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Media Arts Awards

The Media Arts Awards are awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Culture to eligible works published during the previous year. One first prize work ("Grand Prize") and four second prize ("Excellence Prize") works are selected from each of the following categories: Interactive Digital Art, Non-interactive Digital Art, Animation, and Comics [Manga]. (Note: The Excellence Prize does not seem to carry the connotation of "runner-up" or "not the winner" the way "2nd place" often does in America; rather, all winners of the Grand or Excellence Prizes are considered by the press and in company advertisements to have "won a Media Arts Award.") In 2002, another prize ("Encouragement Prize") was added, apparently as a third prize for a single work. Based on the recommendations of the jury, a Special Achievement Prize may also be presented to artists who have made significant contributions to the field of media arts.

Also known as: Japan Media Arts Festival Awards, Japan Media Arts Festival: Award-winning works [Bunka chō media geijutsusai, jushō sakuhin 文化庁メディア芸術祭   受賞作品]
First year of award: 1997
Award status: Active
Awarded at: Media Arts Festival
Number of categories: 4 (only 1 of which is for manga); each awards 3 prizes (Current); 2 prizes (Historical)
Hall of Fame: No
Award for children's material: No
Type of Award: Selected from eligible entries
Nominations open to: Artists submit their work for consideration (self-nomination)
Voting open to: Judging panel
Official web page (English):
Official web page (Japanese):


  • Manga Division = Manga bumon マンガ部門
  • Grand Prize = Taishō 大賞
  • Excellence Prize = Yūshū shō 優秀賞
  • Encouragement Prize = Shōrei shō 奨励賞
  • All translations and transliterations are based on those provided on the English-language version of the official web page, except for being standardized as described below. When a title differs from the way the book is known in America, alternate titles may also be provided.
  • All English alphabet personal names are given in the same order they would normally appear in English-language publishing (given name then family name). They are followed by the Japanese-language form of the name, in the standard order (family name then given name).
  • When English-language versions of the Japanese titles are known or can be translated, those are given first, followed by a transliteration of the Japanese title, and followed by the original title in Japanese characters and flanked by: 『 』. When no English-language title is known or when the English title is untranslated from the Japanese (such as for Akira or Hikaru no go), only the transliteration and Japanese title are given. (There are some exceptions regarding manga with titles using English letters instead of Japanese characters.) Transliterated Japanese-language titles are always in italics. If the only English title is in its own set of parentheses, that means the translation is mine and may be faulty.
  • For consistency, the revised Hepburn system is used for transliterations as much as possible, even for titles that are themselves Japanese transliterations of English words. (For example, the Japanese title for Vagabond is transliterated as Bagabonto.) In this system, long a, o, and u vowels are marked as ā, ō, and ū rather than the various aa, ai, ay, oo, ou, oh, ô, uu, or û you may find when searching for these words in other sources. Likewise, when a "ch" consonant is doubled, it is usually rendered as "tch" instead of the "cch" you may find when searching for these words in other sources.

1997 (1st)
Grand Prize:
      The Manga classics of Japan (all 32 volumes) [Manga Nihon no koten (zen 32 ken) 『マンガ日本の古典』 (全32巻)], by various authors (22 jin no mangaka niyotte 22人のマンガ家によって、日本の古典文学をマンガ化) (Chūō Kōronsha 中央公論社)
Excellence Prizes:
      • Elementalors [Seirei tsukai erementarā 『精霊使い   エレメンタラー』] (lit. "Ghost messenger elementals"), by Takeshi Okazaki (岡崎   武士), serialized in New Type 100% Comics [Nyū taipu 100% komikkusu ニュータイプ100%コミック] (Kadokawa Shoten 角川書店)
      • Resident of Infinity (a.k.a. Blade of the Immortal) [Mugen no jūnin 『無限の住人』], by Hiroaki Samura (沙村   広明), serialized in Afternoon [Afutanūn アフタヌーン] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • Azumi [Azumi 『あずみ』], by Yū Koyama (小山   ゆう), serialized in Big Comic Superior [Biggu komikku superiōru ビッグコミックスぺリオール] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • Monster [『MONSTER』], by Naoki Urasawa (浦沢直樹), serialized in Big Comic Original [Biggu komikku orijinaru ビッグコミックオリジナル] (Shōgakukan 小学館)

