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The 2018 recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun honor were announced in spring of this year. Alongside headline-grabbing winners such as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, haiku poet and novelist Alan Spence was honored for “contributions to developing haiku poetry in the United Kingdom and promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom.” He received the honor in a ceremony in Edinburgh on June 29, 2018.

“I’m really chuffed, it’s brilliant,” says Spence. “The consul (general) here (in Edinburgh), Daisuke Matsunaga, told me he was putting my name forward but you’re never sure with these things, there’s so much protocol involved, you just don’t know what’s going to come out of it. But it’s really fantastic.”

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