Order of the Chrysanthemum

The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (大勲位菊花章, Dai-kun'i kikka-shō, literally Grand Order of the Chrysanthemums) is Japan's highest order. The Grand Cordon of the Order was established in 1876 by Emperor Meiji of Japan; the collar of the Order was added on 4 January 1888. Although technically the order has only one class, it can either be awarded "with collar", meaning on a chain, or "with grand cordon", accompanied by a sash. Unlike its European counterparts, the order may be conferred posthumously.

Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum
Dai-kun'i kikka-shō
Order of the Chrysanthemum Japan.png
Awarded by the Emperor of Japan
Awarded forExceptionally meritorious achievement/service
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignHM The Emperor
Grand Cordon
Next (higher)None; highest.
Next (lower)Order of the Paulownia Flowers
Order Chrysantemum Sash.svg
Ribbon of the Order

Apart from the Imperial Family, only six Japanese citizens have ever been decorated with the collar in their lifetimes; the last such award was to former Prime Minister Saionji Kinmochi in 1928. Eight others have been posthumously decorated with the collar; the last such award was to former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in 2019. Today, only the reigning Emperor holds this dignity as sovereign of the order; however, exceptions are made for foreign heads of state, who can be awarded the collar in friendship.

The grand cordon is the highest possible honour a Japanese citizen can be awarded during his or her lifetime. Aside from members of the Imperial Family, 44 Japanese citizens have been decorated with the grand cordon; of these, only 23 were living at the time of receipt.


The collar of the order is made of gold, and features the kanji for "Meiji", in classic form, indicating the era of the order's establishment. It is decorated with gold chrysanthemum blossoms and green-enamelled leaves.

The sash of the grand cordon of the order is red with dark blue border stripes. It is worn on the right shoulder.

The star of the order is similar to the badge, but in silver, without the chrysanthemum suspension, and with an eight-pointed gilt medallion (with white-enamelled rays and red-enamelled sun disc) placed at the centre. It is worn on the left chest.

The badge of the order is a four-pointed gilt badge with white-enamelled rays; the centre bears a red enamelled sun disc. On each of the four corners of the badge is a yellow-enamelled chrysanthemum blossom with green-enamelled chrysanthemum leaves. The badge is suspended on a yellow-enamelled chrysanthemum, either on the collar or on the grand cordon.

Ribbon bars
Grand Cordon


Name / Image Enactment date Purpose of the award

Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum
January 4, 1888 It is said to be "a special gift for the grand medal."[1][a]

Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum

Main chapter (top), sub-chapter (bottom right), ribbon (bottom left)
December 27, 1876 "From the merit of being awarded the Asahi Sun Grand Cordon or the Mizuho Grand Cordon

It is especially awarded to those who have excellent merit. "[2]

Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum
December 27, 1876 Treated as a sub-chapter of the Great Cordon and the Necklace, unprecedentedly operated independently

Officially incorporated into both sub-chapter in 2003 institutional reform.


  • Emperor Meiji (Sovereign from 27 December 1876)
  • Emperor Taishō (Grand Cordon 3 November 1889; Collar 10 May 1900; Sovereign from 30 July 1912)
  • Emperor Shōwa (Grand Cordon 9 September 1912; Collar as Regent 24 September 1921; Sovereign from 25 December 1926)
  • Emperor Akihito (Grand Cordon 10 November 1952; Sovereign from 7 January 1989 to 30 April 2019)
  • Emperor Naruhito (Grand Cordon 23 February 1980; Sovereign since 1 May 2019)

Awards of the Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum to members of the Imperial Family and royaltyEdit

Awards made to imperial princes while livingEdit

Posthumous awards to imperial princesEdit

Posthumous award to foreign royaltyEdit

Awards of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum to members of the Imperial Family and royaltyEdit

Awards made to imperial princes while livingEdit

Posthumous awards to imperial princesEdit

Awards to foreign royaltyEdit

Ordinary awards of the Collar of the Order of the ChrysanthemumEdit

Marshal-Admiral Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō, with the Collar and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum. Tōgō was one of only six subjects to whom the Collar was awarded while living.

