Professor Koentjaraningrat is a prominent anthropologist who represents present day Asia. As a man of culture, he is widely respected by his people in every profession while also enjoying a high international reputation.
Born and raised in traditional Javanese culture, Professor Koentjaraningrat pursued anthropology in the United States. As a young scholar, he drew international attention for his excellent monographs on the kinship, community work, religion and other aspects of Javanese society. At home, he has made an earnest effort to establish anthropology as a new science by observing not only his work, but also other systems of learning, including the training of young scholars, as well as education, in general. His devotion and contributions into these fields of study have been immeasurable.
Professor Koentjaraningrat commenced his socio-cultural studies by analyzing and interpreting traditional organizations in Java, while conducting field work in South Java. His scholastic work on Java has been compiled in Javanese Culture, which is a landmark in area studies. Extending his field work to western nations, Professor Koentjaraningrat has made substantial contributions in anthropological theory including papers on the history of anthropology and the introduction of new perspectives into western-originated anthropology. "Anthropology in Indonesia", in particular, is an epoch-making comprehensive piece of work which criticizes conventional works of ethnology and ethnography. The book is credited with having drastically changed the trend of Indonesian studies.
With his broad knowledge of anthropology, Professor Koentjaraningrat has written strongly on the issues many Asian nations now face, such as problems in development and modernization. Seeing hasty development in modern society, he is deeply concerned about the fate of traditional culture and stresses the need for human coexistence based on appropriate education. His positive suggestions have exerted influence on policies of development.
Professor Koentjaraningrat has also represented Indonesia at many international conferences. He has also taught at various overseas universities as a visiting professor. Sparing no efforts in promoting international exchange, he has received numerous international honors and awards. Moreover, from 1967 to 1977, he was active in establishing policies on social sciences and research for Indonesia while serving as Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Institute for Sciences. While constantly devoting himself to anthropology, he has attracted many people with his sincere and courteous personality. He is a rare scholar who enjoys wide confidence and respect from international society.
The great achievements of Professor Koentjaraningrat have not only cultivated frontiers in Indonesian anthropology. They have also demonstrated the significance of Asian culture and the study on Asian culture. These accomplishments have greatly contributed to the promotion of mutual understanding between Asia and the rest of the world to make Professor Koentjaraningrat particularly worthy of receiving the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes.