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is an official Japanese recognition-honor which is awarded annually to select people who have made outstanding cultural contributions. This distinction is intended to play a role as a part of a system of support measures for the promotion of creative activities in Japan. As of 1999, 576 people had been selected as Persons of Cultural Merit.
System of recognition
The Order of Culture and Persons of Cultural Merit function in tandem to honor those who have contributed to the advancement and development of Japanese culture in a variety of fields, including academia, arts, science and sports.
Order of Culture
The award ceremony, which takes place at the Imperial Palace on the Day of Culture (November 3). Candidates for the Order of Culture are selected from the Persons of Cultural Merit by the Minister for Education, Science, Sports and Culture who then recommends the candidates to the Prime Minister. The final decisions are made by the Cabinet.
Persons of Cultural Merit
The 1951 Law on Pensions for the Persons of Cultural Merit
honors persons of cultural merit by providing a special government-sponsored pension. Since 1955, the new honorees have been announced on the same day as the award ceremony for the Order of Culture.
Decoration of Cultural Merit
In 1943, Hideki Yukawa was honored with the Decoration of Cultural Merit, which was part of an Imperial honors system which predates the present one.
- Ishimura Uzaemon XVII (2000), Kabuki
is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.The individual kanji characters, from left to right, mean sing , dance , and skill...
- Makoto Asashima, developmental biologist.
- Hisao Domoto, abstract painter
- Toru Funamura, composer.
- Toshi Ichiyanagi
is a Japanese composer of avant-garde music. He studied with Tomojiro Ikenouchi and John Cage.One of his most notable works is the 1960 composition, Kaiki, which combined Japanese instruments, shō and koto, and western instruments, harmonica and saxophone. Another work Distance requires the...
- Akira Isogai, bio-organic chemistry researcher.
- Marius Berthus Jansen
Marius Berthus Jansen was an American academic, historian, and Emeritus Professor of Japanese History at Princeton University....
- Tota Kaneko, haiku poet.
- Donald Keene
Donald Lawrence Keene is a Japanologist, scholar, teacher, writer, translator and interpreter of Japanese literature and culture. Keene was University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, where he taught for over fifty years...
- Asami Maki, choreographer.
- Ito Masami (2000), judge.
- Makoto Nagao
is a Japanese computer scientist. He contributed to various fields: machine translation, natural language processing, pattern recognition, image processing and library science...
, information engineering.
- Tomijuro Nakamura, Kabuki actor.
- Tatsuo Nishida, linguist.
- Man Nomura, Kyogen
is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater. It developed alongside Noh, was performed along with Noh as an intermission of sorts between Noh acts, on the same Noh stage, and retains close links to Noh in the modern day; therefore, it is sometimes designated Noh-kyōgen...
- Sayume Okuda, craftswoman.
- Seiji Ozawa
is a Japanese conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of large-scale late Romantic works. He is most known for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera.-Early years:...
(2001), conductor, musician
- Hiroyuki Sakaki, electronic engineer.
- Ryotaro Shiba
, born in Osaka, Japan, was a Japanese author best known for his novels about historical events in Japan and on the Northeast Asian sub-continent, as well as his historical and cultural essays pertaining to Japan and its relationship to the rest of the world....
- Naoya Shiga (1951), author.
- Koichi Shimoda, physicist.
- Kiichi Sumikawa, sculptor.
- Nakamura Tomijyuro V (2008), Kabuki actor.
- Kenichi Tominaga, economic sociologist.
- Susumu Tonegawa
Susumu Tonegawa is a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for his discovery of the genetic mechanism that produces antibody diversity. Although he won the Nobel Prize for his work in immunology, Tonegawa is a molecular biologist by training...
(1983), medical researcher.
- Shotaro Yasuoka
is a Japanese writer.-Biography:Yasuoka was born in pre-war Japan in Kōchi, Kōchi, but as the son of a veterinary corpsman in the Imperial Army, he spent most of his youth moving from one military post to another. In 1944, he was conscripted and served briefly overseas...
- Hideki Yukawa
né , was a Japanese theoretical physicist and the first Japanese Nobel laureate.-Biography:Yukawa was born in Tokyo and grew up in Kyoto. In 1929, after receiving his degree from Kyoto Imperial University, he stayed on as a lecturer for four years. After graduation, he was interested in...