Paz Prieto Nogueira, a member of the Teresian Association, received the Official Cross of the Royal Order of Isabel the Catholic in Tokyo on 2 March 2023. It was presented to her by the Spanish Ambassador to Japan.
The Royal Order of Isabel the Catholic was instituted by Ferdinand VII in 1815. It is a Spanish civil and honorary order that is awarded to individuals and institutions in recognition of extraordinary services to the homeland or the promotion of international relations and cooperation with other nations.
The Ambassador, Fidel Sendagorta, communicated this news to Paz Prieto in a letter dated 28 July 2022. He wrote in the letter:
“This decoration is being awarded to you in recognition of the outstanding work you have carried out in teaching and promoting the Spanish language and culture in Japan both in your teaching activity at Aichi Provincial University and Nanzan University and through your collaboration with various entities such as the European Association of Spanish Teachers and, at the institutional level, with the Cervantes Institute in Tokyo. No less important has been your contribution to an understanding of Japan in Spain thanks to your research work on culture and religion in this country.”
It is interesting that a former student of hers, Noboru Kinoshita, a Doctor of Philosophy who graduated from the University of Salamanca, was awarded the Alfonso X El Sabio Decoration at the same Embassy ceremony.
Paz Prieto went to Japan in 1962 after obtaining a degree in Education from the University of Madrid and a Certificate in Foreign Language Teaching from Oxford University. Since then she has been living in Nagoya. From 1964 until now, in addition to teaching, she has always maintained a close relationship with her former students. Since she retired, she has continued to teach Spanish to adults. In the field of evangelisation, she holds Bible Circles and has been a godmother at baptisms.
In her words of thanks, Paz Prieto dedicated this award to her parents who gave her the gift of faith and the desire to travel, and to her students who made her life in Japan a happy one.
Here in Japan we celebrated this wonderful event with joy. Among the 20 guests allowed, there were seven TA members and the rest were her former students and friends. After the award ceremony, we all shared a drink and happy memories.
This honour bestowed on Paz Prieto is a confirmation of the impact of her contribution to the mission of the TA.
Anabelle de los Reyes y Eloisa Palisada, Tokio.
TA Translations Team.
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