Writer Ogawa, Tokyo Games gold medalists to get Medals of Honor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yoko Ogawa

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government said Tuesday that it will give Medals of Honor to 808 people and 22 organizations, including writer Yoko Ogawa as well as 77 Japanese athletes who won gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

A total of 90 people will receive the Medal with Purple Ribbon, an award for those with accomplishments in arts, education or sports, for autumn 2021, including Ogawa, 59, and Yui Ohashi, a 26-year-old swimmer who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Five Tokyo Games gold medalists, including Yukiko Ueno, the 39-year-old ace pitcher of the national women’s softball team, and 29-year-old judoka Shohei Ono, will be awarded the medal for the second time.

The awards will be made official on Wednesday.

Ogawa won the renowned Akutagawa award for up-and-coming authors of pure literature for the novel “Ninshin Calendar” in 1990.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yukiko Ueno

She is known for “The Housekeeper and the Professor,” a novel centered around a mathematician who cannot retain any new memories for more than 80 minutes, his housekeeper and her son, and “The Memory Police,” a story set on an island where things stay forgotten. Ogawa will be awarded the medal for her work themed on loss.

Among other individuals chosen for the Medal with Purple Ribbon were filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 66, who won the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice International Film Festival last year, and 53-year-old actor Seiyo Uchino, whose real name is Masaaki Uchino.

The government said that it has decided to award the Medal with Yellow Ribbon, which is given mainly to those in agriculture, commerce and industry, to Setsuko Kanetake, 77, who has been in the tailoring business for women’s and children’s clothing for over 40 years, and 243 others.

The Medal with Blue Ribbon, which recognizes contribution to industrial promotion and social welfare, will be given to 462 people, the Medal with Red Ribbon, covering people who have worked to save lives, will be awarded to three people, and the Medal with Green Ribbon, presented to recognize social service activities, will be given to nine people and 22 organizations.