2017 (66th) Kanagawa Culture and Sports Award Presentation Ceremony, Interviews with the Award Winners


[Governor Kuroiwa]

Congratulations to all the winners of today's prestigious 66th Kanagawa Cultural Awards and Sports Awards. I would like to express my sincere congratulations on receiving this award, and I would like to express my respect for your daily studies and efforts up until today. The Kanagawa Cultural and Sports Awards are prestigious awards that honor people who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of culture and sports that make Kanagawa proud, together with the citizens of the prefecture. The venue for this event, the Prefectural Music Hall, is a public facility designed by Kunio Maekawa, who studied under the world-renowned architect Le Corbusier, and was opened as Japan's first full-fledged hall dedicated to music. Even after more than 60 years, it is still loved by many residents of the prefecture, from professionals to amateurs. As one of the organizers, I am very happy to be holding the historic Kanagawa Cultural Prize and Sports Award Presentation Ceremony in such a historic hall. There are less than 1,000 days until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are three years away. In addition, the Rugby World Cup will be held in 2019, with the final and semi-final matches scheduled to be held in Yokohama. Some of the winners of this sports award are expected to perform well in such tournaments.
In conjunction with this sporting event, cultural programs will be held throughout the country, giving us a chance to communicate the power of Japanese culture and Kanagawa's culture to the world.
I would like to conclude my greetings by expressing my sincere hope that the people who will be honored today will be the foundation for this. Thank you very much.

[President Namiki]

Kanagawa Prefecture has produced many people who contribute to society in a wide range of fields such as art, culture, and academia. Since the opening of the port, we have been based in Yokohama, incorporating overseas culture and technology and creating a culture unique to Kanagawa. The Kanagawa Cultural Prize was started during the post-war period of turmoil, when voices were raised that improving cultural standards would lead to recovery. The 66th Cultural Prize winners are Shunichi Niikura in the academic field, Shigeo Nishimura in the artistic field, and Kirin Kiki in the entertainment field.
The recipient of the Cultural Prize Future Prize is Ms. Shin Midori Nobu in the literature field.
The sports award winners and organizations are Hosei University Second High School Handball Club, Judo player Tsuyoshi Ojiya, Sailing player Manami Doi, National Athletic Meet Archery Adult Men's Kanagawa Prefecture Team, and Kanagawa Prefecture Soccer Team.


[Mr. Niikura]

Moderator: Ms. Niikura has translated and researched Ezra Pound and 19th century American female poet Emily Dickinson. What is it about Emily Dickinson's poetry that continues to touch people's hearts for so long?

Niikura: As you can see in the Emily Dickinson biopic, when others went abroad and glorified frivolous foreign cultures, Dickinson didn't go anywhere and continued to look within himself. I thought that this thorough way of living was my job as a poet.

Moderator: I would like everyone to take this opportunity to read this. Mr. Niikura says that Japan's defeat in the war in 1945 was the reason he studied modernist poetry. You describe it as an experience in which your values were turned upside down, but what was that experience like for you?

Shinkura: The ideas that I learned during the war in Japan no longer apply after the war, so when I thought about where to look for new values, I found poetry to be most acutely relevant to how I live and how I die. If there is.

Host: I was born in Hayama and have lived in Zushi for a long time. What do you think of Hayama and Zushi as a comfortable place to live?

Niikura: The best thing about Hayama and Zushi is that they have access to the sea. When I lived in a foreign country, it was landlocked, so when I thought something was wrong, it turned out that there was no sea. I can't imagine living without water.


[Mr. Nishimura]

Moderator: You established an observational picture book that depicts the ordinary lives of ordinary people using only pictures. Will readers be able to empathize with this by seeing things like this from the ordinary lives of ordinary people?

Nishimura: At first, when I started writing picture books, I didn't really know what I could do, but as I pursued what I liked, I started learning about people's lives and the various ways they live their daily lives. It occurred to me that I wanted to write about it carefully, so I drew it while observing the people there.

Moderator: You're currently working on a picture book about Japanese festivals. Of the festivals you've covered, which ones particularly touched your heart or were impressive or attractive?

