On 25th November 2008, H.E. Ambassador Ebihara bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays upon Mrs Opal Lydia Dunn, for her outstanding contribution to international education for Japanese children. The bestowal took place at a ceremony at the Ambassador��s residence.
In 1971, Mrs Dunn accompanied her husband to Japan. Upon discovering that Japanese children returning from abroad found it difficult both to adapt to Japanese society and to keep up their English, she launched an English library of books with five mothers of returning children. The library was reorganised as the International Children��s Bunko Association in 1979 and Mrs Dunn became the honorary director. To date, the library boasts a collection of nearly 5,000 books and over 14,000 children have used the library.
Subsequently, after returning to the UK, Mrs Dunn encountered Japanese parents who were concerned about their children��s deteriorating Japanese language and therefore decided to found the Japanese Book Library. The Korisu Bunko, the first Japanese book library abroad, has expanded not only in this country but also to Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Indonesia and the United States.
On hearing that she was to be decorated for her achievements in international education, Ms Dunn expressed her gratitude to the Japanese Government. She feels that bilingual, bicultural children have an important role to play in an increasingly small world: ��My feeling has always been that, if nurtured, these children could grow into good unofficial representatives for Japan in international situations.��
Throughout her distinguished career, Ms Dunn has made an immense contribution to international education for Japanese children and truly deserves to be honoured for her contribution.