In 2017, Toyama Prefecture established the YAKAMOCHI MEDAL that would recognize the achievements of prominent poets of the world, in commemoration of the 1,300th anniversary of the birth of Otomo no Yakamochi. Yakamochi was a representative poet of the Manyoshu, the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry, and composed numerous excellent poems while he was working here in Etchu (currently known as Toyama Prefecture) as a governor. We are very happy to announce that the award recipient had been selected through the screening by the selection committee.
1. The winner of the 3rd YAKAMOCHI MEDAL
Emeritus Professor at Nantes University, 82 years old, from France
His main publication is “Et pendant ce temps-là...” (Le Castor Astral, 2013).
Jean-Luc Steinmetz, Emeritus Professor at Nantes University, was born in Tours in 1940. He began writing poetry around the age of 15 and is the author of some fifteen books of poetry, including The Crossed Echo (L'Echo traversé, 1968), Free Fall into the Morning (Chute libre dans le matin, 1994), And in the Meantime followed by Japan in October (Et pendant ce temps-là suivi de Japon d'octobre, 2013), Toward the Apocalypse (Vers l'apocalypse, 2022). "Japan in October" is a very personal sketch of the deeply bruised Japan that he visited with his wife Kiyoko at the invitation the of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in the autumn of 2011, seven months after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, but it is also an expression of the image of the Japan he has cultivated over the years.
In 2008, he was awarded the "Paul Verlaine Prize" by the Academie française for The Exterior is tiger-spotted (Le Jeu tigré des apparences) and the "Grand Prize of Poetry" by the Society of literary People (Société des gens de lettres) for the whole of his poetic work. He has published numerous essays and travelogues. Also known as a biographer of important poets, he received in 1991 the "Académie française Prize" for his biography of Rimbaud, Arthur Rimbaud. A question of presence (Japanese translation in 1999), and in 1998 the "Pierre-Georges Castex Prize" of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and the "Henri Mondor Prize" of the Académie française for his biography of Mallarmé, Stéphane Mallarmé. The Absolute Day by Day (Japanese translation in 2004). He has visited Japan several times and each time has given a series of lectures at major Japanese universities.
(Reasons for selection)
Jean-Luc Stemmetz is a representative of today's French poetry world, with a large number of substantial collections of poetry. He is married to a Japanese woman, and draws inspiration from his stay in Japan and Japanese aesthetics to create his own poetry. And the work is a crystal spun with simple and dense words, and it is evaluated as suitable for the third award.
(The number of entry)
125 entries from 24 countries and districts
2. The award ceremony of the 3rd YAKAMOCHI MEDAL
Date: Sunday, July 16th, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm
Venue: ANA Crowne Plaza Toyama, IHG Hotel (2-3 Otemachi, Toyama, 930-0084)
※This award ceremony will be live-streamed on the YouTube channel below.