Nishimura: For the picture book on Japanese festivals, we covered nine festivals in different parts of Japan, seasons, and types of festivals. Up until that point, I had intended to depict traditional festivals, each with their own problems, but surprisingly I began to see that they were all struggling and were also dealing with problems such as the declining birthrate and depopulation. I learned that the festival progresses while changing depending on the thoughts of various people.

Moderator: I have lived in Fujino for a long time. It seems that you interact with local elementary school students.Fujino is, after all, an artistic town, so is there anything that inspires you in your creative activities?

Nishimura: It's been 37 years since I moved to Fujino, and since the prefecture has gotten involved and it's become an art town, the community has become very thick and there are a lot of interesting people, each with their own things they want to do. I think it's quite interesting to see all kinds of things starting in various places.


[Mr. Kiki]

Host: You lived in Yokohama from when you were a junior high school student until you were 21 years old, and your mother started Kanoya, a long-established izakaya in Noge, just after the war. What does Yokohama mean to you? Is it a town?

Tree: Around the same time as this award was founded, my parents started a bar in a small place in Noge around 1950, and two or three years later, we moved to Yokohama and attended school in Tokyo all the time. . The human nature of Noge was really interesting, and one day when the police came to investigate, they found out that they were all really horrible people, like the guy at the shop where I worked was a murderer. My parents ran a public bar.
My memories of Yokohama are from the post-war railway accident, the Tsurumi accident in 1963. My father was on the second car of the Yokosuka Line, and it derailed in pitch darkness on the Tsurumi embankment, causing a huge accident in which all 3, 4, and 5 cars were lost. My father, who was on the train, took the ticket and transferred to Noge. When I was around 19 years old, I started going to a place called Bungakuza in Tokyo, and at night, the names of the dead were appearing on TV. The father is watching as he works hard at the shop, but he won't come home unless his daughter's name is mentioned. When I came back after 11 o'clock when the store closed, I was so worried that everyone was so worried. The reason I came back was on the Toyoko Line. In short, I used different routes depending on the day. It was such a close call. I wouldn't have seen this unless I lived in Yokohama. It's a great memory.

Moderator: When I was a junior high school student, I drew an oil painting of the prefectural office seen from Nihon Odori Street, and it is still cherished to this day. That being said, do you still remember what was drawn?

Trees: I love sunsets, so when I was a junior high school student, I drew an oil painting of the prefectural office as seen from Nihon Odori. It looks really nice and I still cherish it.
Yokohama or Kanagawa Prefecture is definitely a fashionable town. Noge is interesting, but in the sense that it's a city of international exchange, it's a bit of a fashionable town that you can be proud of. But since then I've been commuting to Tokyo, so when I said I'd like to get this, my sister and her husband, who are married to Yokohama, said, ``Sister, why are people from Tokyo getting this?'' and ``We're not happy.'' That's what I was told. I can't say that I have fond memories of Yokohama (lol).


Host: Lastly, please tell us about your next project.

Tree: There was a vacant house in Idogaya, Yokohama, where my sister's daughter-in-law was married, so I rented it and used it as a filming location for a movie called ``Hinichi is Kojitsu,'' about a tea ceremony. I'm doing it. I think I'll be able to drink tea for a month or two even after the movie is over. In this way, we will continue to be connected to Yokohama.


[Mr. Deep Midori]

Host: It is said that your works are very visual, and it seems that you yourself really like movies. I think it's difficult to choose my favorite among them. Even if it's not the most important work, I would say it's a work that had a great influence on you.

Dark Midori: I used to watch a drama called ``Storyteller'' that was created in England and America a long time ago, which was a puppet show based on folklore from Europe and the Middle East, when I was in kindergarten. I am affected.

Host: You just talked about your childhood, and I understand that you lived in Atsugi. What kind of child were you?

Dark Midori: When I was a child, I lived in an apartment in Atsugi. I went into the snow willow bushes in the garden on the first floor to look for fairies with my sister, and played in the park with the neighborhood children.

Host: What about your next work? Are you working on various ideas? Is it still a mystery?

Dark green: It's still a mystery. The story I'm currently writing and hoping to release next year is set in Germany in July 1945, during the occupation of Berlin by four Allied powers, and a girl goes with a thief to report the death of a certain person. The story is about going there, but since it involves a murder case, it becomes a mystery.

Congratulations to all the award winners.

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