Earlier today, legendary video game creator Shigeru Miyamoto was named a “Person of Cultural Merit” in Japan. The award is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a Japanese citizen, and Miyamoto definitely deserves it. He now joins other Japanese entertainment legends in this honoured group.
The award is given by the Japanese government to those who have made amazing cultural contributions to the country. Among all the recognitions one can receive, this status is definitely the highest honour in Japan, especially in the creative field. It is only given to those who have dedicated their lives to the promotion of Japanese culture, and those whose creativity has brought unique and beautiful things to life on the islands.
Shigeru Miyamoto is famous for creating much-loved video game series: Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, and the Legend of Zelda--to name a few. To this day, he is working hard with his studio, Nintendo, to continue creating new games. His philosophy is to continue making what he finds interesting, and he doesn’t want to lean towards following trends. This never-dying passion is what pushed him to create amazing games and stories.
Miyamoto is the first video game creator to ever receive this award. In the past, entertainment creators have also been given this honour for their work in promoting Japanese pop culture. World-renowned manga creator Moto Hagio received the award as well for her shoujo manga series in the 1970s. Her series, “The Poe Clan” has been running for years, and she even authored new chapters for it in 2016. Legendary animated film creator Hayao Miyazaki also received the award in 2012. The films made in his studio, Studio Ghibli, have stunned audiences around the world, and he kept to his style and message even when different animation trends were becoming more popular.
The award highlights how important pop culture is for a country. Not only do movies, video games, shows, and books help foster a distinct cultural identity, but they also serve as vehicles for exporting the domestic culture abroad. Many people have become fascinated and enamoured by Japanese culture through these kinds of media, and the country has greatly benefitted from it. Everyone who received the award is well-deserving of all the praise that comes with the status.