KANSAI Close-up

Prof. Sepp Linhart wins 21st YAMAGATA BANTO Prize

Sepp Linhart, 60 , a professor of Japanese studies and director of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna, has won the 21st YAMAGATA BANTO Prize, 2004 for his contributions to the introduction of Japanese culture in foreign countries. Yamagata Banto (1748-1821) was an Osaka rice merchant and scholar. The award ceremony and a commemorative lecture will take place at the RIHGA Royal Hotel in Osaka City's Kita Ward on Feb. 1, 2005.
Born in Austria, Linhart once studied at Hokkaido University. As a social scientist, he conducted a Japan study for as long as 35 years and announced a series of results of his studies on the change of Japanese people's perception about traditional houses and family patterns.
Especially he focused on labor and leisure, and the sense of fun of the ""ken"" games at drinking parties that were popular in the 18-19th century Japanese society. He manifested that the sense of equality of Japanese people was symbolically expressed in such party games.
Linhart also established the European Association for Japanese Studies and served as president of the association from 1988 to 1991, promoting Japanology in Europe.
For inquiries, please contact Cultural Affairs Division, Osaka Prefectural Government (Tel: 06-6946-1012)