By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Just ahead of this year’s Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival was a special award ceremony at City Hall honoring Philadelphians who help bring the city and Japanese culture closer together.

The 60th anniversary of Shofuso, the historic Japanese house and Garden in West Fairmount Park, was also commemorated at this annual meeting hosted by Aaron Dilliplane and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.

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“We present four awards annually. We do excellence in arts. This year we gave that award to Hiroshi Senju, an artist who did the murals at Shofuso, these beautiful waterfalls,” Dilliplane said.

Senju couldn’t be happier to receive that award

“It’s my pleasure, it’s my honor to be here. I really appreciate Philadelphia,” he said.

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The other awards included excellence in business, excellence in culture, and excellence in volunteering. Taking that home was a doctor who founded the Japanese studies program at Villanova nearly 30 years ago.