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Dokaben Creator Shinji Mizushima Inducted Into Order of the Rising Sun

posted on by Egan Loo
Arrietty actress Kirin Kiki, "soft power" proponent Joseph Nye also honored by government

The Japanese government announced on Monday, Japan's Culture Day, that it is awarding actress Kirin Kiki (The Secret World of Arrietty, Taro the Dragon Boy; pictured right) with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. Baseball manga creator Shinji Mizushima (Dokaben, Song of Baseball Enthusiasts) is also receiving the award. Kiki and Mizushima are among four people in the entertainment and culture fields and 871 total recipients this fall.

Manga creator Tetsuya Chiba (Ashita no Joe, Notari Matsutaro) and animator Taku Furukawa received the award in 2012. In 2010, manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto, Golgo 13 manga creator Takao Saitō, and Sunset on Third Street (San-chōme no Yūhi - Yūyake no Uta) manga creator Ryohei Saigan were among those honored. In 2009, director Nobuhiko Ōbayashi (1983's Toki o Kakeru Shōjo, Shōnen Keniya) and manga translator and scholar Frederik L. Schodt received the honor.

Former Harvard University Dean and United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Joseph Nye also received the The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on Monday. Nye coined the term "soft power," a concept that encompasses a government's ability to control and persuade through the use of culture rather than force. Douglas McGray used the idea of soft power to describe the "Cool Japan" phenomenon. Cool Japan has become a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies that promotes modern Japanese culture such as anime and manga abroad.

The Japanese government announced a total of 4,029 order inductees on Monday.

Sources: Gazette Tsūshin, Nikkan Sports

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