Jump to content

Order of the Precious Crown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Order of the Precious Crown
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown (1st class)
Awarded by the Emperor of Japan
CriteriaAt the monarch's pleasure
StatusCurrently constituted
SovereignHM The Emperor
Grand MistressHM The Empress
Classes1st through 8th Class
Next (higher)Order of the Paulownia Flowers
Next (lower)Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the Sacred Treasure

The Order of the Precious Crown (宝冠章, Hōkan-shō) is a Japanese order, established on January 4, 1888 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. Since the Order of the Rising Sun at that time was an Order for men, it was established as an Order for women.[1] Originally the order had five classes, but on April 13, 1896 the sixth, seventh and eighth classes were added.

Until 2003, the Order of the Precious Crown, which had eight ranks, was equivalent to the Order of the Rising Sun and was awarded as a women-only version of the Order of the Rising Sun.[1] In 2003 the Order of the Rising Sun, previously reserved for males, was made available to women as well, and the lowest two classes of the Order of the Precious Crown were abolished.[1] Since 2003, the Order of the Precious Crown has only been given to female members of the imperial family in Japan and female members of the royal family in foreign countries only when it is specifically necessary for diplomatic ceremonies.[1]

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.[2]

In 1907, medals of the Order of the Crown were bestowed upon twenty-nine Americans who participated in the Russo-Japanese War. This unusual list of honorees was composed of ten women volunteer nurses and nineteen correspondents of American newspapers.[3]


The first class honour has been typically conferred to female royalty. As originally conceived, the order consisted of eight classes. Unlike its European counterparts, the order may be conferred posthumously.

The badge of the order is a gold oval medallion, with floral designs at its four ends; at the centre is an ancient Japanese crown on a blue background, surrounded by a red ring. It is suspended from a smaller badge, its design varies according to class, on a ribbon in yellow with red stripes near the borders, as a sash on the right shoulder for the 1st class, as a bow on the left shoulder for the other classes.

The star of the order, which is worn only by the first class, has five rays studded with pearls, with floral designs between the rays. The central disc features a Ho-o or phoenix on a blue background, surrounded by a red ring emblazoned with a laurel wreath.

The medal for the 6th and 7th classes are golden bronze. The face presents the crossed flags of Japan and the Emperor, both of which are surmounted by the Rising Sun. The obverse presents a conventional monumental shaft, which is flanked by a branch of laurel and a branch of palm.[3]

Ribbon bars
Grand Cordon, Paulownia
Second Class, Peony
Third Class, Butterfly
Fourth Class, Wisteria
Fifth Class, Apricot
Sixth Class, Ripples
Seventh Class, Medal (abolished 2003)
Eighth Class, Medal (abolished 2003)

Selected recipients[edit]

First Class, Grand Cordon[edit]

Order of the Precious Crown, 1st class plaque. End of the 19th century. Musée de la Légion d'honneur.

Second Class, Peony[edit]

Third Class, Butterfly[edit]

Fourth Class, Wistaria[edit]

Fifth Class, Apricot[edit]

Sixth Class, Ripple[edit]

Seventh Class[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 栄典制度の概要. p.6 Cabinet Office (Japan)
  2. ^ 栄典制度の概要. p.5 Cabinet Office (Japan)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Mikado Honors Americans; Order of the Crown Bestowed on Nurses and War Correspondents." New York Times. July 4, 1907.
  4. ^ "HM the Queen".
  5. ^ "Letizia, la condecorada: las 17 distinciones que le han otorgado a la Reina". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ "Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah receives highest honour from Japan". Bernama. 2013-02-07. Archived from the original on 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2013-02-07. Bernama has erroneously reported the Honours received as "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum" while correctly citing the recipients of the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown"
  7. ^ "HRH Princess Madeleine".
  8. ^ Honor awarded 1983—The Australian Academy of the Humanities Proceedings 1991 p73 Archived 2009-09-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Honor conferred 1985—National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP), Eleanor Jorden Archived 2010-09-18 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia: "The Emperor's Tutor"
  11. ^ As I Remember, Lillian M. Gilbreth, Engineering & Management Press, 1998, p. 244.
  12. ^ "Dr. Yoshi Kasuya ('23)". Wellesley College. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Haines, Catharine M. C. (2001). International Women in Science: A Biographical Dictionary to 1950. ABC-CLIO. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-57607-090-1.
  14. ^ 20世紀日本人名事典,367日誕生日大事典. "杉野 芳子(スギノ ヨシコ)とは". コトバンク (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-10-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Yasui, Kono (1880–1971)". Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. 2007. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  16. ^ Yagi, Eri; Matsuda, Hisako (August 2007). "Toshiko Yuasa (1909-80): the First Japanese Woman Physicist and Her Followers in Japan" (PDF). AAPPS Bulletin. 17 (4): 15–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-12. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Hommage d'Aurélie Filippetti à Yvette Giraud". Archives Communiqués de presse (2012-2018). Ministère de la Culture. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  18. ^ 第24回受賞作品:特別賞 長谷川町子 (in Japanese). The Asahi Shimbun Company. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  19. ^ Murakami, Yuka (27 May 2020). "Madame Kansuma at 102: On Confinement and Little Tokyo's Cultural Heritage". Smithsonian. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Those we lost in 2019". Rafu Shimpo. Los Angeles, California. 2 January 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  21. ^ Dava, Valerie. "World Traveler, Explorer, Photographer; James Ricalton brought the world to his Maplewood students," Matters Magazine


External links[edit]