A group of 23 people, including actor Koichi Sato and manga artist Takehiko Inoue, were selected for the Agency for Cultural Affairs' ``Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award'', which is given to people who have made outstanding achievements in the field of art. Ta.

The following 23 people and one group were selected for this year's Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award for Art Encouragement.

[Theatrical Division]

▽Kabuki actor Ainosuke Kataoka.

▽Actor Atsushi Yamanishi.

[Movie Category]

▽Film director Shunji Iwai.

▽Actor Koichi Sato.

Mr. Sato was praised for his convincing portrayal of a former boxer in the movie ``Scattered in Spring.''

[Music Division]

▽Conductor Yoichi Sugiyama.

▽Toru Fukuhara, Japanese music flute player.

[Dance Division]

▽Choreographer Minoru Suzuki.

▽Furuyu Yoshimura, a Japanese dancer.

[Literature Division]

▽Novelist Yuka Shibasaki.

▽Novelist Yusuke Noriyo.

Due to the diversification of expression methods, this year the art field has been divided into two categories:

[Art Category A]

▽Contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

▽Textile designer Reiko Sudo.

[Art B category]

▽Photographer Mao Ishikawa.

▽Architect Yoshiaki Miyamoto.

[Media Arts Division]

▽Manga artist Takehiko Inoue.

Mr. Inoue directed the animated film ``THE FIRST SLAM DUNK,'' which was based on his own manga, and was praised for making it a huge hit both domestically and internationally.

▽Manga artist Yumi Tamura.

[Broadcasting Division]

▽Screenwriter Akiko Nogi.

▽Producer Yuji Yamazaki.

[Popular Entertainment Category]

▽Kotoshi Takarai, a storyteller.

▽Singer Fumiya Fujii.

[Arts Promotion Division]

▽Hirofumi Arai, performing arts producer.

▽Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi, co-representatives of the Kyoto International Photo Festival.

[Critique Division]

▽ Seiko Suzuki, assistant professor at Osaka University Graduate School.

▽Mike Molasky, professor at Waseda University.

In addition, 23 people were selected for the Newcomer Award.

Starting this year, prize money will be expanded to promote the arts, with the Minister's Award increasing from 300,000 yen to 1.2 million yen, and the Newcomer's Award increasing from 200,000 yen to 800,000 yen, both of which will be quadrupled.

The presentation ceremony will be held at a hotel in Tokyo on the 12th of next month.