Native son Nishida honored, vows to perform for hometown（県民栄誉賞・西田敏行さん決意「福島を表現していく」）
KORIYAMA, Fukushima － Actor Toshiyuki Nishida, a native of Koriyama, stated his resolve to act for Fukushima Prefecture at a recent ceremony when he received an honorary citizenship award.
At the award ceremony in Koriyama on Sept. 17, Nishida received a certificate and a memorial bowl from Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori.
"With this award, I want to take time again to think about Fukushima and continue to live as an actor who expresses something about Fukushima," Nishida said.
The award ceremony was open to the public for the first time and about 300 people attended to honor Nishida, 70. During the ceremony, Uchibori held a talk with Nishida in which the actor discussed several topics, including his hopes for the revival of his hometown.
Nishida recalled swimming in the Abukumagawa river when he was young, and his adoptive father, who was fond of the cinema, often took him to the movie theater. "Movies and Koriyama's nature shaped my sentiments, which encouraged me to be an actor," he said. "I had optimistic, bright ideas thanks to the character of Fukushima's people and its local areas, which raised me with generosity."
Nishida also talked about his move to Tokyo at 15. "I went to Tokyo to learn the language," he said. "I wanted to be 'bilingual,' not just speak the Koriyama dialect. When I became 'bilingual' at last, I was able to take a step forward."
During an interview with the press after the ceremony, he mentioned popular singer Namie Amuro, who recently retired. He said that when she received an honorary citizenship award from Okinawa Prefecture, he thought he also had a chance.
Nishida used the word "Amurer," which refers to Amuro fans who emulate her fashion style, saying, "'Toshirers' or 'Nishirers' also exist, though there aren't as many as the Amurers. Those supporters made it possible for me to get this award," he said, drawing laughter from those in attendance.
Nishida debuted as an actor in 1967. Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, he has worked toward helping the region's reconstruction. For example, he encouraged young people as a member of the Futaba School Project, a support group for Futaba Future High School in the coastal town of Hirono. Nishida also appeared in the music video "MIRAI 2061" that depicts Fukushima Prefecture 50 years after the disaster.
（ Translated by The Japan News ）
【 ２０１８年９月１８日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】
- Plastic waste converted into fuel oil（廃プラから燃料油）
- 'Sunset' strawberry introduced as new variety（新品種イチゴは「ゆうやけベリー」）
- Art festival planned to boost reconstruction efforts in Fukushima Pref.（芸術祭で復興後押し）
- UFO lab in Fukushima City receiving many sighting reports from around the world（UFO研究所に世界から目撃情報続々）
- Student aims to graduate at major U.S. dance competition（米の著名ダンス大会で高みを目指す学生）
- Post office destroyed by tsunami reopens 11 years later（津波で全壊の郵便局、11年ぶり再開）
- Teenage soccer player determined to chase glory on German team（ドイツで栄光を目指す）
- ３ generations work to restore confidence in fishing（親子３代、水産業復活に挑む）
- JR East to farm shrimp at station to create new local industry （駅でエビ養殖、新たな地場産業に）
- Guesthouse owner aims to build ties between S. Korea, Fukushima（韓国と福島つなぐ家に）