Shojo manga creator Moto Hagio, celebrated for her early shonen-ai series The Heart of Thomas, has been awarded the 2016 Asahi Prize for her outstanding contributions to the art of manga. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper announced her win on Sunday, making her the third mangaka to receive the prize since its establishment in 1929. The only two that came before her were Osamu Tezuka in 1987, and Shigeru Mizuki in 2009, with Hayao Miyazaki being presented with the award for fiscal year 2001.
The Asahi Prize was instated to honour “distinguished individuals and groups in academics, arts and other fields who have contributed to advancements in Japanese culture and society.” The Asahi Shimbun Foundation said they chose Hagio for “her innovative approach to drawing manga for young girls”.
Last year, Hagio published her first new manga chapter in 40 years, releasing the first of two planned chapters for Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Clan). Her previous manga They Were Eleven, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, A,A’, Otherworld Barbara and The Heart of Thomas have all been given English releases.
Hagio and her fellow prize winners, including two other individuals and a group of scientists, will all receive their awards at a special ceremony. The event will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Hibiya, Tokyo on January 30th.