1998 (2nd)
Grand Prize:
      Ryoma Sakamoto [Sakamoto Ryōma 『坂本龍馬』], by Hiroshi Kurogane (黒鉄   ヒロシ) (PHP Institute [PHP Kenkyūsho PHP研究所])
Excellence Prizes:
      • Shindo [Shindō 『神童』] (lit. "Prodigy"), by Akira Sasō (さそう   あきら), serialized in Action Comics [Akushon komikkusu アクションコミックス] (Futabasha 双葉社)
      • Megumi no Daigo, a.k.a. Firefighter! Daigo of Fire Company "M" [Megumi no Daigo 『め組の大吾』], by Masahito Soda (曽田   正人), serialized in Shonen Sunday comics [Shōnen sandei komikkusu 少年サンデーコミックス] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • Gon [Gon 『ゴン–GON–』], by Masashi Tanaka (田中政志), serialized in Wide KC Morning Comics [Waido KC mōningu ワイドKCモーニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • Ron (a.k.a. Dragon) [Tatsu - Ron 『龍–RON–』], by Motoka Murakami (村上   もとか), serialized in Big Comics [Biggu komikkusu ビックコミックス] (Shōgakukan 小学館)

1999 (3rd)
Grand Prize:
      I'm home [Ai'mu hōmu 『アイ'ム ホーム』, a.k.a. 『I'm   home』], by Kei Ishizaka (石坂   啓), serialized in Big Comics Special [Biggu komikkusu supesharu ビッグコミックススペシャル] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
Excellence Prizes:
      • All nude [『ALL   NUDE』], by Shinichi Sugimura (すぎむら   しんいち), serialized in KCDX [KCDX] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • The story of the National Museum [Kokuritsu hakubutsukan monogatari 『国立博物館物語』], by Jirō Okazaki (岡崎   二郎), serialized in Big Comics [Biggu komikkusu ビッグコミックス](Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • The moon always watching over [Onaji getsu o miteiru 『同じ月を見ている』], by Seiki Tsuchida (土田   世紀), serialized in Young Sunday Comics [Yangu sandei komikkusu ヤングサンデーコミックス](Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • Harukana machi e [Harukana machi e 『遥かな町へ』] (lit. "To the distant town"), by Jirō Taniguchi (谷口   ジロー), serialized in Big Comics Special [Biggu komikkusu supesharu ビッグコミックススペシャル] (Shōgakukan 小学館)

2000 (4th)
Grand Prize:
      Vagabond [Bagabondo 『バガボンド』], by Takehiko Inōe (井上   雄彦), original story by Eiji Yoshikawa (吉川   英治), serialized in Morning [Mōningu モーニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)
Excellence Prizes:
      • Oudou no inu, a.k.a. Revolutionary dog, Royal road dog [Ōdō no ku 『王道の狗』], by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (安彦   良和), serialized in Mr. Magazine [Misutā magajin KC ミスターマガジンKC] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • Massuguni-iko [Massuguni ikō. 『まっすぐにいこう。』], by Kira (きら), serialized in Margaret Comics, a.k.a. Marguerite Comics [Māgaretto komikkusu マーガレットコミックス] (Shūeisha 集英社)
      • Paji [Paji 『ぱじ』], by Takashi Murakami (村上   たかし), serialized in Young Jump [Yangu janpu ヤングジャンプ] (Shūeisha 集英社)
      • Like shooting stars in the twilight [Tasogare ryūseigun 『黄昏流星群』, a.k.a. 『Like   Shooting   Stars   in   the   Twilight』], by Kenshi Hirokane (弘兼   憲史), serialized in Big Comic Original [Biggu komikku orijinaru ビッグコミックオリジナル] (Shōgakukan 小学館)

