Award Ceremony 2011

The Fukuoka Prize 2011 Award ceremony

Award ceremony
September 15, 2011 (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 about 1,000 residents and representatives 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. After Fukuoka City Mayor Takashima Soichiro congratulated the laureates on behalf of the organizers, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino spoke on the laureates and the prizes. His address was followed by the report on the selection process by Prof. Arikawa Setsuo, Chair of the Prize Jury and President of Kyushu University. Citations decorated with Hakata-ori weaving and medals designed after the official cotton rosemallow flower of the city were presented to the laureates by Mayor Takashima and Mr. Kamata Michisada, Chair of the Yokatopia Foundation.

The laureates gave their acceptance speeches, expressing their joy at the honor received and their thanks to the people of the city. Ms. Otsubo Kanako offered a congratulatory message on behalf of the residents of Fukuoka City, after which students from the Fukuoka International School presented the laureates with bouquets to thunderous applause.

In the second part of the event, actress Dan Fumi served as MC in a lively discussion with the laureates. The closing event was a performance of Khmer traditional music by four Cambodian musicians, congratulating the laureates.

Ms. DAN Fumi as MC(right)
Ms. DAN Fumi as MC(right)
Presented award certificates and medals
Presented award certificates and medals
Award Ceremony at Fukuoka International Congress Center
Award Ceremony at Fukuoka International Congress Center

Address by Prince Akishino

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

As globalization continues to advance rapidly within our international society, uniform ways of thinking and lifestyle have being spread in each society. Meanwhile, many countries and regions have been endeavored to preserve and develop their distinctive cultures and traditions. 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 through Asia myself, I am always moved by its depth and richness, and I feel strongly how important it is to preserve and hand on these traditions.

Acceptance Speech by ANG Choulean (Grand Prize)


Your Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino, Ladies and Gentleman, I knew that I would come to this event with a huge emotion. How could I avoid this? I feel such an honor being awarded the Fukuoka Prize. I am sure that my two co-winners experience the same emotional feeling.

This prize, as I understand, is a recognition of the significance of my works and activities in the past and in the present. When I was younger than today I rarely raised a question such as "what is the meaning of what I'm doing?". It is just a normal thing: when you are young, you rarely happen to question yourself about such a philosophical issue. You just do what you have to do. But when I learned that I was awarded the prize, I tried to work out the possible reasons leading the jury to take that decision and, looking back to understand that, it looks as if in my various activities, I've more or less followed a sort of guiding principle I was not aware of. This guiding principle could be summed up as "sharing knowledge and love with others". With humility, I would like to express again my thanks to the Fukuoka Prize Committee.

Thank you.

Acceptance Speech by CHO Dong-il (Academic Prize)

趙 東 一(チョ・ドンイル)氏授賞式スピーチ

It is indeed an honor to be selected for the Academic Prize this year. I feel that my years of work in comparative research, steadily expanding my range from Korean literature to East Asian literature, and then from East Asia to the entire world, have been appreciated, and found worthy. Fukuoka has a very free, open stance compared to the rest of East Asia, and has served as a center of international exchange historically. This international outlook has led to the Fukuoka Prize, and made it possible for me to receive this honor. In my book, A Theory of East Asian Civilization, I discuss that usage of two methods of communication in the East Asian traditional cultural region, namely communication with written language based on Chinese characters, and communication with spoken language. As I pointed out, while Beijing was the center of written communication, Hakata was the center of spoken communication. Today, the name "Hakata" is a symbol of Fukuoka. I hope that Fukuoka will take the lead in comprehensive, collaborative research into the spread of both written and spoken communication throughout East Asia. Allow me to paraphrase from my book, A Theory of East Asian Civilization."The scales, political systems and economic situations of the nations of East Asia are all different, making any conceivable integration difficult, and I have my doubts that integration could be achieved by starting with the government or economy. But I do believe that, entirely separate from government and economics, an academic approach studying culture can undertake collaborative research, and create common cultural or academic bodies, with significant results for all to share." This book was recently translated into Japanese, and I received a copy when I came to Fukuoka for this ceremony. I hope that the Japanese readers find it interesting.

Acceptance Speech by Niels GUTSCHOW (Arts and Culture Prize)


Since my childhood in Hamburg I tried to follow the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha. A path which eventually guided me at the age of twenty to India, Nepal, Burma and also Japan. The past forty years have been for me a rich transcultural experience, with two homes ? one in Germany and one in Nepal. Working in Japan as a carpenter, I came to appreciate the inherent values of craftsmanship: a miyadaikusan is not simply a workman but an artist and even a National Treasure. The experience of this attitude was instrumental for my later cooperation with Nepalese carpenters and brickmakers. It made me value the products of hands in which the skill of many generations are inscribed as something authentic that mirrors indigenous knowledge systems. The imposition of allegedly universal principles in architectural conservation tend to displace living cultural traditions. I owe in fact the prize which I am honoured to receive today to the artists and craftsmen of Nepal who were generous enough to share their rich experience and dedication with me. The prize honours an architect from Germany who never ceased to learn from Asia ? on a life-long pilgrimage, a junrei along sacred landscapes. I became part of a global network of architects who established the field of architectural anthropology. It is a field of knowledge which traces the impact of immaterial values in the shaping of the built environment. I owe much to the revolutionary publications by Ito Teiji and Kojiro Yuichiro of 1968. Their thoughts about sea and wind, festival and community enabled me to perceive and map space in a different way. It is the city as a stage for urban rituals that keeps fascinating me. The city as a cultural concept will survive only if it incorporates more than a network of traffic and shopping malls. The question is: Will we be able to revive the gods and spirits of place to turn space into a vibrant realm? I hope the city of Fukuoka will learn from its neighbours to turn urban space into a receptacle of ambiguity.

Special Performance: Traditional Khmer Music


At the close of the award ceremony, four musicians were invited to give a performance of traditional Khmer music, introducing the musical culture of Cambodia, the homeland of Grand Prize laureate Ang Choulean. Graduates of the Royal University of Fine Arts that Prof. Ang worked so hard to reopen after the civil war, they are acclaimed as outstanding musicians, often accompanying the royal family on official visits to Japan. The audience and honored guests enjoyed the beautiful strains of an exotic musical culture.

Celebration Banquet 2011

After the award ceremony, representatives of many fields gathered for the banquet, which began with a toast by H.E. Mr. HOR Monirath, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, Royal Embassy of Cambodia to Japan, and continued in a friendly and open mood throughout.

Director Dao Ba Son and actress Nhat Kim Anh from Vietnam also joined the banquet, taking time out from their duties at the Focus on Asia: Fukuoka International Film Festival 2011. The laureates were congratulated by many participants, making a host of new friends.

A toast by H.E. Mr. HOR Monirath
A toast by H.E. Mr. HOR Monirath
Laureates with their companies
A relaxed and congenial athmosphere during Banquet

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