By Kimberly Yosko
Sr. Margit Nagy, CDP, Ph.D. recently was awarded one of Japan’s highest honors.
In November, Sr. Nagy was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
According to a press release by the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, Sr. Nagy “is among the 89 individual recipients worldwide who were awarded this prestigious decoration by the Government of Japan”.
“It still doesn’t seem quite real to me,” Sr. Nagy said. “These are awards that are worldwide that recognize individuals-Japanese and foreigners-that have contributed to the deepening of positive relations between the Japanese and whatever country they’re in.”
The reason why Sr. Nagy was presented with this award was her connections of Japanese culture with the people of San Antonio.
According to the press release, this all started when Sr. Nagy “established a course in modern Japanese history at Our Lady of the Lake University in 1984.” This course is still being offered today.
Sr. Nagy also began the Japan America Society of San Antonio a year later. The society consists of people that are interested in Japanese culture. This society took trips to Japan, and they continue to help others in the San Antonio area become more aware of the Japanese cultures and society.
Sr. Nagy continues to help others know more about the Japanese culture today. In 2014, she organized a celebration in San Antonio to celebrate the Japanese culture.
“Last year, I coordinated the 100th anniversary of the Japanese [monument] at the Alamo,” Sr. Nagy said.
According to the press release, “the monument was presented by Waseda University Professor Shigetaka Shiga in 1914 to recognize the common values of selfless courage and loyalty exemplified by both Texans in the battle of the Alamo and Japanese in the battle of Nagashino”.
“You only get 100 years one time,” Sr. Nagy said. “That [monument] was put there in a time of war to show that people can be very different, and governments can have strains, but individuals can find a way of tapping into what we have in common.”
When Sr. Nagy first heard about the nomination, she believed that the award was too out of reach.
“I had no idea what this was,” Sr. Nagy said. “I’m really not about awards. I do it because I think it’s the right thing to do. Anytime you can bring people together and see what they have in common, I say, ‘Hey, if I’m in that opportunity, I’m going to do it.’”
Sr. Nagy’s impact on the San Antonio community is reaping benefits since she first started to inform the people about the Japanese culture.
According to the press release, “Her tireless dedication to the promotion of the friendship between the U.S. and Japan has always been admired by the people of San Antonio.”
Sr. Nagy will officially receive the award next spring.