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Thermae Romae's Mari Yamazaki Honored With Order of the Star of Italy

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Yamazaki is 1st Japanese manga creator to receive honor

The Italian government conferred manga creator Mari Yamazaki with the Order of the Star of Italy, Commendatore (Commander, third class) decoration at the Italian ambassador's residence in Tokyo on Friday. The president of Italy confers the order to expatriates or foreigners who have contributed to the growth of Italian culture and friendly relations between Italy and other countries. The honor is an order of knighthood. The occasion marks the first time a Japanese manga creator has received the honor.

Yamazaki lived in Italy for many years, and she has drawn numerous manga series about Italy. Her Thermae Romae manga also featured essays on Italian culture, particularly Italian bath culture.

Yamazaki ended her Thermae Romae manga in March 2013. The manga inspired a television anime mini-series and two live-action films starring Hiroshi Abe and Aya Ueto. Yen Press publishes the manga in North America, while Discotek licensed the anime in North America.

Yamazaki most recently drew the three-chapter BVLGARI o Tsukutta Otoko - Sotirios Voulgaris (The Man Who Made BVLGARI - Sotirios Voulgaris) manga from July to September. The manga centers on Bulgari founder Sotirios Voulgaris as he travels back in time with three Japanese actresses to Ancient Rome to discover the origin of Bulgari jewelry.

Several Japanese citizens have received similar decorations by the French government, including manga creators Jiro Taniguchi, Katsuhiro Ōtomo, and Leiji Matsumoto; filmmaker and actor Takeshi Kitano ("Beat Takeshi"); and video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Image via Mari Yamazaki's official blog

Source: Comic Natalie

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