Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Hi, It is getting colder in NY.
How are you?
Today’s blog is about “Culture Day” in Japan.
Culture Day is a national holiday in Japan and takes place on November 3. November 3 is the birthday of the Meiji Emperor. The Constitution of Japan is also written on this day in 1946, after WW2. In 1948, this date is designated as Culture Day. People are encouraged to love freedom and peace and to appreciate culture.
Before Culture Day, the government selects a group of people who made significant contributions to culture. These people are called “bunka-korosha” in Japanese and they come from different fields in science and the arts (music and literature). Their names are announced to the public by the media on culture day. Among these people, the government selects several of them who made the greatest contributions to culture. They received the Order of Cultural Merit (“bunka-kunsho.”) medals from the emperor on culture day at the Imperial Palace.
The medal of the order is shaped like a mandarin orange blossom, in reference to the evergreen tree which have green leaves all year around. It symbolizes the idea that culture is always around us. Also, 3.5 million yen is awarded to the "Person of Cultural Merit"
Some of the most recent winners of the Order of Culture are Sadako Ogata (scholar in international politics), Donald Keene (Japanese literature), Tadao Ando (architect), Yukio Ninagawa (theatrical producer), Jakucho Setouchi (novelist), Seiji Ozawa (conductor), Issey Miyake (dress designer), Yoji Yamada (film director) and Ken Takakura (actor). The current year’s Japanese Nobel Prizes winners will also received the Order of Culture if they were not awarded before. However, there are some people who have declined the award including Kenzaburo Oe (Nobel Prize winner in literature) and Haruko Sugimura (actress).
On October 29, The government of Japan announced winners for 2019.
Akira Yoshino (Electrochemistry/Development of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric vehicles) who won the 19th Nobel Prize in chemistry.Mr.Yoshino was also chosen as a Person of Cultural Merit.
You can find many cultural events in Japan during the time around Culture Day. There are music, film, art and drama festivals to visit. Japanese schools also have culture festivals where they display students’ cultural works.
Thank you very much for reading and taking your precious time with us.
See you again on our next blog.