Hatsune Miku's 'Father' Hiroyuki Itō Receives Japan Medal with Blue Ribbon
posted on by Egan Loo
The Japanese government announced on Saturday that it will present Crypton Future Media President and virtual idol Hatsune Miku's figurative "father" Hiroyuki Itō with a Fall 2013 Medal with Blue Ribbon on November 13. The medal is "awarded to individuals who have made prosperous efforts in the areas of public welfare and education." As part of the award, Itō and other recipients will hear comments from the Japanese Emperor.
The Sports Hochi newspaper said that "it is no exaggeration to call Hatsune Miku 'the most famous Japanese idol in the world.'" Crypton Future Media released the software that enables users to create songs with Hatsune Miku's computer-generated voice from scratch, causing a worldwide boom. 48-year-old Itō said it was a strange feeling to be counted among the medal recipients who have made so much impact on Japan.
Sports Hochi notes that even as other copyrights get stricter every year, Hatsune Miku specifically allows derivative works to be made and distributed widely for non-profit use. Crypton Future Media was established by staff members in Hokkaido in 1995, and it began selling Hatsune Miku in 2007 as the first release in its Character Vocal Series based on Yamaha's Vocaloid 2 technology.
Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Memories, Steamboy, Short Peace) is also receiving a Medal with Purple Ribbon this month. The last time a member of the anime industry received the award was when Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata won in 1998.