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Awards and Special Prizes

The Japan Foundation Awards / Special Prizes (2001) - Profile


Dr. Kosta Balabanov (Macedonia)
President of the Society for Macedonian-Japanese Friendship and Cooperation
Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Skopje


 One of the former Yugoslavia's leading historians, renowned as an expert on Macedonian icons, Dr. Balabanov has dedicated himself to introducing Japanese culture and to promoting mutual understanding between his country and Japan over the last 30 years. Using materials he himself has collected, since 1995 he has served as editor of the quarterly Akebono, which covers a broad spectrum of Japanese society and offers its readers a comprehensive introduction to Japanese culture.


Brief Personal History

  • 1953
  • Scientific Worker-Conservator at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Macedonia
  • 1954
  • Graduated in History of Art at the University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius," Skopje
  • 1963
  • Senior scientific Worker-Conservator at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Macedonia
  • 1965
  • Ph.D. in History of Art at University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius," Skopje. Dissertation title: "Icon-Painters and Icon-Centres from the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Century in Macedonia"
  • 1967
  • First visit to Japan as curator of the exhibition "Macedonian Icons from Yugoslavia"
  • 1970-71
  • Visiting Professor, Merton College, Oxford
  • 1974-80
  • Vice Director-General of Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Macedonia
  • 1981-89
  • Director-General of the Museum of Macedonia
  • 1985-89
  • Professor of Musicology and Protection of Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius," Skopje
  • 1990-
  • President of the Society for Macedonian-Japanese Friendship and Cooperation
  • 1994-
  • Honorary Consul-General at Japanese Consulate-General, Skopje
  • 1995
  • Visit to Japan as opinion leader upon invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  • 2001
  • Speaker at the International Seminar on Education and the Protection of the Cultural Heritage in Southeastern Europe (Tokyo, 22-23 March, 2001)
    Letter of Appreciation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs


Major Publications
Icons from Macedonia (Belgrade: Jugoslavija, 1969).
Frescoes and Icons of Macedonia, 4th-15th Centuries (Belgrade: Jugoslavija, 1983).
Macedonian Frescoes (Skopje: Detska Radost, 1995).
Terracotta Icons of Macedonia (Skopje: Tabernakul, 1995)
Icons of Macedonia (Skopje: Tabernakul, 1995).
Akebono, newsletter published by the Society for Macedonian-Japanese Friendship and Cooperation

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