Medals of Honor (Japan)

Medals Of Honor (Japan)

Medals of Honor (Japan)

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Since the late 19th Century, the Government of Japan has issued six different types of Medals of Honor (褒章 hosho) to individuals for achievements in various fields.The Medals of Honor were established on December 7, 1881, and were first awarded the following year. Several expansions and amendments have been made since then. The medal design for all six types are the same, bearing the words 褒章 on a gilt central disc surrounded by a silver ring of cherry blossoms on the obverse; only the colors of the ribbon differ.

The Medals of Honor are awarded twice each year, on April 29 (the birthday of Showa Emperor) and November 3 (the birthday of Meiji Emperor).


Red ribbon

First awarded in 1882. Awarded to individuals who have risked their own lives to save the lives of others. In 2005 a 15-year-old youth was awarded the medal for saving lives from a submerged motor vehicle, becoming the medal's youngest recipient ever.

Green ribbon

First awarded in 1882. Originally awarded "to children, grandchildren, wives and servants for remarkable acts of piety; and to individuals who, through their diligence and perseverance while engaging in their professional activities, became public role models".

Changed social values after World War II had resulted in the conferment of this medal being suspended after 1950; since 1955 it has been replaced to some extent by the revived Medal with Yellow Ribbon (see below). However in 2003 the Medal with Green Ribbon was revived...
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