Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJCC) President Wayne Ishihara was awarded the 2017 Imperial Decoration of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays (Kyokujitsu Sokosho). The award, referred to as KUNSHO in Hawaii, recognizes business leaders for their contributions to promoting economic ties and mutual understanding between the United States (Hawaii) and Japan.
Japanese Consul General Misawa presented the award to Ishihara at the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.
The prestigious award was established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan and was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun—symbolizing energy as powerful as the rising sun, the concept associated with Japan (“Land of the Rising Sun”).
The award is given to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment. The award is generally the highest ordinarily conferred order not reserved for politicians or royalty. The modern version of this honor was conferred on non-Japanese recipients beginning in 1981 (although several foreigners were given the honor before World War II).
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award and grateful for the support of experienced and skilled community and business leaders who nominated me,” Ishihara said.
“Our business community in Hawaii has been enriched and strengthened by Wayne’s fostering of cross cultural communications and business exchange with Japan,” said Dave Erdman, Chair of the Board at HJCC. “As a respected business leader in both Hawaii and Japan who understands both cultures, Wayne truly deserves this distinguished award that recognizes his advocacy for strong U.S. (Hawaii)-Japan relations. As the HJCC Chair of the Board, I have been fortunate to work alongside him, and I know that HJCC members are proud of him and this recognition and acknowledgement of his tireless work for HJCC.”
To view a gallery of photos taken at the ceremony, please click here.