Order of the Paulownia Flowers

The Order of the Paulownia Flowers (桐花章, Tōka shō) is an order presented by the Japanese government. Established in 1888 during the Meiji Restoration as the highest award in the Order of the Rising Sun; however, since 2003 it has been an Order in its own right.[1] The only grade of the order is Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers (旭日桐花大綬章, Kyokujitsu tōka daijushō), which ranks higher than the Order of the Rising Sun but lower than the Order of the Chrysanthemum.

Order of the Paulownia Flowers
Star of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers
Awarded by the Emperor of Japan
EligibilityIndividuals with many years of outstanding accomplishments, particularly in public and political life.
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignHIM The Emperor
GradesGrand Cordon
Next (higher)Order of the Chrysanthemum
Next (lower)Order of the Rising Sun

Ribbon bar of the order

Traditionally, the order has been conferred upon eminent statesmen, former prime ministers and senior cabinet ministers, diplomats and judges. It may be conferred posthumously, and is the highest regularly conferred honor in the Japanese honors system. Awards are not made annually; only 24 individuals have been decorated with the order since 2003: 18 Japanese (three posthumously), three Americans (one of Japanese descent, United States Senator Daniel Inouye), one Indian (former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh)[2], one Singaporean (the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, awarded posthumously) and one Malaysian (the fourth and current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad)[3].


The badge for the Order is a gilt cross with white enameled rays, bearing a central emblem of a red enameled sun disc surrounded by red rays, and with three paulownia blossoms between each arm of the cross. It is suspended from three enameled paulownia leaves on a sash in red with white border stripes, and is worn on the right shoulder.

The star for the Order is the same as the badge, but without the paulownia leaves suspension. It is worn on the left chest.

Complete listing of ordinary (non-royal) recipients of the Order

Ordinary recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers (1888–2003)

Information from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

Awards to living recipients

Posthumous awards

Ordinary recipients of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers (from 2003)

Information from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

Awards to living recipients

Posthumous awards

Foreign recipients

See also


  1. Japan, Cabinet Office: Decoration Bureau
  2. Japanese Wikipedia article
  3. "Dr M to receive top Japanese govt award for 'extraordinary contributions' as PM". Tony Emmanuel. Malay Mail. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  4. Japanese Wikipedia
  5. ^ Милисав Савић: „Дринска дивизија", Лозница 2009. године, 242-251. страна; ISBN 978-86-912717-0-1 COBISS 167983628
  6. Honor conferred 1963 -- Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Archived 18 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine: Biographie, Orden und Ehrenzeichen Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine; Kyokujitsu-sho, Orden der Aufgehenden Sonne, 1. Klasse, Großkreuz (22 März 1960); Kyokujitsu Tokwa Daiju-sho (Orden der Aufgehenden Sonne mit Paulownia-Blüten ((2 Dezember 1963). (in German)
  7. "New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources". Nh.gov. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  8. Honor conferred 1917 -- "No. 30363". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 October 1917. p. 11322.
  9. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32586/page/641
  10. "Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia - Ben Franklin's Descendants in Japan". Jasgp.org. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  11. Department of the Army, Headquarters: General Orders, No. 13 Archived 11 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine. 6 April 1964.
  12. Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul
  13. "No. 77, ''Nousevan Auringon Ritarikunnan I luokka Paulovniakukkasin, Japani'' (Finnish)". Mannerheim.fi. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  14. Honor conferred 1990 -- Campi, Alicia. "The Role of Mike Mansfield in Consolidating Mongolia's International Status and in Establishing Diplomatic Relations with the United States," Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine The Mansfield Foundation. 17 May 2007.
  15. Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004, p. 1547.
  16. Honor conferred in 2013. "François Fillon sera décoré par le Japon" Le Figaro, 7 May 2013
  17. Trilateral Commission: Foley, bio notes


  • Peterson, James W., Barry C. Weaver and Michael A. Quigley (2001). Orders and Medals of Japan and Associated States. San Ramon, California: Orders and Medals Society of America. ISBN 1-890974-09-9.
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