Former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata will be awarded the Order of Culture along with four other recipients, according to the government’s honors list released Tuesday.
The Order of Culture, Japan’s most prestigious honor in the fields of culture and science, will also go to poet Makoto Ooka, Japanese-style painter Matazo Kayama, particle physicist Kazuhiko Nishijima and pathologist Wataru Mori.
The government also named architect Tadao Ando, Islamologist Yuzo Itagaki and 13 others as this year’s Persons of Cultural Merit for distinguished service in their fields.
Emperor Akihito will bestow the awards on the five recipients at the Imperial Palace on Monday, which is Culture Day.
Ogata, a 76-year-old political scientist, became head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency on Oct. 1, after becoming Japan’s first female envoy to the United Nations in 1978, and U.N. high commissioner for refugees from 1991 to 2000.
Ooka, 72, created “renshi” by reviving ancient collective verse-linking in modern poetry and established the style in Europe and the United States through 20 years of work with poets there.
Kayama, 76, is a leading painter known for his vigorous output of innovative works. Nishijima, 77, discovered “strangeness” in particle physics to be the basis of quark theory. Mori, 77, is known for a string of works that have advanced oncology.