Professor Yano Toru is Japan's foremost energetic scholar in Asian-related affairs and has won international reputation as a social science scholar and distinguished representative of Japan.
In Japan, he is the pioneer who established Southeast Asian studies as a course worthy of the name academia. During his post graduate course, he spent two years living together with the people in a village located in southern Thailand. While being absorbed in that world, he constantly checked and refined the discipline of social science through the results of his field work, and from the firm linking of theory and actual proof, he established a full-scale methodology regarding area studies. Since that time, while deepening his intellectual speculation, he spent time during his postgraduate course, carrying out field research in a village in southern Thailand. He made remarkable achievements by clarifying the principles peculiar to Asian society from the point of view of all mankind.
He published a series of books concerning Southeast Asia, such as: "A Contemporary Political History of Thailand and Burma," "The Logics of the World of Southeast Asia," "The Cold War and Southeast Asia," "The Structure of the World of Southeast Asia," "Senses of the Statehood" and "The History of the South-bound Expansion of Japan".
The influence of these books within the academic circle was great, and they were rated very highly. Besides his original elucidation on the formation of the Southeast Asian World, Professor Yano presented an epoch-making point of view on the theory of the traditional states in this region. For example, he has presented a theory of the "Small-sized Patrimonial State," thus repeatedly contributing greatly to the world.
In these achievements, for example, just like the theory on the "Small-sized Patrimonial State," the formation of the Southeast Asian world and the structures of the traditional states are elucidated and the up-to-date significance are made clear. As such, while his deep insight is given regarding the history, society and culture of this world, his serious intellectual questions concerning the ethos of the relationship between Japan and Asia are constantly being made.
Professor Yano can speak not only European and American languages, but is also versed in Asian languages and based upon his linguistic ability and abundant intellectual planning ability, Professor Yano continues to make great contributions to the planning and managing of international conferences and symposiums and the implementing of worldwide cultural exchange.
In January of this year, Professor Yano became the first social scholar ever in Asia to be elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In this way Professor Yano's achievements have made remarkable contributions to the promotion of Asian research and culture. He is a most deserving recipient of The Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes - The 1990 Special Commemorative Prize.