A 69-year-old housewife plagiarized the work awarded the No. 1 prize in a national wall painting contest, it was learned Friday.

The style and colors of the work, depicting six herons in the morning, were identical to those in a painting by the late Japanese artist Taisei Sato.

The Matsuzaki town office of Shizuoka Prefecture, the organizer of the event, canceled the prize and apologized to Sato’s relatives.

According to the town office, the woman, whose name has been withheld, admitted using a design identical to Sato’s work.

“I didn’t think it was the wrong thing to do,” the town quoted the woman as saying. “I’m really sorry for causing trouble.”

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