Award Ceremony 2012

The Fukuoka Prize 2012 Award ceremony

Award ceremony
Thursday, September 13
Fukuoka International Congress Center

The 23rd the Fukuoka Prize award ceremony was held in the presence of about 1,000 people in attendance in honor of the laureates, including Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino, Fukuoka citizens, foreign guests and representatives from various fields.

After showing introductory pictures of previous 88 prize recipients since 1990 in which year the Fukuoka Prize was established, the first part of the award ceremony commenced and the four prize recipients were led up to the stage by kimono-clad students from the Asian Cultural Studies Department of Chikushi Jogakuen University.

After Fukuoka City Mayor Takashima Soichiro gave a speech and commented that this prize contributes to promoting international friendship and trust, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino congratulated the laureates on their winning the prize. His address was followed by the report on the selection process by Prof. Akikawa Setsuo, Chair of the Fukuoka Prize Jury and President of Kyushu University.

After that Mayor Takashima and Mr.Kamata Michisada, Chair of the Yokatopia Foundation, presented the laureates award certificates decorated with exquisite Hakata-ori weaving and medals designed after cotton rose mallow, the official flower of the city. The laureates then gave their speeches, expressing their gratitude and joy in receiving the award and on behalf of the citizens of Fukuoka City, Ms. Harizuka Mizuki offered a congratulatory message, after which adorable children in ethnic costumes from Fukuoka International School presented the laureates and their companions with bouquets to thunderous applause.

Presented award certificates and medals
Presented award certificates and medals
Presented with bouquets by adorable children
Presented with bouquets by adorable children
Ms. Judy ONGG, who served as MC
Ms. Judy ONGG, who served as MC

Address by His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino

At today’s award ceremony, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the four laureates of the Fukuoka Prize.

As globalization continues to advance in the international society today, uniform ways of thinking and lifestyle have been spreading throughout each society. Under such environment, many countries and regions have been endeavoring toward preservation and succession of their unique cultures and traditions, as well as development of new cultures.

Asia has been blessed with diverse natural environment and cultural climates, as well as unique languages, histories and folk customs formed throughout history that add richness and depth to culture. Whenever I travel throughout Asia myself, I am always impressed by its richness and depth, and strongly feel the importance of preservation and accession of these heritages.

It seems to me that The Fukuoka Prize is profoundly meaningful in that it aims to contribute to preservation, accession and creation of unique and diverse culture in Asia. I believe the excellent achievements of the laureates not only contribute to Asian culture, but also widely exhibit it to the world, and will become a precious part of the heritage of humankind to be shared by the whole society and handed down to the next generation.

At the conclusion of my speech, I would like to express my respect to the l aur e a t e s , and my hope tha t the Fukuoka Prize will continue to promote understanding toward Asia, as well as peace and friendship in the international community.

Acceptance Speech by Vandana SHIVA (Grand Prize)


This award will bring me humility and reinforcement for my work to protect biodiversity. Because I do believe that if we can learn to celebrate diversity, protect it, rejuvenate it, multiply it, then we will find solutions to injustices, to non-sustainability, and to violence, wars, and conflicts we see all around.

Diversity is the source of a real richness. As you can see, can you imagine how boring it would be if people all are wearing black suits?

But it is richness in materials terms, too, not just culture. I work in the ecological farming. We produce more food by saving diversity not destroying it. Monoculture of the mind creates both the boring and impoverished world, and that impoverishment become the source of conflicts as in this context over increasing shrinking spaces.

For me, diversity has been the teacher for justice and peace, because as long as we know, every species, every culture deserves to unfold into the future. We’ll find ways to cooperate. We’ll find ways for nonviolence. We’ll find ways to give each other freedom and deepen our own.

I do feel grateful to the Fukuoka Prize for creating a space for finding a new path for the world through Asia via the gateway in Fukuoka.

Acceptance Speech by Charnvit KASETSIRI (Academic Prize)


As an academic working on ancient histories of Thailand, Southeast Asia, and Japan, I have visited your great country many times. However, I had never been to your city of Fukuoka. I am here for the first time and I feel extremely honored.

As an academic I have been teaching and learning about maritime relations of my country old Siam with those in Asia like Japan, Koreas, China, with India, Indonesia and Philippines and etc. I have learned about nihon machi in Ayutthaya, our old capital, about Japanese mercenaries, about Yamada Nagamasa, and about Marie de Guimard, a half Japanese, half Portuguese woman, who became a royal chief cook and introduced sweet and cookies into Thai cuisine.

I believe, because of my role in education that I came to the attention of the Fukuoka Prize Committee.
And this is why my brother Chaiwat Kasetsiri and I are here. I want to thank you all for this honor and an opportunity to come to your lovely city of Fukuoka for the first time.

I also would like to express my gratitude to the two late Professors, Ishii Yoneo of Kyoto University, and Yoshikawa Toshiharu of Osaka University. The two of them had helped me to learn more, to know more, and to love Japan. Last but not least I want to thank the great people of Fukuoka. Thank you, khob khun and sawasdee krab.

