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Japan Gives Order of the Rising Sun to Doraemon's Abiko

posted on 2008-11-03 10:37 EST
74-year-old co-creator of iconic children's manga character

On Wednesday, the Japanese government will award the fourth highest Order of the Rising Sun to Motoo Abiko, the co-creator of the Doraemon robot cat that has become one of the most popular characters in Japanese children's literature. Working under the pseudonym Fujiko Fujio, Abiko and his childhood friend Hiroshi Fujimoto created the Doraemon manga and anime, Q-Taro the Ghost (which was adapted into three separate anime series in 1965, 1971, and 1985), and other works. They later wrote the The Way of Manga autobiography about their early careers as manga artists in the 1950s. The two split up as a creative team in 1987; Abiko took on the pen name "Fujiko Fujio (A)", while Fujimoto, who passed away in 1996, wrote as "Fujiko F. Fujio."

The Order of the Rising Sun was founded in 1875 as Japan's second highest state decoration. The Order's eight classes, of which the Gold Rays with Rosette is the fourth, are awarded to Japanese citizens for civil and military merit, and to eminent foreigners for contributions to relations between Japan and other countries. "God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka was decorated with the order posthumously in 1989. Other Japanese recipients include writer Eiji Yoshikawa, whose novel served as the basis of the Vagabond manga, and Akira Ifukube, who composed the music for the 1963 anime film The Little Prince, The Eight-Headed Dragon, and the original Godzilla movie. Among the foreigners honored with the order this year are former United States Vice President and 1984 presidential candidate Walter Mondale and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

Source: Japan Today


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