On 29th April, the Government of Japan announced that Professor Emeritus Alan Spence of the University of Aberdeen would be awarded an Order of the Rising Sun.
Professor Spence introduced Japanese sensibilities, including those of seasonality, through his work of haiku and lectures at universities, thereby contributing to the promotion of haiku in Scotland. He has published a number of haiku collections in English and was appointed Edinburgh Makar in 2017.
Through his writing, Professor Spence also contributed to the promotion of Japanese culture, history and society in Europe, by widely introducing the human and intellectual exchanges which took place between Japan and Scotland/the UK in the 19th century.
The Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh pays homage to Professor Spence’s significant efforts over a long period of time and congratulates him on this commendation. The Consulate hopes for the further strengthening of the relations between Japan and Scotland/the UK based on the bond of goodwill established by the Professor’s work.
For enquiries, provision of photographs and interview requests related to this matter, please contact the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh.
(Phone: 0131-225-4777, Fax: 0131-225-4828, [email protected]）
Alan Spence is a highly respected poet, playwright, and novelist, who lives in Edinburgh. He taught creative writing at the University of Aberdeen for nearly 20 years, and his writing spans many genres and themes. His most recent novel is Night Boat, published by Canongate, and is based on the life of Zen master Hakuin.
Order of the Rising Sun
The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun, symbolising energy as powerful as the rising sun. The order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment.