Background of establishment

Digital Garage shares its history with the Internet. Digital Garage always had the First Penguin Spirit mindset of striving towards new challenges without fear of failure, and continue to cultivate new businesses. The “First Penguin” is the first penguin that courageously jumps into the ocean in search of food, despite the possibility of encountering dangerous predators. The "Digital Garage First Penguin Award" is awarded to those who embody the First Penguin Spirit. This award was established to honor those who actively contribute to the world through their participation in technology, art, culture, or sports, and their contribution in fostering the next generation to inherit their spirit.

First Penguin Award logo design

The award logo was designed to embody the First Penguin diving into the waters. With an emphasis on simplicity, the logo is meant to represent a medal. The trophy is also inspired by a penguin that is jumping off of an iceburg.


Encourage the
next generation to
challenge themselves and
never fear risk


Representative Director,
President Executive Officer
and Group CEO, Digital Garage
デジタルガレージ代表取締役 兼 社長執行役員グループCEO 林郁

Take action that
will contribute to
society and
encourage others


Member, Board of Directors
and Co-Founder, Digital Garage
デジタルガレージ取締役 共同創業者/MITメディアラボ 所長 伊藤穰一


The ceremony was held on August 29, 2017


Past recipient and award ceremony


Selected based on Mr. Sakamoto’s contribution to society and dedication to nurturing the future generation through the use of cutting-edge technology in his music and his creative challenges that defy the boundaries of the Internet.

2017 RecipientMr. Ryuichi Sakamoto


"I want to continue diving into the ocean
from the edge of the iceberg."

Since his debut, Ryuichi Sakamoto has brought cutting edge technology to the global music scene by conducting Japan's first ever Internet concert and utilizing social media for the "skmtSocial Project", as well as other creative initiatives that rode the wave of the Internet which exceeded existing frameworks in the process. In recent years, he has founded charity organizations such as the forest preservation project "more Trees" and the "School Music Revival" Fund, which raised money to inspect and repair the musical instruments owned by kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. After completing the instrument repair efforts, he founded the "Tohoku Youth Orchestra" that has continued to use music to support recovery efforts in the Tohoku region. Mr. Sakamoto has also organized television and web video programs where he spreads the joy of music through discussions, instructions, and performances. It was this ability to break new ground with his creativity and his efforts to communicate his experiences to audiences around the world that led us to select him for the Digital Garage First Penguin Award 2017.
The ceremony was held on August 29, 2017.

Photo Gallery


Nomination based on Mr. Honda's ability to go beyond his profession as a football player by proactively encouraging the next generation to succceed and contribute to society through his personal experiences and global perspective.

2016 First RecipientMr. Keisuke Honda


"You can’t score a goal if you never took a shot.
Learn from your missed shots and never be afraid to fail."

The first ever Digital Garage First Penguin Award was presented Mr. Keisuke Honda, a successful professional football player who puts emphasis on the development of the next generation. Mr. Honda actively plays as a member of the Japanese national football team and A.C. Milan, one of the world's greatest football clubs. While being a lead player, he also became a businessperson when he acquired the SV Horn of Austrian third division in 2015. He also runs "SOLTILO FAMILIA SOCCER SCHOOL," having 60 schools nationwide for kindergarten and elementary school children, aiming to foster "world-class football players" in Japan. He also manages four teams for junior high school students and one for high school students. These activities and attitude to foster younger generations through his global perspective and experience shows that he goes beyond the label of professional football player; therefore, Digital Garage believed that he is the best candidate for the first ever Digital Garage First Penguin Award. The First Penguin Award ceremony took place in July 2016 during Digital Garage's THE NEW CONTEXT CONFERENCE 2016 TOKYO.

Video of the first First Penguin Award ceremony

First Penguin Award ceremony

Photo Gallery