The executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan has been recognised at this year’s Scottish Samurai Awards.
Lori Henderson, from Dundee, was given the Order of the Scottish Samurai Shogun 2018 award in the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Lori was presented with the accolade by Lord Charles Bruce, honourable patron of the Japan Society of Scotland, and Ronnie Watt OBE, a Scottish master of Shotakan karate.
Several gongs were given out at the ceremony, with Lori’s award being in the ‘Shogun’ category.
The Scottish Samurai Shogun Award recognises an individual who has made a pre-eminent contribution in any area of activity, whether it is locally, nationally, or internationally, and where the work of the recipient will be recognised as both inspirational and significant, as well as demonstrating sustained commitment and leadership.
Lori was chosen for this year’s accolade for services to relations between Scotland and Japan.
As part of the award, she was given a diploma, a next insignia and a medal.
Lori, who grew up in the Mill O’ Mains and Downfield areas of Dundee, said: “It just so happened to fall on my 39th birthday.
“It was a real honour to receive these medals. One was almost Olympic size. There was a smaller one that can hang from your lapel – a dinky little one that you can wear more discreetly to official events.
“Being given an honour that specifically links Japan and Scotland was a real treat.
“During the opening ceremony, Dundee was mentioned specifically for the new V&A museum, and architect Kengo Kuma, who is in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, just up the road from where we live in Tokyo.
“It makes you quite proud when your two ‘hometowns’ are linked in this way.
“In my day job I promote the UK as a whole, but I always strive to bring Scottish interests to the fore.
“But they did not mention a specific achievement.”
Lori has been living in Japan since 2003, originally landing there for a gap year to teach English, but she “forgot to leave” after falling in love with the country.
She has been in her current role for eight years.
Each year previous award winners nominate those they believe to be worthy recipients. A committee then selects a winner for each category.
Previous winners at the award ceremony include television star Joanna Lumley.
The awards were set up in honour of Thomas Glover, who is often referred to as the father of Japan’s modern railways, and the “first Scottish samurai”.