2001 (5th)
Grand Prize:
      A day in the life of Mr. F [F-shiteki nichijō 『F氏的日常』] (lit. "Ordinary Mr. F"), by Yōji Fukuyama (福山   庸治), published in Kooron Comics [Kyūron komikkusu 九龍コミックス] (Kawade Shobō Shinsha 河出書房新社), serialized in Weekly Diamond [Shūkan daiyamondo rensai suru 週刊ダイヤモンド連載]
Excellence Prizes:
      • Real [Riiru 『リアル』], by Takehiko Inōe (井上   雄彦), serialized in Young Jump [Yangu janpu ヤングジャンプ] (Shūeisha 集英社)
      • Viva, chef! [Biba, shefu 『ビバ,シェフ!』, a.k.a. 『Viva, Chef!』], by JAPUNCH (Japunchi ジャパンチ) (Minato Renatus [Minato Renatosu ミナトレナトス]) (JAPUNCH is: Makoto Ayusawa, Uno Kamakiri, Kazuo Ozawa, Ryu Kumita, Kazu Kuroiwa, Yukiyoshi Tokoro, Kenji Morita, and Kenkichi Yaoita)
      • Kamigami no Itadaki [Kamigami no sanrei 『神々の山嶺』] (lit. "Mountain summit of the gods"), by Baku Yumemakura (夢枕   獏) and Jirō Taniguchi (谷口   ジロー), serialized in Business Jump [Bijinesu janpu ビジネスジャンプ] (Shūeisha 集英社)
      • Kurosawa [Kurosawa / Homura no eiga kantoku: Kurosawa Akira den 『クロサワ/炎の映画監督・黒澤明伝』] (lit. "Kurosawa / Blazing movie director: Akira Kurosawa biography"), by Masahiro Sonomura (園村   昌弘) and Mariko Nakamura (中村   真理子), serialized in Big Comic Spirits [Biggu komikkusu supirittsu ビッグコミックスピリッツ] (Shōgakukan 小学館)

2002 (6th)
Grand Prize:
      Sexy voice and Robo [Sekushii boisu ando robo 『セクシーボイスアンドロボ』, a.k.a. 『Sexy   Voice   and   Robo』], by Iō Kuroda (黒田   硫黄), serialized in Ikki [『IKKI』] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
Excellence Prizes:
      • Ozukami Genji monogatari Maro, n? [Ōzukami Genji monogatari Maro, n? 『大掴源氏物語   まろ、ん?』] (lit. "Summary of the Tale of Genji: Is it Maro?"), by Yoshihiro Koizumi (小泉   吉宏) (Gentōsha 幻冬舎)
      • The chef and the ambassador [Taishi kakka no ryōrinin 『大使閣下の料理人』] (lit. "Ambassador, Your Excellency's chef"), by Mitsuru Nishimura (西村   ミツル) (story) and Hiroshi Kawasumi (かわすみ   ひろし) (art), serialized in Weekly morning [Shūkan mōningu 週刊モーニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • 20th century boys [20 seiki shōnen, a.k.a. Nijūseiki shōnen 『20世紀少年』, a.k.a. 『20th   Century   Boys』], by Naoki Urasawa (浦沢   直樹), serialized in Weekly Big Comic Spirits [Shūkan biggu komikku supirittsu 週刊ビッグコミックスピリッツ] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • Say hello to Black Jack [Burakku Jyakku ni yoroshiku 『ブラックジャックによろしく』, a.k.a. 『Say   Hello   to   Black Jack』], by Shūhō Satō (佐藤   秀峰), serialized in Weekly morning [Shūkan mōningu 週刊モーニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)
Encouragement Prize:
      Why is the doctor angry? [Naze Hakase wa okotte iru no ka 『なぜ博士は怒っているのか』], by Isao Ikegaya (池谷   伊佐夫) (Tōkyō Shoseki 東京書籍)

