Award Ceremony 2010

The Fukuoka Prize 2010 Award ceremony

Award ceremony
September 16, 2010 (18:20 - 20:00)
Fukuoka International Congress Center
Fumi Dan

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino attended the award ceremony, joining an audience of around 1,000 citizens and representative from different countries and cultural fields in celebrating the Prize. In the first part of the event, the laureates were led to the stage by students from the Asian Cultural Studies Department of Chikushi Jogakuen University, dressed in beautiful kimonos. Citations and medals were presented by Fukuoka City Mayor, Hiroshi Yoshida, and Michisada Kamata, Chair of the Yokatopia Foundation, after which each recipient gave a speech expressing his or her joy, and addressing the citizens of Fukuoka. Students from Fukuoka International School presented bouquets to the recipients, at which the audience gave a resounding round of applause.

In the second part of the event, the actress Fumi Dan acted as MC and hosted a genial talk with the laureates, who spoke of the things they were interested in as children, how they spend their time now, and other aspects of their personal lives, showing surprising insights and areas of common ground between them. After this, Ms. Shoko Kawahara gave a congratulatory message on behalf of the citizens of Fukuoka, and the evening closed with a performance on the kayagum of Grand Prize winner Hwang Byung-ki’s most famous work, Sounds of the Night.

Presented award certificates and medals
Presented award certificates and medals
Conversation between the laureates and MC DAN Fumi
Conversation between the laureates and MC DAN Fumi
Ms. DAN Fumi as MC(left)
Ms. DAN Fumi as MC(left)

Address by Prince Akishino

I should like to offer my sincere congratulations to the four laureates of the Fukuoka Prize at today’s awards ceremony.

As globalization continues to move forward at a great pace within our international society, many countries and regions have come to accept common or even uniform ways of thinking and convenience, but at the same time the individual cultural traditions are being passed on, and many people are engaged in a move to create new culture. Asia is filled with unique histories and languages formed throughout history by our diverse cultural climates and natural environment, and we have deep and rich traditions and cultures. When I travel Asia myself, I am always moved by its depth and richness, and I feel strongly how important it is to preserve and hand these traditions on.

In an age such as ours, it seems to me that the Fukuoka Prize, which contributes to the preservation, continuation and creation of the unique diversity of culture in Asia, is profoundly meaningful. The excellent achievements of the laureates have contributed not only to Asian culture, but have also communicated the uniqueness of Asian culture to the world, and will become an important part of the heritage of humankind, which is shared by all of society.

Finally I would like to express my respect to the laureates, and add my hope that the Fukuoka Prize will continue to promote understanding, peace and friendship between Asia and the world.

Acceptance Speech by HWANG Byung-ki (Grand Prize)

黄 秉 冀(ファン・ビョンギ)氏授賞式スピーチ

I began learning the kayagum in 1951, and began composing music for it in 1962, wishing to move beyond the traditional repertoire. Beginning with my composition Chimhyang-moo in 1974, I began to look beyond Korea into Asia, and my music began to be accepted worldwide. When I began learning the kayagum, even Korean people had no interest in their own country’s traditional music, and were more interested in western music. But gradually, an increasing number of people began to rediscover the value of traditional Korean music, and the importance of traditional culture in each country began to be appreciated worldwide. The world has realized that true global culture does not arise from standardization of cultures, but from diverse traditional cultures maturing and flourishing. The Fukuoka Prize has contributed greatly to the promotion not only of Asian culture but also of global culture. I am extremely honored to have been awarded this international prize.

Acceptance Speech by James C. SCOTT (Academic Prize)


I know of no city anywhere that has given such a concrete expression to the recognition of important contributions to Asian arts and scholarship. To be included among the famous laureates previously recognized in this fashion is both humbling and, I confess, also a source of pride.

A major quest of my own scholarship has been to understand the values, actions, and political life of non-elites, especially in situations where the open politics characteristic of mature democracies is not possible. I’ve tried to identify the often quiet and unobtrusive forms of resistance that mark their struggle for subsistence and honor. Recently I have been learning Burmese and working on Burmese political history. For half a century now, the Burmese people have been living under oppressive military regimes that have dashed the life chances of more than two generations. Ordinary Burmese have quietly and stubbornly resisted a regime that dishonors them. One hopes that the sufferings of the Burmese people are near an end.

Acceptance Speech by MORI Kazuko (Academic Prize)


This Prize has previously been awarded to people with academic abilities of whom Japan is extremely proud, people with global abilities in the field of Asian regional studies, and people whom I respect tremendously. I am extremely honored to be awarded the Prize alongside Professor James C. Scott this year, and I feel the weight of this privilege.

I have been involved in research in China and Asia for 40 years now. I believe that China is truly a formidable and complex rival, and I do not think I have reached the pinnacle of my understanding yet. I am still in the middle of my efforts to understand China objectively from the perspective of social science, based on the three challenges of understanding Chinese politics not as a two-way but as a three-way structure, broadening horizons through comparative studies in contemporary Asia, and effective approaches through systematization. This Prize feels less like a reward for the research that has been done to date, and more like an encouragement to continue with what has not yet been achieved. I feel stimulated to communicate Japan’s research into Asia and China in a more global way.

Acceptance Speech by ONG Keng Sen (Arts and Culture Prize)


Since 1995, my company TheatreWorks has brought Asian artists together on the same stage, with Asian art forms and numerous languages coexisting. We have excavated the diverse memories of Asia such as the karayuki-san, examined the global movements of foreign workers between Asian countries, revealed the secret histories of migration in Asia, and reflected on the ambivalent relationship between the traditional and the contemporary. The nature of art has always been that it is a mirror held up to society and to politics. We have not attempted to shy away from difficult subjects, from traumatic wars, from difference of opinion. In a time when there is much discussion about ecological sustainability, it is apt to remember how art and culture have sustained the human being, sustained societies, sustained idealism and hope in cynical times.

For the Fukuoka Prize is an idealistic award, an enlightened award, an award which makes us pause to reflect on its meaning. Its impact is felt all over the world, way beyond the city walls of Fukuoka. I am grateful to have received this prize and I thank all who have made this possible.

Celebration Banquet 2010

After the Award Ceremony, many of those involved enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the celebratory party. After a toast proposed by H.E. Mr. Laurence Bay, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo, the laureates were congratulated by distinguished guests of various countries and by attendees from Fukuoka.

Began with a toast
Began with a toast
In a friendly and open mood
The laureates congratulated each other

Download the Anuual Report 2010

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