| Currently constituted|
| Individuals with many years of outstanding accomplishments, particularly in public and political life.|
His Imperial Majesty The Emperor
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. 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.
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 22 individuals have been decorated with the order since 2003: 17 Japanese (three posthumously), three Americans (one of Japanese descent, United States Senator Daniel Inouye), one Indian (former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh) and one Singaporean (the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, awarded posthumously).
Order of the Paulownia Flowers Wikipedia
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.
Information from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
Information from the corresponding article in the Japanese WikipediaYutaka Inoue (22 June 2008)
Takeo Nishioka (5 November 2011)
Nobutaka Machimura (1 June 2015)