Congratulations to manga creator Rumiko Takahashi, who has received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (translated as the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) from the French government!
Takahashi didn’t travel to France to pick up this prestigious honor. Instead, she was given it in Tokyo, at the residence of the French ambassador.
The prolific Takahashi has been publishing manga since 1978, and some of her influential and famous titles include Inuyasha, Ranma ½, Urusei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkoku.
Prior to this, Takahashi was given the Japanese government’s 2020 Medal with Purple Ribbon and has been inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame and the Harvey Awards’ Hall of Fame.
She is not the first Japanese citizen to receive the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. The same award has gone to mangaka Akira Toriyama, Katsuhiro Otomo, Go Nagai, Leiji Matsumoto and Jiro Taniguchi. Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata also have received the esteemed French award. France really does love manga!
France’s Ministry of Culture gave this description:
“The Ministerial Order of Arts and Letters was created on May 2, 1957 (Decree No. 57-549 of May 2, 1957 establishing the Order of Arts and Letters). It reports to the Minister responsible for Culture, who decides on the appointments after reviewing the opinions issued by the Conseil de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres.. . .
The Council of the Order considers all applications, collected and instructed beforehand by the Honours Section (verification of the applicant’s civil status, criminal record and cultural merits). The Council of the Order then draws up a list of candidates it considers worthy of distinction. This list is submitted to the minister, who alone has the power to appoint.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.