Miss Hokusai Director Keiichi Hara Receives Japan's Medal with Purple Ribbon

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Anime director honored with actor Hiroyuki Sanada, 16 others

The Japanese government announced on Monday that anime director Keiichi Hara (Miss Hokusai, Summer Days with Coo, Colorful) is receiving the fall 2018 Medal with Purple Ribbon. The medal is awarded to "individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments." A total of 18 people, including actor Hiroyuki Sanada (Ring, Onmyoji), were selected to receive the award this month.

Hara worked for years on the Crayon Shin-chan television anime series before garnering critical attention for such films as Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi o Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daikassen (Crayon Shin-chan; Brilliant! The Great Battle of the Warring States) and Summer Days with Coo. He earned the Jury's Special Distinction and the Audience Award for the bittersweet film Colorful at Annecy 2011. He has since made his first live-action film, a 2013 biography about the Japanese filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita. Hara also won the Anime d'or prize at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) in 2015.

Hara revealed at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2017 that his new work will be a "female adventure fantasy." The work was slated for completion this year.

Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo (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 1999.

Manga creator Keiko Takemiya (To Terra, Andromeda Stories) won the award in 2014. 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 in 2013. The medal is "awarded to individuals who have made prosperous efforts in the areas of public welfare and education."

Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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