Manga artist wins silver
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba presented a Taiwanese artist with a silver medal at Tokyo’s 5th International Manga Award at the ministry’s Iikura Guesthouse on Friday. The 30-year-old manga artist, Ke Ying-mei (柯瑩玫), who goes by the pen name Cory, is the first Taiwanese artist to win an award at the annual contest, which was established by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2007 to recognize foreign nationals who have made contributions to promoting manga abroad. The self-taught artist said she grew up reading the Japanese manga series Doraemon, adding that the comics inspired her to learn more about Japanese culture and become a manga artist. The gold medal went to JM Ken Niimura of Spain for I Kill Giants, and two other silver awards were given to Tani Werasakwong of Thailand and China’s Pan Liping (潘麗萍) for The Man Who Followed His Own Voice and When You’re Standing on Your Tiptoes respectively.
Four die from flu
Another four people were confirmed to have died from influenza-related illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in its latest update on the nation’s flu situation, adding that the victims, who passed away between late last month and early this month, were more than 50 years old, with the oldest an 86-year-old woman residing in southern Taiwan. All of the victims suffered from chronic diseases and none had received flu vaccinations before catching the flu, the CDC said. The four fatalities brought the total number of flu-related deaths since July 1 last year to 68, down from 167 deaths over a corresponding period during the previous flu season. The number of total flu cases leading to complications has reached 1,089, down from 1,609 during the previous flu season, according to CDC figures. Taiwan’s flu season usually runs from July 1 to June 30 the following year.
Orchid wins top prize
A Taiwanese orchid won an award at the prestigious Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival in Tokyo on Friday. Kao Shui-en (高水恩), chairman of the Ching Hua Orchid Co, said his work, “spring fire,” was given the third-highest award at the festival, earning him a trophy and cash award of ￥200,000 (US$2,510). “It’s the first big award [I’ve won] since first taking part in the festival two decades ago,” Kao said. He said he nurtured the winning foxtail orchid for more than 10 years. A total of 2.5 million flowers representing 3,000 species will be exhibited at the festival.