Every year, the government of Japan honours distinguished citizens of the country for their valuable contributions towards uplifting the image of the country and for making significant inroads in the service of humanity. The list also includes the names of a number of foreign nationals who help bridge the gap between their respective communities and Japan through their works in various fields. The Japanese announced recently (April 28) the list of this year's recipients of top official awards for such outstanding contributions and it includes names of 140 foreign nationals from 62 countries who have been honoured for making notable contributions to enhance friendly relations between Japan and their respective countries. Notable among the foreign recipients of the honor are former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Nobel Prize-winning Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro. Albright will be bestowed the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest ranking honor, while Ishiguro is to be honored with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.
The only Bangladeshi who could make it to the list of 140 distinguished foreign nationals is the Japan-based Bangladeshi artist Kazi Ghiyasuddin. He is to be bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays. Kazi Ghyiasuddin completed his BFA at the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University and did his Masters at the University of Chattogram. Later he joined the Institute of Fine Arts as a lecturer and in 1975 received Japanese government scholarship and went to Japan for higher studies in fine arts, where he was later enrolled to the PhD course at the prestigious Tokyo University of Arts and Music. He is the first student of the university to successfully complete PhD. He subsequently became a freelance artist in Japan and soon made a breakthrough in the competitive art market of the country because of his superb blending of colours, forms and techniques that rightfully represent the motive of his motherland reflected through the rational use of colours that we see in Japanese paintings. The trend captivated Japanese art lovers and Kazi Ghiyasuddin became a well-known figure among contemporary Japanese artists. He has been awarded for his contribution in promoting cultural exchange through development of modern art in Japan and Bangladesh.
The award ceremony will take place in Dhaka in late June with the Japanese embassy in Bangladesh acting as the host.
The writer is a Tokyo based Bangladeshi journalist. He also teaches at Japanese universities.