About the Trophy
The trophies were designed by Taku Satoh and take the shape of four connected "speech bubbles" such as are found in MANGA (vertically in the case of the Foreign Minister's Award and horizontally in the case of the Encouragement Award).
Typically, trophies take the form of a cup; however, the motif of speech bubbles used for the International MANGA Award is an iconic symbol of MANGA, originating with them and representing the receptiveness of the award to all languages.
In addition, the shape of speech bubbles can convey the voice and feelings of a speaker. Therefore, giving the trophies this shape expresses a desire that the voices and feelings of all the world's people will be able to transcend differences in culture and language.
Another feature of the trophies is that they have no base. Just as MANGA are not tied to one particular form or format but are, instead, a free medium that exists between the artists and the fans, so too do the trophies forsake using a base, standing upright of their own accord.
On the front of the trophies is engraved the word "MANGA" and on the back are engraved the Japanese characters "まんが！"
The choice of wording for the front of the trophies represents that universal acceptance and usage of the Japanese term "MANGA"; while the writing on the reverse side phonetically expresses the word "MANGA" in Japan's unique, phonetic characters known as "hiragana." By adding the adopted, foreign punctuation mark "!" next to the Japanese characters, the surprise of encountering a new work is expressed and a fusion between Japanese and foreign languages is created, reflecting the increasing diversity of contemporary culture.
Taku Satoh was born in 1955 in Tokyo and graduated from the General Design Course, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1979. He received a degree from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1981. He established the Taku Satoh Design Office in 1984 after a period of employment at Dentsu Inc. His notable works include graphic designs, designs for products such as Nikka Whisky "Pure Malt," Lotte "XYLITOL" chewing gum, and MEIJI "OISHII GYUNYU" milk. He was responsible for the VI design of "BS-Asahi," "21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa" and "Tokyo Metropolitan University." He was also involved in a TV program on the NHK educational channel entitled Nihongo de Asobo (Let's Play in Japanese) as a member of planners and an art director. He has worked on a wide variety of projects, from product design to branding. He served as the director at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT that opened in Tokyo Midtown in March 2007.
Publications to date include SKELTON (Rikuyo-sha), Analysis of the Massproduct Design series (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha) The whale was blowing water (TRANSART Inc.)
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