Awards made to living individualsEdit

Posthumous awardsEdit

Ordinary awards of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the ChrysanthemumEdit

Awards made to living recipientsEdit

Marquis Saigō Tsugumichi

* Later awarded the Collar
** Posthumously awarded the Collar

Posthumous awardsEdit

Masayoshi Ōhira

Foreign recipients of the Order of the ChrysanthemumEdit


Grand CordonEdit

Collar (deceased)Edit

King Edward VII
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Grand Cordon (deceased)Edit

Benito Mussolini


  1. ^ すなわち、大勲位菊花大綬章受章者であることが授与の条件である。[in English?]
  2. ^ Promoted from Grand Cordon in 1987.
  3. ^ Decoration probably conferred during 1969 State Visit to Japan -- no specific citation support.
  4. ^ Promoted from Grand Cordon awarded in 1955.
  5. ^ Awarded October 1887.



  1. ^ 明治21年勅令第1号(宝冠章及大勲位菊花章頸飾ニ関スル件)2条1項[in English?]
  2. ^ 勲章の授与基準2003年平成15年)5月20日閣議決定。
  3. ^ http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/ms/po/page22_001017.html
  4. ^ a b Bortrick, William (2009) The Royal Family - HM Queen Elizabeth II, Burke's Peerage & Gentry
  5. ^ http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/the-belgian-king-albert-ii-and-queen-paola-and-their-eldest-news-photo/173523009#the-belgian-king-albert-ii-and-queen-paola-and-their-eldest-son-crown-picture-id173523009
  6. ^ http://www.noblesseetroyautes.com/banquet-palais-imperial-de-tokyo/
  7. ^ http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/gaiko/protocol/jokun_h22.html
  8. ^ Arab News
  9. ^ Order awarded 5 Oct. 1971:Regiments: British, Empire, Commonwealth Archived 13 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Order awarded 5 Oct. 1971:Regiments: British, Empire, Commonwealth Archived 23 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ ViewImages.com
  12. ^ Danish Crown Prince website Archived 19 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Japan, 1996, Sovereign couples & Prince Philippe Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Order awarded 26 May 1994, mentioned in his biography in the official publication of the Belgian Senate
  16. ^ http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/gaiko/protocol/jokun_h25.html
  17. ^ http://www.estonia.com.au/pics/er_21.pdf[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ President of the Republic of Lithuania - Biography
  19. ^ Polish presidential web page Archived 16 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ Quismundo, Tarra (3 June 2015). "Aquino gets Japan's highest honor from imperial family". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Tokyo. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  22. ^ http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/ms/po/page25_000707.html
  23. ^ During the visit of Prince Komatsu Akihito to the UK in June 1902 to attend his coronation -- "Court Circular". The Times (36794). London. 14 June 1902. p. 12.
  24. ^ Honor awarded 1930 -- "Japan to Decorate King Alfonso Today; Emperor's Brother Nears Madrid With Collar of the Chrysanthemum for Spanish King." New York Times, 3 November 1930.
  25. ^ osmanlihanedanvakfi.com Archived 16 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "The Martyrs of Turkish Fleet at the Shore of Ooshima" (slides 5-6 of "A Brief Introduction to International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians"). Rotary Mariners. Archived from the original on 8 February 2005.
  27. ^ Awarded 20 February 1906. Redesdale, Lord, The Garter Mission to Japan. London: Macmillan, 1906.P. 26.
  28. ^ Honor awarded 1929 -- "Imperial Garter," Time Magazine, 13 May 1929.
  29. ^ Honor awarded in 1938 -- "Flower to Mussolini," Time Magazine, 5 September 1938.
  30. ^ Honor awarded in 1924 -- "Japan Decorates Obregon; Order of the Chrysanthemum is Conferred by Special Ambassador," New York Times, 28 November 1924.
  31. ^ Honor awarded 1931 -- "Mighty Monarch," Time Magazine, 20 April 1931.
  32. ^ Honor awarded 1989 -- Weisman, Stephen. "Reagan Given Top Award by Japanese," New York Times. 24 October 1989.
  33. ^ Vancouver Maritime Museum Archived 5 January 2013 at Archive.today
  34. ^ Honor awarded 1966 --
  35. ^ Honor awarded 1881.
  36. ^ [3]


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