Inamori Foundation Doubles Monetary Awards Bestowed with its Annual Kyoto Prizes

Japan’s highest private award for global achievement increases from 50 million yen to 100 million yen (about US$930,000) in three annual categories

KYOTO, Japan--()--The Inamori Foundation has announced that it will double the monetary awards that accompany its annual Kyoto Prizes, to nearly one million dollars at current exchange rates, in each of the prize’s three annual categories. The increased monetary awards — rising from a current 50 million yen to 100 million yen apiece — will be presented for the first time with the 34th annual Kyoto Prizes on Nov. 10, 2018 in Kyoto, Japan.

The Kyoto Prize is presented each year in three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. Within each category are four annually rotating fields from which Kyoto Prize laureates are selected. As a result, the Kyoto Prizes recognize achievements within 12 separate fields of endeavor.

Advanced Technology fields include:

  • Electronics
  • Information science
  • Materials science and engineering
  • Biotechnology and medical technology

Basic Sciences fields include:

  • Biological sciences (evolution, behavior, ecology, environment)
  • Life sciences (molecular biology, cell biology, neurobiology)
  • Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy and astrophysics
  • Mathematical sciences

Arts and Philosophy fields include:

  • Music
  • Thought and ethics
  • Theater and cinema
  • Arts (painting, sculpture, craft, architecture, photography and design)

In announcing the change, foundation president Dr. Kazuo Inamori cited the traditional Japanese concept of rita, or altruism, as the virtue he wanted to see embodied in the form of an international award when he created the Kyoto Prize in 1984.

“It is my sincere hope, modest though it may be, that the light of the Kyoto Prize, born in Japan’s ancient capital, Kyoto, a place endowed with a rich intellectual and cultural legacy, will play a role in inspiring courage in humankind and offering hope for generations to come,” Inamori stated. Click here1 to read the full announcement.

The Kyoto Prize is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement, consisting of academic honors, a 20-karat gold medal, and a cash gift. Since 1985, it has been presented to 106 laureates — 105 individuals and one group (the Nobel Foundation) — collectively representing 17 nations. Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (43), followed by Japan (21), the United Kingdom (12) and France (8). Click here2 for full list of Kyoto Prize laureates.

1 Full announcement:
2 Full list of laureates:


Inamori Foundation
Jay Scovie, North American Liaison

Release Summary

Inamori Foundation doubles the value of its Kyoto Prize — already one of the world's highest awards for human achievement — to nearly $1 million.

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Inamori Foundation
Jay Scovie, North American Liaison