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Ranald MacDonald Award

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The Ranald MacDonald Award is an international prize of Dutch origin for a first work by a writer or artist which opens a new window on the world, in particular on the relations between Asia, Europe and North America. Its name refers to Ranald MacDonald (February 3, 1824 – August 24, 1894), the first American to deliberately enter Japan individually in 1848, five years before Bakumatsu, also known as the 'Opening of Japan'.


The award is granted by the Amsterdam, The Netherlands, based, non-profit organization for the benefit of the common good Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection, in brief FOM NL, founded in 2015. The foundation is linked to Friends of MacDonald, a Clatsop County Historical Society chartered committee in Astoria, Oregon, United States of America, FOM USA, with a Tokyo, Japan, branch by the name of West of the Sun, FOM Japan. Its aim is promoting new insights in the shifting balances between Asia, Europe and North America in the 21st century. Its major activity is to grant the Ranald MacDonald Award to first works, which combine the good, ἀγαθόν, the true, ἀληθές, and the beautiful, καλόν, by "heroes who can transcend national and ethnic boundaries" and carve their "own path in life, in an often unfriendly world".[1] The prize amounts to 5,000 Euros. The foundation might, exceptionally, honor an individual whose life time achievement substantially contributed to shedding new light on the relations mentioned above.

Selection process[edit]

Anyone can nominate a first work, fitting the criteria good, true and beautiful. The board of Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection chooses the winner.

Award Ceremony[edit]

The award ceremony is traditionally set for October 11 on a sailing ship in the harbour of Amsterdam, commemorating the meeting of Ranald MacDonald, American whaler, with J.H. Levyssohn, Dutch opperhoofd, and Einosuke Moriyama, Japanese interpreter, aboard a Japanese vessel in the Nagasaki Bay on October 11, 1848.


Regular trophy, light lid, and Oeuvre trophy, dark lid.

The Ranald MacDonald trophy is medal, diploma and commemorative coin in one, merged into a small, cylindrical box of Asian Macassar ebony, European Old World walnut and North American Maple. The box contains the diploma and a small wooden globe, highlighting six pivotal places in the life of Ranald MacDonald. It is three inches high and three inches in diameter.

List of recipients[edit]

Year Work Type Maker
2016 In the Light of What We Know[2][3] fiction Zia Haider Rahman
Oeuvre non-fiction Frederik L. Schodt
2017 With Our Own Hands[4] non-fiction Frederik van Oudenhoven[5] & Jamila Haider[6]
Oeuvre art & science Hajime Narukawa
2018 The Dawn of Eurasia[7] non-fiction Bruno Maçães


  1. Schodt, Frederik L. (July 1, 2003). Native American in the Land of the Shogun: Ranald MacDonald and the Opening of Japan. San Francisco: Stone Bridge Press. p. 362. ISBN 1880656787. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. "Hollands Diep feliciteert Zia Haider Rahman" [Hollands Diep congratulates Zia Haider Rahman] (in Dutch). Overamstel uitgevers. September 13, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  3. "Zia Haidar Rahman eerste winnaar van Ranald Macdonald prijs" [Zia Haider Rahman first winner of Ranald MacDonald Award] (in Dutch). Hebban. September 12, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  4. "2017 Ranald MacDonald Award granted to monumental book With Our Own Hands". LM Publishers. September 27, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  5. "Frederik van Oudenhoven". PINC. April 3, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  6. "About me". Stockholm University. May 28, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  7. Hauwert, Martina (October 12, 2018). "The Dawn of Eurasia". New Business Radio. Retrieved June 10, 2019.

External links[edit]

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