Person of Cultural Merit

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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.[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]

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]

Persons of Cultural Merit[edit]

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]

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. ^ Frängsmyr, Tore. (1993). Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine, 1981-1990, p. 380.
  4. ^ Shiba, Ryotaro. (2004). The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, back cover notes.
  5. ^ "一宮市三岸節子記念美術館". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  6. ^ "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 |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Kabuki actor Nakamura Tomijuro dies at 81". Japan Today. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-02-03.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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 |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ (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


  • 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]