Order of the Rising Sun

Order of the Rising Sun
旭日章
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1st class)
Awarded by the Emperor of Japan
TypeOrder
Awarded forMeritorious service to the state
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignHM The Emperor
Grades1st through 8th Class (1875–2003)
Since 2003:
Grand Cordon
Gold and Silver Star (Rays, Principal Grade)
Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon (Cordon, Middle Grade)
Gold Rays with Rosette (Cordon, Junior Grade)
Gold and Silver Rays (Double Rays)
Silver Rays (Single Ray)
Precedence
Next (higher)Order of the Paulownia Flowers
EquivalentOrder of the Sacred Treasure
Order of the Precious Crown


The Order of the Rising Sun (旭日章, Kyokujitsu-shō) is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government, created on 10 April 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan ("Land of the Rising Sun").

The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded to people who have rendered distinguished service to the state in various fields except military service. Since there is no order for military achievements under the current Japanese system, Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel are awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure for their long engagement in public service. Prior to the end of World War II, it was also awarded for exemplary military service. In 2003, the 7th and 8th Class, which were at the bottom of the Order of the Rising Sun, were abolished, and the upper half of the 1st Class (勲一等, Kun-ittō) was separated as the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, which was higher than the Order of the Rising Sun.

Until 2003, the Order of the Rising Sun was on the same rank as the Order of the Precious Crown, with the Order of the Rising Sun being for men only and the Order of the Precious Crown for women only. The Order of the Sacred Treasure was treated as an order of slightly lower rank than the Order of the Rising Sun and the Order of the Precious Crown. For example, the 1st class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure was placed between the 1st class and the 2nd class of the Order of the Rising Sun and the Order of the Precious Crown, and the 2nd class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure was placed between the 2nd class and the 3rd class of the Order of the Rising Sun and the Order of the Precious Crown.

Since 2003, the Order of the Rising Sun has been awarded not only to men but also to women, and the Order of the Precious Crown has become a special order given only to female members of the imperial family in Japan and female members of royal families in foreign countries, only when it is specifically necessary for diplomatic ceremonies. The Order of the Rising Sun and the Order of the Sacred Treasure became the same rank of orders, and one of them came to be awarded because of the difference in the viewpoint of contribution to the state. The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded with an emphasis on achievements to the state, and the Order of the Sacred Treasure is awarded with an emphasis on long-term public service.

While it is the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese government, it is however generally the highest ordinarily conferred order. The highest Japanese order, the Order of the Chrysanthemum, is reserved for heads of state or royalty, while the second highest order, the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, is mostly reserved for politicians.

The modern version of this honour has been conferred on non-Japanese recipients beginning in 1981 (although several foreigners were given the honor before World War II). The awarding of the Order is administered by the Decoration Bureau of the Cabinet Office headed by the Japanese Prime Minister. It is awarded in the name of the Emperor and can be awarded posthumously.

Since 2003, the number representing rank included in the official name of the order was removed. As a result, although numbers representing ranks were sometimes used in common names, the formal names such as 勲一等 (Kun-ittō, First Class) and 勲二等 (Kun-nitō, Second Class) were no longer used.

Criteria for awarding

US Navy Admiral Dennis C. Blair (2002). He was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1st class) for his contribution to the stability and development of the international community.

The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded to the following;

  • A person who has contributed to the stability and development of the international community.
  • A person who has contributed to the realization of appropriate tax payment.
  • A person who has contributed to the promotion of school education or social education.
  • A person who has contributed to the promotion of culture or sports.
  • A person who has contributed to the promotion of science and technology.
  • A person who has contributed to the improvement and promotion of social welfare.
  • A person who has contributed to the improvement and promotion of the health or public health of citizens.
  • A person who has contributed to the improvement of the working environment for workers.
  • A person who has contributed to environmental conservation.
  • A person who is engaged in the business of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, commerce, mining, industry, information and communications industry, construction industry, real estate industry, finance and insurance industry, service industry, etc., and has contributed to the public interest by developing the economy and industry.
  • A person who has contributed to the public interest by engaging in the services of an attorney, certified public accountant, patent attorney, etc.
  • A person who has contributed to the public interest by engaging in the work of newspapers, broadcasting or other news reporting.
  • A person who has engaged in a public interest business such as Electricity Business, Gas Business, Transportation Business, etc. and has contributed to the promotion of public welfare.
  • A person other than those listed in the preceding items who has contributed to the public interest.

