About Fukuoka Prize

About the FUkuoka Prize

Background of the Fukuoka Prize

Asia is home to a diversity of ethnic groups, languages, and cultures, which coexist with each other and depend on each other. These diverse cultures have served not only as guardians of the priceless legacy of our long history and tradition, but also as sources of inspiration.

However, in the current era of globalization, there is a danger that Asian cultures may lose their distinctive features due to the encroaching standardization of culture. It is therefore vital to preserve, develop, and promote the harmonious coexistence of the diverse Asian cultures.

As Japan's cultural gateway, Fukuoka City has since antiquity played a significant role in promoting exchanges with other regions of Asia. This history, and a determination to promote and understand the distinctive cultures of Asia, and to further peace, inspired the inauguration of the Fukuoka Prize (formerly known as the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize) in 1990 through collaboration between academia, businesses, and the city authorities. Since then, there have been many prize recipients from almost every region of Asia.

Since cultural exchange looks to the future, it is not enough merely to preserve cultures with long histories and ancient traditions. New things emerge from the midst of change: it is necessary to observe them, respect them, learn from them, and build upon them. This is the aspiration of Fukuoka City and its citizens, as we strive to become a center for cultural exchange in Asia.

The Fukuoka Prize will continue to be a means of showing respect to those who have made outstanding contributions to academia, arts, and culture in Asia. We intend, together with the people of Fukuoka, to advertise to the world through our city, the diversity and the distinctiveness of Asian culture.

History of the Fukuoka Prize

The Asian-Pacific Exposition "Yokatopia" is held.
1990 (The 1st)
The Asian Month is started to continue the spirit of expanding the circle of friendship and exchanges promoted in the Asian-Pacific Exposition. The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (later known as the Fukuoka Prize) is established as one of Asian Month programs.
1999 (The 10th)
As one of the official events of the Fukuoka Prize, school visits by laureates are started with the purpose of deepening their understanding of the younger generations.
2003 (The 14th)
Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino attends the award ceremony. In the following year, Their Imperial Highness Prince and Princess Akishino are invited to the ceremony.
Mr. Muhammad Yunus, Grand Prize laureate of Fukuoka Prize 2001, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2006 (The 17th)
The number of event participants increases from 2,000 to 4,000 due to the opening time change of the ceremony and the efforts in public relations.
2009 (The 20th)
The Fukuoka Prize marks its 20th anniversary.
2009 (The 20th)
A special lecture by Mr. Muhammad Yunus, and the Asian Film Forum by Director Hou Hsiao Hsien (the 10th Grand Prize laureate) and Director Ann Hui (the 19th Grand Prize laureate) are held in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary.
Mr. Mo Yan, Grand Prize laureate of the Fukuoka Prize 2006, is awarded the Nobel Literature Prize.

Timeline of the Fukuoka Prize

Late January - Early February
Selection meetings for the Academic Prize and the Arts and Culture Prize are held to shortlist the most likely candidates.
Late March
The Fukuoka Prize Jury meeting is held to make a final informal decision on the prize winners upon consideration on their achievements and deliberation in a comprehensive manner.
Early June
The prize winners are officially acknowledged by the Prize Committee the Prize Committee. A press conference in Fukuoka is held on the same day.
June - September
Press conferences are held in laureates' countries to widely publicize the Fukuoka Prize.
Mid - Late September
The award ceremony and other related official events such as public lectures, school visits, and academic and cultural exchange sessions, are held.

The Logo of the Fukuoka Prize

This symbol captures the image of Fukuoka Prize. The circle depicts Asia as one united body. Forming its core is the whirling spiritual energy which has been believed in since ancient times yet remains totally undefinable.

This Asian world is comprised of two basic elements; green mighty nature which sustains all things in the universe and the great enthusiasm and vitality of mankind. The former is the earth which functions as the saucer of the world and the latter forms its red energy lid. Asia may be seen as an independent world in which harmony exists between the people and external energies.