2012 MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO HONOR
1938-1940 Taught Japanese dance in San Jose, California
1943 Joined the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance
1944- Performed and choreographed a variety of Martha Graham Dance Company productions as principal dancer, solo dancer, and choreographer
1945- Commenced teaching career as a faculty member of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance
1956- Performed in a variety of Broadway musical productions
Ms. Kikuchi has long contributed to mutual understanding and promoted friendship between Japan and the US through the Martha Graham Dance Company. She achieved this through the development of contemporary dance using her own understanding of Japanese culture and philosophy.
In particular, Ms. Kikuchi has taken tenets of Japanese philosophy, such as dedication, respect, harmony and cooperation, as well as Zen Buddhist values she picked up while growing up in Japan, and incorporated them into major productions of the Martha Graham Dance Company, such as "Applachian Spring" in 1944, "Dark Meadow" in 1946, "Caticle for Innocent Comedians" in 1952, "Ardent Song" in 1954, and "Clytemnestra" in 1958.
Furthermore, as a faculty member of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Ms. Kikuchi has passed on the importance of such tenets of Japanese philosophy in practicing contemporary dance to her students, and therefore has contributed to the dissemination of Japanese culture to the American people. In this way, Ms. Kikuchi has contributed to the growth of Miki Orihara, principal dancer of Martha Graham Dance Company who is of Japanese descent.