KochiKame Creator Osamu Akimoto Wins Japan's Medal with Purple Ribbon
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The Japanese government announced on Saturday that manga creator Osamu Akimoto is receiving the fall 2019 Medal with Purple Ribbon. The medal is awarded to "individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments." A total of 17 people, including actress Kimiko Yo (Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto, Suicide Club), were selected to receive the award this month.
Kyodo News posted a video of a press conference where Akimoto talked about accepting the award.
Akimoto (66) launched the Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo police comedy manga in 1976, and he ended the series in September 2016 after 40 years of serialization. The manga is Weekly Shonen Jump's longest-running manga series.
The manga series had approximately 150 million copies in print as of June 2016 when the 199th volume shipped. The manga has inspired a television anime series, anime films, anime specials, live-action films, a live-action series, and several stage plays. Akimoto then launched four new manga after KochiKame ended.
Past recipients of the honor include:
- Manga creator Shigeru Mizuki in 1991
- Fujio Akatsuka in 1998
- Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata in 1999
- Manga creator Leiji Matsumoto in 2001
- Manga creator Tetsuya Chiba in 2002
- Composer and Studio Ghibli's frequent collaborator Joe Hisaishi in 2009
- Only Yesterday singer Harumi Miyako in 2010
- Manga creator Ryohei Saigan in 2010
- Manga creator Moto Hagio in 2012
- Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo in 2013
- Manga creator Keiko Takemiya in 2014
- Anime director Keiichi Hara in 2018
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."