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Hayao Miyazaki Receives Japanese Cultural Merit Honor

posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Government honors Ghibli co-founder for contribution to Japanese culture

The Japanese government announced anime director Hayao Miyazaki as one of this year's 15 winners of the Person of Cultural Merit honor on Tuesday. Also receiving this honor is novelist Takashi Tsujii.

Hayao Miyazaki is best known for his animated films produced under Studio Ghibli, such as Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. He is now deep in production of his latest work, an anime "with lots of airplanes" and a projected 2013 release date.

The Japanese government awards the cultural honor every November to people who contributed to Japanese culture for many years. The winners of The Order of Cultural Merit, highest order, are decorated by the Emperor himself in the Imperial Palace on November 3 — a national holiday called Cultural Day. This year's Order of Cultural Merit recipients include Shinya Yamanaka, the stem cell researcher who won this year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) also received the Person of Cultural Merit honor in 2001, and fellow manga creator Shigeru Mizuki (Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro) received the same honor in 2010. Anime director Tsutomu Shibayama (Doraemon) and sound director Susumu Aketagawa (Princess Knight, Akira) each received a different Cultural Agency Award this September as well, an award given out by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Source: Mainichi

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