National

'Rakugo' storyteller Shinosuke, novelist Kirino among medal awardees

Kyodo

Rakugo comic storyteller Tatekawa Shinosuke and novelist Natsuo Kirino are among 755 people and 15 groups receiving this fall’s medals of honor for distinguished performances and contributions to society, the government said Monday.

Along with Shinosuke and Kirino, Kyoto University professor Mitsuo Sawamoto, 63, and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama, 57, will be among the 12 recipients of the Medal with Purple Ribbon for achievements in the arts, academia or sports.

Shinosuke, 61, is popular for performing original rakugo works as well as traditional programs with a modern touch. Kirino, a mystery writer who has won numerous literary awards, is known for such works as “Out.”

Sawamoto developed a new method to synthesize polymers. Hatakeyama is a noted photographer who has taken photos of areas hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The Medal with Yellow Ribbon, given in recognition of dedication to one’s profession, will be awarded to 251 people, including Seitaro Kabuku, 71, of Obama Fukui Prefecture. He produced a lacquered ball-point pen given to U.S. President Barack Obama when he started his second term in 2013 after winning re-election the previous November.

The Medal with Red Ribbon for saving people’s lives will go to seven people, the Medal with Green Ribbon for volunteer work to 25 people and 15 groups, and the Medal with Blue Ribbon for contributions benefiting the public to 460 people.

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