|Order of the Chrysanthemum|
|Order of the Chrysanthemum of Victor Emmanuel III. Musée de la Légion d'Honneur|
|Awarded by the Emperor of Japan|
|Awarded for||At the monarch's pleasure|
|Sovereign||HIM The Emperor|
|Grades (w/ post-nominals)||Collar|
|Next (higher)||None; highest.|
|Next (lower)||Order of the Paulownia Flowers|
|Ribbon of the Order|
The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (大勲位菊花章 Dai-kun'i kikka-shō , literally Grand Order of the Badge 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 January 4, 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.
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. Seven others have been posthumously decorated with the collar; the last such award was to former Prime Minister Sato Eisaku in 1975. 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 lifetime. Aside from the Imperial Family, 21 grand cordons have been awarded to living citizens and 29 to the deceased.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Category:Order of the Chrysanthemum.|
- 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. 10-ISBN 1-890-97409-9/13-ISBN 978-1-890-97409-1; OCLC 45437720
- Japan, Cabinet Office: Decorations and Medals
- Decoration Bureau: Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Japan Mint: Production Process
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