Acceptance Speech by Kidlat Tahimik (Arts and Culture Prize)


In 1976 when I was editing my fist film, Perfumed Nightmare, I had not done a written script. Film  without a script? No plan? What does this say about a director who is supposed to give the direction to this film? I showed a rough edit of my film to Werner Herzog, an experienced German director. He was surprised and said, “Ah, Kidlat, you are best at your detours. Your cosmic surprises make your film most interesting and crazy.”

In 1987 I was in writers' conference in America and a Japanese novelist, Oe Kenzaburo invited me to take a walk in the park. He said, “Tahimik san. You are Kurosawa of Phillipines.” “But Kurosawa is a perfectionist!” I protested knowing my film is so imperfect. “Tahimik san, your works open windows. Kurosawa films open windows to the Japanese soul. Films open windows to the cosmos. ” I did not know what he meant.

Then in 1999 I was in conference in Jaipur, India and my friend invited me to visit the guru. An old man with beard said to me, “You are in the right train. Go in the right direction at the right speed. You don’t have to go to the front car. ” For the first time I understood what Mr. Herzog and Mr. Oe Kenzaburo said about cosmos windows and cosmos detours. These three observations gave me the tapestry about the tapestry of flow of life, unplanned life, leaving things to the cosmos.

Twenty years ago, my best friend, an Ifgao tribal leader taught me a lesson because he always  mispronounced the word “indigenous” as “indi-genius”. He would say, “We must revive our  indi-genious wisdom.” What a cosmic mispronunciation which said everything about wisdom and genius about old cultures! Last month my wife and I organized the conference of twenty-five tribes from all over the Philippines including some international tribes. As their passionate dialogue happened, my wife said to me, “Kidlat, those voices will help you find your Asian’s strength.”

I think these are five voices from almost like five planets. But they probably give me an inkling why I am here today. It is perhaps because I am tracking the two worlds of scriptfull scholars and scriptless  tribal people. This is a kind of cosmic detours in our cosmic windows that has allowed me to  rediscover my “Asianness”. Maybe this is why I am here today. I would like to believe this is why I
am here today.

I accepted this great Prize. And I dedicated this recognition for more balanced world where modern intellect will go in deep respect with indi-genious wisdom of our indigenious people. Thank you.

Acceptance Speech by G.R.Ay. Koes Murtiyah Paku Buwono (Arts and Culture Prize)


Thank you all very much for inviting us here today. I also thank God for letting us be here with good state of mind and body. At the same time, I would like to express my appreciation to the Karaton Surakarta and its family, as well as my heartfelt gratitude to the Fukuoka Prize Jury and Fukuoka City.

The Surakarta court is where I grew up. In Indonesia, Javanese culture is a pride of Javanese, and the culture was handed down from generation to generation for many years in order to unit people. Ever since the days of my grandfather, Pakubuwono XI, the friendly relation has long been kept between Japan and the Surakarta Dynasty. It is no exaggeration to say that I received this prize for the effort of my father,  Pakubuwono XII, who hopes further development of the friendly ties. I would like to tribute my joy of  winning this prize to my grandfather and father.

I sincerely hope that this prize will reevaluate and promote the cultural exchange between Surakarta and Japan as well as Fukuoka City. This prize certainly gives me stimulus to further pursue art and strive to hand down Javanese culture to the next generation and introduce it the world. “Minasama, doumo  arigatou gozaimashita.” (In Japanese)

Special Talk Session with MC Ms. Judy Ongg


In the second part of the ceremony, MC Ms. Judy Ongg conversed with the laureates and they answered the questions asked by the city residents. The prizewinners commented on their impressions on Fukuoka City, giving interesting comments such as “I’ve been eating my fill of delicacies in Fukuoka!” “I feel happiness in
happy (Fuku) hill (Oka).” “Fukuoka is a pure and attractive town.” “I used to love buckwheat noodle topped with herring, but now I have become a big fan of Fukuoka Ramen noodle.”


Special Performance of Javanese Court Dance


The closing event was a special performance of Javanese dance by four female Kraton Surakarta court dancers visiting from Solo, ancient capital of Java, Indonesia. This dance was choreographed by G.R.Ay. Murtiyah, expressing her joy of receiving this prize, and accompanied by exotic gamelan music. The dancers put on gold wreath and green sash belt, and they charmed the audience with the graceful dancing characterized by movement of tipping up of costume bottom.

*You can watch video of Special Performance of Javanese Court Dance @ Award Ceremony

Celebration Banquet 2012

After the award ceremony, the celebration banquet was held, which was joined by representatives of many fields, and the laureates enjoyed themseves in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere Representing Focus on Asia, Fukuoka International Film Festival 2012, which is the core project of Fukuoka Asia Month, Director Wang-Yu-lin and the actors in Taiwanese film Flying Dragon, Dancing Phoenix also joined and warmed up the ceremony.

The laureates were congratulated by many participants and they had pleasant group conversations here and there of the hall.

The Celebration banquet in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere
The Celebration banquet in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere
Mayor Takashima with Dr.Shiva
Guest from Focus on Asia

Download the Anuual Report 2012

You can download the annual report 2012 in Adobe PDF to check all the events and programs of the Fukuoka Prize 2012.

Download the Anuual Report 2012

Official program reports

Click to see more 2012 reports.