Takeshi Kitano, better known by his stage name as Beat Takeshi, has been awarded the Legion of Honour in France. The L’ordre National de la Legion d’honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour) ceremony will take place next Tuesday, where Kitano will be named Officier, the second highest degree of the Award, recognising his influence in arts and culture.

A pioneer of arts culture

Jack Lang, former French culture minister said of Kitano, "he comfortably went beyond the limits of art genres and transformed the rules of performing arts, television, Film and literature".

Kitano later said in a statement, "I am very surprised that I will be given such an honour, and I’m simply filled with joy".

Kitano began his career in the 1970s as part of a comedy duo known as "Two Beat", where the two would perform manzai, a form of comedy where two people perform high-speed banter, back and forth. In the 1980s he hosted game show 'Takeshi's Castle', which is still popular to this day in syndication. He received recognition for his film work during the 1990s where he made popular films such as 'Boiling Point', 'Sonatine' and 'Hana-bi', the latter for which he received a Golden Lion award in 1997. It was here he defined his idiosyncratic directorial style with long takes, deadpan camera movement and misdirection through violence.

Ghost in the Shell

The commendable actor also founded his own production company and talent agency, Office Kitano, in 2000. In 2008, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Moscow Film Festival, and was later named a Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters of France in 2010. He will appear in the upcoming 'Ghost in the Shell' western adaptation, making it over 20 years since he last appeared in an American film.

The Legion of Honour was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and is awarded for recognition of achievements in military and civil contributions to the state. Previous foreign recipients include Orson Welles, J.K. Rowling and Steven Spielberg.

The ceremony is due to take place next week.