Japan’s ‘highest honour’ presented to former pro wrestler from Milton

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Published May 24, 2024 at 7:15 pm

Japan, Ontario, Milton, wrestling, Order, Rising Sun, honour,
Milton's "Tiger" Jeet Singh has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold, Silver Rays by Japanese Emperor Naruhito. TJSF PHOTO

Milton resident and former professional wrestler “Tiger” Jeet Singh has been awarded Japan’s highest honour that can be bestowed on a foreigner.

Singh, who wrestled in Japan for 22 years and was known as the “Mad Tiger of India,” was presented the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold, Silver Rays by Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo earlier this month.

Singh, who also fought on the Canadian and U.S. wrestling circuits and was the first pro wrestler in Japan to defeat 14-time sumo grand champion Wajima, is one of 101 foreigners from 49 countries to receive the special medal.

The local resident was honoured for his contributions towards “promoting friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and Canada through sports.”

Singh received a congratulatory letter from the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto on behalf of Kamikawa Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.

“It is my honour to convey a congratulatory message from Ms. Kamikawa Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, in recognition of your conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold, and Silver Rays,” read the letter signed by Matsunaga Takeshi, Consul-General of Japan in Toronto. “I would also like to take this opportunity to send my heartfelt congratulations to you on this momentous occasion, as well as express my sincere appreciation for your countless and invaluable contributions toward strengthening Japan-Canada relations.

“I wish you continued success in all of your future endeavors.”

Singh had previously had a Commendation bestowed upon him by the Japanese Foreign Minister in October of 2022 in recognition for the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation’s (TJSF) relief effort for displaced children after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

In his 40-year wrestling career, the athlete known for wearing a turban and swinging a saber, won several titles and was Japanese legendary wrestler Antonio Inoki’s biggest rival.

Milton named the Tiger Jeet Singh Public School after him for his work as a philanthropist. Along with his son, Tiger Jeet Singh Jr., the TJSF has promoted inclusion, provided support for children, women’s shelters, hospitals and funding for public school initiatives.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji and was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government.

The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the “rising sun” concept of Japan (“Land of the Rising Sun”).

Japan, Ontario, Milton, Order, wrestler, Rising Sun

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