Person of Cultural Merit
Person of Cultural Merit (文化功労者 bunka kōrōsha) is an official Japanese recognition and 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. By 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 of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 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.
- Makoto Asashima, developmental biologist.
- Seiji Ozawa, conductor.
- Hisao Domoto, abstract painter
- Toru Funamura, composer.
- Toshi Ichiyanagi, composer.
- Akira Isogai, bio-organic chemistry researcher.
- Tota Kaneko, haiku poet.
- Asami Maki, choreographer.
- Makoto Nagao, information engineering.
- Tomijuro Nakamura, Kabuki actor.
- Tatsuo Nishida, linguist.
- Man Nomura, Kyogen actor.
- Sayume Okuda, craftswoman.
- Hiroyuki Sakaki, electronic engineer.
- Koichi Shimoda, physicist.
- Kiichi Sumikawa, sculptor.
- Kenichi Tominaga, economic sociologist.
- Naoya Shiga (1951), author.
- Hideki Yukawa (1951), physicist.
- Haruko Sugimura (1974), actress.
- Susumu Tonegawa (1983), medical researcher.
- Hisaya Morishige (1984), actor.
- Ryotaro Shiba (1991), writer.
- Isuzu Yamada (1993), actress.
- Migishi Setsuko (1994), painter. 
- Mitsuko Mori (1998), actress.
- Koji Nakanishi (1999), chemist.
- Marius Berthus Jansen (1999), historian.
- Ito Masami (2000), judge.
- Ishimura Uzaemon XVII (2000), Kabuki actor.
- Shotaro Yasuoka (2001), writer.
- Donald Keene (2002), educator.
- Shozo Shimada (2004), artist.
- Ken Takakura (2006), actor.
- Tatsuya Nakadai (2007), actor.
- Makoto Asashima (2008), biologist.
- Nakamura Tomijyuro V (2008), Kabuki actor.
- Taiho Koki (2009), sumo wrestler
- Yoshihide Kozai (2009), astronomer.
- Sayuri Yoshinaga (2010), actress.
- Hideji Ōtaki (2011), actor.
- Matsumoto Kōshirō IX (2012), Kabuki actor.
- Hayao Miyazaki (2012), film director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter.
- Shun'ichi Amari (2012), mathematician.
- Hiroko Takenishi (2012), author.
- Mitsumasa Anno (2012), artist, children's author.
- Nobutaka Hirokawa (2013), neuroscientist and cell biologist.
- Tamio Yamakawa (2014), biochemist
- Tsuneko Okazaki (2015), molecular biologist
- Nakamura Kichiemon II (2017), Kabuki actor.
- Mutsuo Takahashi (2017), poet.
- Hisashi Yamamoto (2018), chemist.
- Order of the Companions of Honour (UK)
- Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
- Pour le Mérite (Germany; recognised by the state, though not a state order)
- Order of Honour (Russia)
- Order of Arts and Letters of Spain
- Italian Medal of Merit for Culture and Art
- Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class (Austria)
- Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan): Culture 2000.
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- Frängsmyr, Tore. (1993). Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine, 1981-1990, p. 380.
- Shiba, Ryotaro. (2004). The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, back cover notes.
- "一宮市三岸節子記念美術館". s-migishi.com. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
- "Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP)". Japanische Botschaft in der Schweiz. 2002. Archived from the original on July 21, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Kabuki actor Nakamura Tomijuro dies at 81". Japan Today. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-02-03.[permanent dead link]
- "Rakugo storyteller Beicho Katsura, ex-Yokozuna Taiho among culture award winners". Mainichi Daily News. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- "Hayao Miyazaki receives Person of Cultural Merit honor". The Asahi Shimbun. Anime Anime Japan Ltd. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Suzuki, Kunihiko (2019). "Obituary: Dr. Tamio Yamakawa (1921–2018)". Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B. 95 (2): 86–87. doi:10.2183/pjab.95.008. PMC 6403434.
- (in Japanese)T.O.L.講義：2015度の文化功労者に選ばれた、名古屋大学名誉教授 岡崎恒子先生による特別講義を実施しました！ Archived 2016-03-15 at Archive.today isen.ac.jp, November 13, 2015
- Peterson, James W., Barry C. Weaver and Michael A. Quigley. (2001). Orders and Medals of Japan and Associated States. San Ramon, California: Orders and Medals Society of America. ISBN 978-1-890974-09-1