2003 (7th)
Grand Prize:
      Kajimunugatai: Battle of Okinawa witnessed by the wind [Kajimunugatai: Kaze ga kataru Okinawa-sen 『カジムヌガタイ–風が語る沖縄戦–』], by Susumu Higa (比嘉   慂), serialized in Morning [Mōningu モーニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)
Excellence Prizes:
      • Helter Skelter [Herutā sukerutā 『ヘルタースケルター』], by Kyōko Okazaki (岡崎   京子), serialized in Feel young [FEEL   YOUNG, a.k.a. Fiiru yangu フィールヤング] (Shōdensha 祥伝社)
      • Tenjin-san [Tenjin-san 『てんじんさん』], by Naomi Kimura (木村   直巳), serialized in Action comics [Akushon komikkusu アクションコミックス] (Futabasha 双葉社)
      • Mushishi [Mushishi 『蟲師』] (lit. "Insect master"), by Yuki Urushibara (漆原   友紀), serialized in Monthly Afternoon [Gekkan afutanūn 月刊アフタヌーン] (Kōdansha 講談社)
      • Baka-kyodai [Baka shitei 『バカ姉弟』] (lit. "Stupid older sister and younger brother"), by Tetsu Adachi (安達   哲), serialized in Weekly Young magazine [Shūkan yangu magajin 週刊ヤングマガジン] (Kōdansha 講談社)
Encouragement Prize:
      Junkissa Nokoribi [Junkissa Nokoribi 『純喫茶のこりび』, a.k.a. 『JUNKISSA   NOKORIBI』] (lit. "The Nokoribi Pure Teahouse"), by Tai Itō (いとう   耐), serialized in Evening [Ibuningu イブニング] (Kōdansha 講談社)

2004 (8th)
Grand Prize:
      Yunagi no machi, sakura no kuni [Yūnagi no machi, sakura no kuni 『夕凪の街   桜の国』] (lit. "Town of evening calm, land of cherry blossoms"), by Fumiyo Kōno (こうの   史代) (Futabasha 双葉社)
Excellence Prizes:
      • Hikari to Tomoni... [Hikari to tomoni... - Jiheshōji o kakaete 『光とともに・・・ –自閉症児を抱えて』] (lit. "With light... Living with an autistic child"), by Keiko Tobe (戸部   けいこ), serialized in For Mrs. [Foa misesu フォアミセス] (Akita Shoten 秋田書店)
      • Mainichi kasan: Kanihaha-hen [Mainichi kāsan kanihaha-hen 『毎日かあさんカニ母編』] (lit. "Everyday mom: Crabby mother book"), by Rieko Saibara (西原   理恵子) (Mainichi Newspaper Publications [Mainichi shimbun-sha 毎日新聞社])
      • Witches [Majo 『魔女』], by Daisuke Igarashi (五十嵐   大介), serialized in Monthly Ikki [Gekkan ikki 月刊IKKI] (Shōgakukan 小学館)
      • Bande Sculptée: La Planète des Samouraïs [Bando sukyurute - puranetto samurai 『バンド・スキュルテ~プラネット・サムライ』] (lit. "Sculpture-comic strip: The planet of the samurais"), by Shin'ichirō Natsusaka (夏坂   眞一郎) (Kambanart [Kambanart])
Encouragement Prize:
      The picture letter of Showa 20 [1945], August 15 which I experienced [Shōwa nijūnen no edekami, shi no Hachigatsu jūgojitsu 『昭和二十年の絵手紙   私の八月十五日』], written and published by The meeting on August 15 of me (Shi no Hachigatsu jūgojitsu no kai 私の八月十五日の会)