Award Ceremony 2009

The Fukuoka Prize 2009 Award ceremony

September 17, 2009 (18:20-20:00)
Fukuoka International Congress Center
Eriko Kusuta

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino attended the award ceremony, joining an audience of about 1,000 citizens, foreign students and people in cultural fields in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Prize.

The laureates were ushered in by students from Chikushi Jogakuen University, dressed in kimono. After citations and medals were presented by Mayor Hiroshi Yoshida of the Fukuoka City and Michisada Kamata, Chairman of the Yokatopia Foundation, each recipient gave a speech expressing his joy, with messages to Fukuoka citizens. Students from Fukuoka International School then handed them bouquets.

In the second part of the event, MC Eriko Kusuta talked with the laureates, filling the hall with laughter as they talked of episodes from childhood, the fascination of Japanese culture and thoughts on Asian culture. After the talk, a student at Seinan Gakuin University delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of the citizens. In closing, opera singer Ruri Usami performed Wakahime, one of Minoru Miki’s best-known works.

Address by Prince Akishino

Asia has given birth to a diverse range of fudo, and over long centuries each region has developed its own unique culture.

When I travel through other lands in Asia I am constantly amazed at the depth and richness they offer, and feel once again how important it is to preserve and pass on this cultural heritage. 

The Fukuoka Prize is highly signicant for its contribution to the preservation and creation of Asian cultures. The achievements of the laureates recognized here today are treasures not only for the people alive today, but indeed for all of humanity, including future generations.

Acceptance Speech by Augustin BERQUE (Grand Prize)


I am particularly honored to receive the Fukuoka Prize, since I am not Asian, but a Western geographer practicing orientalism. I cannot content myself with culturalism, since as a geographer, while fully acknowledging the singularity of any milieu (fudo), I have always tried to nd universal human roots in the relationship of any culture with nature. I was led on this way by a Japanese philosopher, Watsuji Tetsuro. He called this way mesology (fudogaku).

In my turn, I have tried to go further on this way, by using both Western and Eastern (Chinese) references which, in his time or from his stance, were not available. Far from both cultural imperialism and from the closure of each culture on itself, this is how I understand cultural exchange, especially between the East and the West. Beyond my own limits, I hope this movement will go on forever.

Acceptance Speech by Partha CHATTERJEE (Academic Prize)


The history of nation is comprised of diverse facts overlying one another, and a critical examination is examination is espercially important for a nation like India. The study of history may not be a terribly productive field of study, but when a new discovery is made I feel the same excitement as if I have unearthed a new lode of gold. (From his speech during the school visit)

There is one similarity in the recent histories of Fukuoka and my City, Kolkata. Because of their geographical and historical locations, they have been open to many outside influences that have shaped the lives, institutions and characters of their peoples. I have been a fortunate inheritor of this tradition of en counters between the local and the foreign. It is often said in recent times that no scholarly research of international standards is possible in Kolkata. By honouring me, you have also proved this saying to be untrue.

Acceptance Speech by MIKI Minoru (Arts and Culture Prize)


Nobody else had thought of composing an operatic cycle covering diverse historical periods of Japan, while taking international aspects into consideration, or creating symphonies combining Western orchestras with large ensembles of traditional Asian instruments. And nobody was deeply involved in creating new works to modernize and internationalize ethnic instruments from Japan or elsewhere in Asia, or producing them. I have always been excited by this dangerous task, as walking the interface between East and West, old and new, is akin to walking a ridgeline in the Himalayas. I have been striving to achieve universal music for over y years, working toward an international musical culture that equally treasures the identities of Japanese, Asian and Western music while surpassing them all in a unied whole. I had hoped to earn this Arts and Culture Prize, as there are no international music awards, and I am deeply honored to be the rst Japanese to win this recognition.

Acceptance Speech by CAI Guo-Qiang (Arts and Culture Prize)

蔡 國 強(ツァイ・グォ・チャン)氏による授賞式スピーチ

I began to think of Asia because of the message that Fukuoka sent to the rest of Asia, and the concepts it entails. I tried to position Asian culture as an artist, and that’ s why I say that I have returned to Asia by coming to Fukuoka. As an Asian, I personally thought that Japan had become too Westernized in the process of modernization, and decided to attempt a grand work from the cosmic perspective. By coming to Japan, I have approached the cosmos.

As I perform around the world I am perceived by many as an “Asian,” but this has both good and bad aspects. One good aspect is that I can create works on a huge scale through a uniquely Asian concept of dialogue with nature. Another is the Asian philosophy that respects other cultures encompassed within the cultures of Asia, which allows me to create well even through interaction with people from other lands. And I think these aspects have made it possible for me to receive this splendid prize today.

Celebration Banquet 2009

A less formal celebration party was held after the official ceremony. Consul General Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama of the Consulate-General of France in Osaka-Kobe presented his congratulations to the laureates, and was joined in his praise by representative from other nations, and attending residents of Fukuoka.

Download the Anuual Report 2009

You can download the annual report 2009 in Adobe PDF to check all the events and programs of the Fukuoka Prize 2009.

Download the Anuual Report 2009

Official program reports

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