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2 Ukrainian creators honored with Japan International Manga Award

A cover image for "Moonchosen," a manga by Ukrainian creators Natalia Rerekina and Gilbert Brissen, which received a silver prize in the Japan International Manga Award, is seen in this image taken from the award's website. (C) OOO "BUBBLE"

TOKYO -- A manga by two Ukrainian creators was chosen among the winners of the Japan International Manga Award, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on March 2. Although the pair cannot attend the online award ceremony on March 4 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they did send a message of thanks for the honor.

    Natalia Rerekina and Gilbert Brissen were honored with a silver award for their manga "Moonchosen," a fantasy story about a young boy and a young girl who live in a village and make wishes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had informed the pair of their achievement before the end of 2021. While they had initially intended to participate in the online award ceremony, growing tensions over the situation in Ukraine led them to get in touch to say they would not be attending.

    On Feb. 28, Rerekina sent an email to an official at the ministry informing them that they were all right and thanking them for their concern. The artist shared her belief that the war will quickly come to an end and the pair will then be able to create manga again. The ministry intends to send them award certificates and trophies when the situation in Ukraine has calmed down.

    The Japan International Manga Award was established in 2007 by then Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Aso. This year's gold award went to a Dutch artist, and works by creators from Taiwan and Spain also shared silver awards.

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Miyajima, Political News Department)

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