Among them, regulations on the criteria for awarding orders to those who belong to the National Diet, the central and local governments, and courts stipulate in detail which ranks are awarded for each position. For example, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1st class) is awarded to a person who has made outstanding achievements in his/her position as Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the House of Councillors, or Chief Justice of Japan. The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1st class) or the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays (2nd class) are awarded to a person who has made outstanding achievements in his/her position as Minister of State, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Senior Vice-Minister, Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives, Vice President of the House of Councilors, or Judge of the Supreme Court.

Classes

The Order was awarded in nine classes until 2003, when the Grand Cordon with Paulownia Flowers was made a separate order, and the lowest two classes were abolished. Since then, it has been awarded in six classes. Conventionally, a diploma is prepared to accompany the insignia of the order, and in some rare instances, the personal signature of the Emperor will have been added. As an illustration of the wording of the text, a translation of a representative 1929 diploma says:

By the grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne occupied by the same dynasty from time immemorial,

We confer the Second Class of the Imperial Order of Meiji upon Henry Waters Taft, a citizen of the United States of America and a director of the Japan Society of New York, and invest him with the insignia of the same class of the Order of the Double Rays of the Rising Sun, in expression of the good will which we entertain towards him.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the Grand Seal of State to be affixed at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, this thirteenth day of the fifth month of the fourth year of Shōwa, corresponding to the 2,589th year from the accession to the throne of Emperor Jimmu."

Insignia

The star for the Grand Cordon and Second Class is a silver star of eight points, each point having three alternating silver rays; the central emblem is identical to the badge. It is worn on the left chest for the Grand Cordon, on the right chest for the 2nd Class.

The badge for the Grand Cordon to Sixth Classes is an eight-pointed badge bearing a central red enamelled sun disc, with gilt points (1st–4th Classes), with four gilt and four silver points (5th Class), or with silver points (6th Class); each point comprises three white enamelled rays. It is suspended from three enamelled paulownia leaves (not chrysanthemum leaves as the Decoration Bureau page claims) on a ribbon in white with red border stripes, worn as a sash from the right shoulder for the Grand Cordon, as a necklet for the 2nd and 3rd Classes and on the left chest for the 4th to 6th Classes (with a rosette for the 4th Class).

The badge for the Seventh and Eighth Classes consisted of a silver medal in the shape of three paulownia leaves, enamelled for the 7th Class and plain for the 8th Class. Both were suspended on a ribbon, again in white with red border stripes, and worn on the left chest. Both classes were abolished in 2003 and replaced by the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, a single-class order that now ranks above the Order of the Rising Sun.

Notable recipients

1st Class, Grand Cordon

ribbon bar

2nd Class, Gold and Silver Star

ribbon bar

3rd Class, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon

ribbon bar

4th Class, Gold Rays with Rosette

ribbon bar

5th Class, Gold and Silver Rays

ribbon bar

6th Class, Silver Rays

ribbon bar

7th Class, Green Paulownia Leaves Medal

ribbon bar

In 2003, the 7th and 8th levels – named for leaves of the Paulownia tree, long used as a mon (emblem) for the highest levels of Japanese society – were moved to a new and distinct order, the single-class Order of the Paulownia Flowers.

8th Class, white Paulownia Leaves Medal

ribbon bar

In 2003, the 7th and 8th levels – named for leaves of the Paulownia tree, long used as a mon (emblem) for the highest levels of Japanese society – were moved to a new and distinct order, the single-class Order of the Paulownia Flowers.

Class unknown

ribbon bar

See also


This page was last updated at 2024-04-15 06:27 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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