Raymond Moriyama receives Award From Emperor of Japan

On January 30th, Takashi Koezuka, Consul General of Japan in Toronto, on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, presented architect Raymond Moriyama with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. This decoration was conferred to Mr. Moriyama by Emperor Akihito in November 2003 in recognition of Mr. Moriyama’s outstanding contribution toward the promotion of relations between Canada and Japan, notwithstanding his pursuit of excellence in architecture.

Moriyama has already received several honours including the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal, in addition to honourary degrees from nine Canadian universities. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Born in Vancouver in 1929, he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and Masters of Architecture degree in Civic and Town Planning from McGill University. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Canadian Institute of Planners, a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

One of Canada’s most respected architects, Raymond Moriyama, opened his first office as a sole practitioner in 1958. Completed in 1964, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Don Mills quickly established Moriyama’s commitment to architecture, multiculturalism and society. The centre was designed along the framework of three main reference points. In the March 1964 issue of Canadian Architect, Moriyama described these points as, "a living memorial to the Japanese pioneers in Canada", "culture as seen through the eyes of Canadians of Japanese ancestrynot strictly Japanese" and finally "not to be an inward, ghetto-creating ethnic centre, but open to all Canadians from all walks of life."

Moriyama’s firm became Moriyama & Teshima in 1970, when Ted Teshima joined as a partner. Since then, Moriyama & Teshima have made considerable contributions to Canadian architecture with projects like the Bata Shoe Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, the Scarborough Civic Centre, the Toronto Reference Library, and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. These projects are indicative of the evolution of several building types in the lexicon of Canadian architecture. More recent projects include the National Nikkei Heritage Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia, which opened in the fall of 2000 as well as the new Canadian War Museum in Ottawa (in joint venture with Griffiths Rankin Cook), which will open in 2005.