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Two Czech curators given high Japanese order

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Prague, June 17 (CTK) – Two Czech curators of Japanese collections, Alice Kraemerova and Helena Honcoopova, received the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun for the promotion of Japanese culture from Japan’s Ambassador to Prague Tetsuo Yamakawa in his residence on Tuesday, Lidove noviny (LN) writes Wednesday.

“I have been preoccupied with Japan the whole life. I feel very honoured,” Kraemerova, who worked in the Naprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague, told LN.

Kraemerova has prepared a number of exhibitions of Japanese art and crafts and she has catalogued the Japanese collections of the Naprstek Museum and given lectures. She has translated a number of Japanese writers and was teaching at the Faculty of Arts of Prague’s Charles University.

Honcoopova, former curator of Japanese art at the National Gallery in Prague, has been dealt with Japanese culture for 30 years. In 2003-20012, she helped digitise the collections of Japanese graphic art. She has also translated Japanese literature. A collection of Japanese poetry in her translation will be published this year, LN writes.

The prestigious Order of the Rising Sun (Kyokujitsu-sho) has been presented since 1875. Originally it was bestowed only on soldiers, later also on civilians and foreigners who contributed to better relations with Japan. Its laureates are, for instance, U.S. actor and director Clint Eastwood and post-war German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

LN says only a few Czech citizens have received this order. Those are legionary Jindrich Bejl in 1921, architect Antonin Raymond in 1964, artist Jan Kavan (1991) and scientists Vera Hrdlickova (2006), Zdenka Svarcova (2010) and Vlasta Winkelhoeferova (2012) as well as legendary gymnast Vera Caslavska, Olympic winner from Tokyo and Mexico City, who was given the order in 2010, LN says.

This is the second most significant decoration in Japan after the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, LN writes.

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