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Ikuo Kushiro Receives One of Japan's Highest Awards for Public Service

Ikuo KushiroIkuo Kushiro, staff member during 1971-1981, was awarded the "Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star" ( Zuihōjukōshō) for public service by the Emperor during a ceremonies held in Tokyo on April 29, 2009.

The Biannual Decoration Ceremonies--awarding of Medals of Honor and Orders--are high-profile awards which receive wide media coverage in Japan. 

Ikuo Kushiro is an experimentalist. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1962 and was appointed research associate at the university. Within a few months, he joined the Geophysical Laboratory, where he spent the next 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow. He worked with Frank Schairer and Hatten Yoder. Ikuo returned to the Geophysical Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in 1967 and was appointed as staff scientist in 1971. In 1974, he was appointed full professor at the University of Tokyo, but remained a staff member at the Geophysical Laboratory until 1981.

He is now retired after a distinguished career as professor and vice-president of the University of Tokyo. He served as director of Institute for the Study of the Earth's Interior (ISEI) in Misasa. This tenure was followed by an appointment as director general of the Institute for Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE), part of Japan Agency for Marine=Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), with collaborators from 48 universities and other research entities worldwide.

The Order of the Sacred Treasure was established by the Emperor Meiji in 1888. This award is given to a "person who has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding services and achievements in a successions of high positions of great importance." The order represents two of the imperial treasures: the Yata  Mirror and the Yasakani Jewels. It is said that the mirror is so sacred that even the Emperor cannot look to it, representing purity and wisdom. The Jewels symbolize benevolence, obedience and affection.