Person of Cultural Merit

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Award Ceremony for the Persons of Cultural Merit (November 4, 2020)

Person of Cultural Merit (文化功労者, bunka kōrōsha) is an official Japanese recognition and honour 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.[1]

System of recognition[edit]

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[1] and sports.[2]

Persons of Cultural Merit[edit]

Certificate of the Person of Cultural Merit (for Maki Kawai, November 3, 2021)

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.[1]

Order of Culture[edit]

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.[1]

Selected recipients[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan): Culture 2000.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Donald Keene, 7 others win Order of Culture," Yomiuri Shimbun. October 29, 2008.[dead link]
  3. ^ "「くまのパディントン」翻訳 児童文学者の松岡享子さん死去". Sankei News (in Japanese). 2022-01-28. Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  4. ^ "Ōtaguro kōen to wa" 大田黒公園とは [What is Ōtaguro Park?] (in Japanese). Hakone Ueki Landscape Construction Co., Ltd. 2015. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  5. ^ Frängsmyr, Tore. (1993). Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine, 1981-1990, p. 380
  6. ^ "Obituary: Fuku Akino". The Japan Times Online. 2001-10-12. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  7. ^ Shiba, Ryotaro. (2004). The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, back cover notes.
  8. ^ "一宮市三岸節子記念美術館". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  9. ^ "(Update) Japanese Writer Jakucho Setouchi Dies at 99". Jiji Press English News Service. November 11, 2021. ProQuest 2596086590. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP)". Japanische Botschaft in der Schweiz. 2002. Archived from the original on July 21, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  11. ^ "伊福部昭音楽資料室" [Akira Ifukube Music Library]. Town of Otofuke. Archived from the original on January 23, 2022. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  12. ^ "Kabuki actor Nakamura Tomijuro dies at 81". Japan Today. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-02-03.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ (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, November 13, 2015
  17. ^ "平成28年度 文化功労者:文部科学省". Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  18. ^ "萩尾望都が2019年度の文化功労者に選出、マンガ家生活50年目の年に". Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  19. ^ "文化功労者 ゲームを日本文化の代表に 任天堂の宮本茂さん". Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  20. ^ Taylor, Haydn (October 29, 2019). "Shigeru Miyamoto recognised with Japanese cultural award". Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "文化功労者の作曲家・すぎやまこういち氏「無冠の帝王を返上できる」".
  22. ^ "Gundam Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino Honored as Person of Cultural Merit".


  • 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

External links[edit]