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To Terra's Takemiya Receives Japan Medal with Purple Ribbon

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Head of Kyoto Seika U. honored with musician Keisuke Kuwata, 12 others

The Japanese government announced on Monday, Japan's Culture Day, that it will present manga creator Keiko Takemiya (To Terra, Andromeda Stories) with the Fall 2014 Medal with Purple Ribbon. The medal is awarded to "individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments." A total of 14 people, including musician Keisuke Kuwata, received the award this month.

Takemiya commented, "I haven't had time to draw [manga] recently, so to be presented with this award was unexpected." Takemiya became president of Kyoto Seika University this past April after the university elected her in 2013. Takemiya began working at the university in 2000, became the dean of the manga department in 2008, and was set to retire from the position last year.

Takemiya helped pioneer both modern shōjo manga and modern science fiction manga. Along with They Were Eleven and Heart of Thomas' Moto Hagio and Rose of Versailles' Riyoko Ikeda, she co-founded the Year 24 Group — a group of innovative female manga creators who were born in or around the Year Shōwa 24 (1949) and who shaped the now diverse field of shōjo manga. Takemiya has won the Shogakukan Manga Award for both her Toward the Terra and Kaze to Ki no Uta manga. Vertical has published both To Terra and Andromeda Stories in English.

Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Ōtomo (Akira, Steamboy) won a Medal with Purple Ribbon, which the Japanese government presents biannually, in fall 2013. Before Otomo, the last time a member of the anime industry received the award was when Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata won in 1998.

Manga creator Moto Hagio won the award in 2012, and she was the first female manga creator to receive it. Other manga creators including Fujio Akatsuka, Ryohei Saigan, Tetsuya Chiba, Leiji Matsumoto, and Shigeru Mizuki have received the award in the past. Composer and Studio Ghibli's frequent collaborator Joe Hisaishi received the honor in 2009, while Only Yesterday singer Harumi Miyako received it in 2010.

Crypton Future Media President and virtual idol Hatsune Miku's figurative "father" Hiroyuki Itō also received a Medal with Blue Ribbon last November. The medal is "awarded to individuals who have made prosperous efforts in the areas of public welfare and education."

Sources: Comic Natalie

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