Hideo Kojima has received Japan’s 72nd Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Award for Fine Arts. Across 11 categories, Kojima was chosen under the Media Arts category. Since the Media Arts category’s establishment in 2008, only one other individual from the video game world has received the award. That person was Shigeru Miyamoto the developer behind Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda back in 2010.
The merit for this award is determined by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs and is presented annually. The agency selects individuals, “who have made outstanding achievements or those who have opened up new [frontiers] in their respective divisions.” Recipients are presented with a certificate and 300,000 Japanese Yen. Kojima Productions, Kojima’s independent studio as of 2015, tweeted about the news and detailed the award by way of a press release but it has since been made unavailable to view.
The Agency for Cultural Affairs stated that last year’s Death Stranding Director’s Cut was a sizable contributor to Kojima’s selection for the award. According to Siliconera, the agency’s committee praised Kojima’s recent game for its, “dynamic interactions created by having the protagonist connect segregated societies as a courier.” Birthed by an idea coming to him while visiting an art exhibit with his son years ago, Kojima would eventually release Death Stranding as the first title from his eponymous studio. Initially released in 2019 the game saw significant commercial and critical success. Listen to Kojima explain his game that attempts to, “connect the world.”
According to The Gamer, the committee also applauded Kojima, “for his approach to depicting methods transcending existing theories that can only be demonstrated in video games, beginning with his work on Metal Gear in 1987.” Kojima started the Metal Gear series with Konami by releasing Metal Gear Solid on the MSX home computer which led to several titles in the future. The series as a whole has been touted for its great cinematic, narrative, and design elements. Kojima’s work on the series has seen him become one video games’ most influential and unique designers.
All things considered it is not too surprising that Hideo Kojima would receive national recognition. However, the 72nd Fine Arts Award recipient did not always have such successful times in his video game endeavors. Watch Kojima’s animated life story and see how he went from struggling dreamer to “brilliant” achiever.