and affection. Its otherwise featureless reverse has four kanji characters impressed to it, translating to "Order of Merit Decoration." A perforated ball is to the top of the medal’s uppermost point, through which passes the ribbon’s suspension ring. Fed unto the ring is a 1 7/16" wide, watered silk ribbon, in light grey (establishing it as an older award as later examples are in light blue), with a 3/16" wide orange stripe 1/8" in from either edge. The ribbon is folded in a triangular fashion, and it has an elongated, vertical alloy hook is to its top, which folds down and mates with an alloy eye sewn near the base of its reverse.
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