Manga creator Rumiko Takahashi will be awarded the fall 2020’s Medal with Purple Ribbon, which is given to “individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments.” The Japanese government made this announcement on Monday, 02 November 2020.
Takahashi began her 40-year career back in 1978 at the age of 21, right during the time when successful anime and TV series and films from Japan started airing in other parts of the world. And Rumiko Takahashi was at the helm of this wave, producing numerous iconic works—many of which have become huge commercial successes—which cemented her status as the wealthiest woman in Japan. These works include Inuyasha, Ranma ½, Mermaid Saga, and Maison Ikkoku. These have spurned anime and film adaptations as well, with the latest being Inuyasha’s spin-off, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, which started airing on October 3. In her four-decade-long career, her books have been sold over 200 million times worldwide, with her debut manga Urusei Yatsura selling 26 million copies in Japan alone.
Previous recipients of this award include:
Manga creator Shigeru Mizuki in 1991
Fujio Akatsuka in 1998
Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata in 1999
Manga creator Leiji Matsumoto in 2001
Manga creator Tetsuya Chiba in 2002
Composer Joe Hisaishi (who has frequently worked for Ghibli) in 2009
Only Yesterday singer Harumi Miyako in 2010
Manga creator Ryohei Saigan in 2010
Manga creator Moto Hagio in 2012
Manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo in 2013
Manga creator Keiko Takemiya in 2014
Anime director Keiichi Hara in 2018
Manga creator Osamu Akimoto in 2019.
Rumiko Takahashi’s latest manga, MAO (マオ), which was launched on 8th May 2019, has been serialized and is currently being published by Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine. It has six volumes so far and is her biggest manga after Rin-Ne’s ending in December 2017.