The late composer Tadashi Yoshida was granted the People’s Honor Award on Tuesday by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, who gave a tribute to Yoshida and a shield-shaped ornament to his widow, Kiyoko, during a ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.

Yoshida, composer of “kayokyoku” popular songs such as “Ikoku no Oka” (“A Hill in a Foreign Country”) and “Yurakucho de Aimasho” (“Let’s Meet at Yurakucho”), died of pneumonia June 10 at the age of 77.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, Hashimoto praised Yoshida by saying, “Mr. Yoshida offered people dreams and hopes through the large number of songs he wrote that created a new trend in the nation’s popular songs in the postwar era.” In return, Yoshida’s widow presented Hashimoto with a set of compact discs of her husband’s work.

Seven other figures from the nation’s popular-music circle, including Toru Funamura, president of the Japan Composer Association, and Yukio Hashi, one of Yoshida’s student singers, also attended the ceremony.

Making his debut in 1948 with “Ikoku no Oka,” which he composed in a detention camp in Siberia, Yoshida composed more than 2,300 popular songs, many of which have been loved by the older generation. He served as president of the Japan Composers Association from 1993 to 1997.

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