Namie Amuro wins Okinawa Prefectural People’s Honor Award

Namie Amuro wins Okinawa Prefectural People’s Honor Award

Around 2:45 pm on February 23 in the governor’s reception room at the Okinawa Prefectural Office, Governor Takeshi Onaga (right) awards the Prefectural People’s Honor Award to Namie Amuro.


May 23, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On May 23, Governor Takeshi Onaga gave the Okinawa Prefectural People’s Honor Award to 40-year-old Namie Amuro, a singer from Okinawa who plans to retire in September.

At the award ceremony at the Okinawa Prefectural Office, Governor Takeshi Onaga said, “Your brilliant success gave the Okinawan people big dreams and inspiration,” and praised her achievement as a “diva of Heisei” who made a number of records at the forefront of the music world.

Amuro wiped away tears and thanked him with a catch in her throat: “I am glad to receive such an honorable award. Thank you very much.”


Amuro is the sixth person to whom the Prefectural Government awarded the Prefectural People’s Honor Award. In order to avoid the chaos of a rush of visitors, the decisions about the award were not made public in advance, and the award ceremony was held in private.


Governor Onaga, who continues medical treatment after pancreatic cancer surgery, appeared publicly for the first time in a week to present the Honor Award. Onaga said, “I still clearly remember her singing proudly in front of world leaders as a representative artist of Japan at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000.

As an Okinawan citizen, I was very proud.” Along with the award, Onaga presented Amuno with gifts of jewelry such as an Okinawan ring and a hairpin (jifa).


After the ceremony, Amuro answered questions from reporters and said, “In my 25 years of activity since my debut, if I made many people smile and gave them energy, then I feel glad that I worked hard.”


Amuro, who learned singing and dancing at the Okinawa Actors School, made her national debut in 1992 as a member of the five-member all-female group the Super Monkeys.

After switching over to solo activities, she released hit songs such as Can You Celebrate? and flourished as a singer representing Japan and Asia.

She also sparked the “Amura” phenomenon, in which women imitated her fashion for a significant period of time.


In September last year she announced her intention to retire from her singing career in one year’s time, and now she is finishing out a national dome tour and an Asia tour as the last year of her work.


The Prefectural People’s Honor Award was founded in 1999.

Those awarded the honor up to this point were the Okinawa Shogaku High School Baseball Club (the first winner from Okinawa in the spring Koshien in 1999), Hirokazu Ueyonahara (the 2008 Beijing Paralympic male wheelchair marathon silver medalist), the Konan High School Baseball Club (the 2010 winners in the spring and summer Koshien), Ai Miyazato (2010, the Japanese golfer with the most wins in the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour), and Susumu Nakazato (2016, Rio Paralympic wheelchair rugby bronze medalist).


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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