• Kyodo


Popular singer-songwriter Yumi Matsutoya is among 723 people and 13 groups honored in this year’s spring decorations, the government announced Sunday.

Matsutoya, 59, ballet dancer Tetsuya Kumakawa, 41, theater director Tamiya Kuriyama, 60, and Kinshi Nozawa, 55, who plays shamisen in traditional “Joruri” puppet theater, will receive the Medal with Purple Ribbon, given in recognition of contributions to the arts, academia and sport.

Other recipients include Tetsuya Terasaki, 58, a professor of pharmacy at Tohoku University, Kyoto University professor Yoshiteru Maeno, 56, who is known for his studies into superconductivity, and Mitsuo Kawato, 59, who conducts research on brain functions using humanoid robots. Kawato heads the brain information communication research group at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto.

The Medal with Yellow Ribbon, which honors dedication to one’s profession, will be given to 182 people, including Hiroshi Ishizawa, 69, who has been manufacturing fishing rods for nearly 50 years in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture.

Takao Nakano, the 77-year-old head of Fujilace Co. in Gunma Prefecture, whose firm developed a window shade using traditional “washi” paper, and Kunio Uratsuka, an 86-year-old acupuncture practitioner in Oita Prefecture, will also receive the award.

The Medal with Green Ribbon, which recognizes social service activities, was awarded to 13 groups and 14 individuals.

A group based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, that has screened films at local libraries and social welfare facilities for 36 years, and Yoshiaki Tamura, 65, a volunteer Braille transcriber in Tokushima Prefecture, are among the recipients.

The Medal with Blue Ribbon, bestowed in recognition of efforts to advance the public good, will be awarded to 489 individuals. Among them are Hajime Wakayama, 67, a former president of Toyota Gosei Co. in Aichi Prefecture engaged in the development of vehicle air bags, as well as Masamori Ohara, 62, head of an orphanage in Kobe.

The Medal with Red Ribbon in recognition of life-saving efforts will go to 18 individuals. They include Nanami Koriyama, 20, who rescued a drowning man last August in the sea off Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture.

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