Shigeru Miyamoto has been honoured with the title of Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government (via Crunchyroll).
The award is given to those who have contributed significantly to the art and culture of Japan, and is one of the most prestigious honours a creative could receive. Previous recipients include GeGeGe no Kitarō creator Shigeru Mizuki in 2010, filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki in 2012, and actor and kabuki performer Nakamura Kichiemon II in 2017. Along with Miyamoto, writer and shōjo manga artist Moto Hagio has also been awarded the title.
When it was announced, Miyamoto expressed his gratitude for his fellow co-workers at Nintendo. As the first video game designer to receive the award, he recognised that ‘the video game genre [is] being brought to light’ by the Japanese government and their contribution to the country’s culture is being understood. Miyamoto is driven by the core philosophy of Nintendo, and that is ‘creating what he found interesting’. Instead of chasing whatever the latest update in the games industry was, he prioritised innovation and said he ‘wants to make people around the world smile’.
Miyamoto ‘won’t be retiring anytime soon’, he assured the audience, and will ‘do everything in his power to do new things.’ The ceremony will be held in Tokyo on November 5. As you can imagine, this isn’t the first award the esteemed video game designer and producer has received. In 2006, he was dubbed a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s a Fellow of BAFTA at the British Academy Video Games Awards, and he was honoured with the Prince of Asturias Award, the most prestigious award to be given to a person with ‘notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs’.
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