The Rising Sun Flag (旭日旗, Kyokujitsu-ki) is a Japanese flag that consists of a red disc and sixteen red rays emanating from the disc. Like the Japanese national flag, the Rising Sun Flag symbolizes the sun.
The flag was originally used by feudal warlords in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868 CE). On May 15, 1870, as a policy of the Meiji government, it was adopted as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army, and on October 7, 1889, it was adopted as the naval ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
At present, the flag is flown by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and an eight-ray version is flown by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. The rising sun design is also seen in numerous scenes in daily life in Japan, such as in fishermen's banners hoisted to signify large catches of fish, flags to celebrate childbirth, and in flags for seasonal festivities.
The flag is controversial in Korea and China, where it is associated with Japanese militarism.