2020 Spring Conferment of Decoration (Professor Mohammad Rais Alvi)

Prof. Mohammed Rais Alvi
On 29 April 2020, the Government of Japan announced the foreign recipients of the 2020 Spring Conferment of Decorations. Professor Mohammad Rais Alvi, translator and former guest professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, received “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette,” in recognition of his dedicated contributions for promoting cultural relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Pakistan.
  • Decoration: The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette
  • Service: Contributed to promoting cultural relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Pakistan
  • Name: Professor Mohammad Rais Alvi
  • Major Titles:
    • Translator
    • Former Guest Professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
    • Former General Secretary of Pakistan Japan Cultural Association (PJCA)
Summary of Contribution
Professor Alvi has worked consistently towards the advancement of sociocultural ties between Japan and Pakistan. His most noteworthy achievements are as follows:
  • The introduction and promotion of haiku and waka (Japanese classical poems) to a Pakistani audience through his efforts translating them into Urdu. He is credited with translating the “Manyoshu” – the earliest existing anthology of Japanese poems, composed in the middle of the 6th century – into Urdu, dubbed “Chand ke Char Rang.” He also translated the “Oku no Hosomichi (Undroon-e-Shimal ka Tung Raasta)” – considered one of the major archetypal Japanese literature texts of the Edo period. Through such works, Professor Alvi positioned himself at the forefront of translation work in the South Asia region; a pioneer in promoting the Japanese literature.
  • Conversely, Professor Alvi also played a significant role in the introduction and promotion of both the Urdu language and Pakistani culture in Japan. He is the co-author of an Urdu language textbook published in 1987 in collaboration with the esteemed Professor Takeshi Suzuki. Later, working with Professor Reiko Umemoto in 2007, Professor Alvi published a book introducing Urdu “Ghazals” (poems) and Pakistani poets in the Japanese language and to a Japanese audience.
  • As a guest professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and with over 40 years of experience working in the education sector, Professor Alvi has long strived to promote a mutual understanding between Pakistan and Japan. To date, he raises cultural awareness in Pakistan through literature via various fora. He additionally served as an executive board member of the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association (PJCA) in an effort to strengthen already-cordial relations between the two nations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals