Kyoto Prize

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The Kyoto Prize
Kyoto Prize(U-S-A-) 2013-11-03 17-37.jpg
Insignia of the prize.
Awarded forLifetime achievement in
Advanced Technology,
Basic Sciences,
Arts and Philosophy
LocationICC Kyoto
Country Japan
Presented byInamori Foundation
Reward(s)100 million yen (more than $800,000) and a 20-karat gold medal[1]
First awarded1985
Number of laureates100 prizes to 106 laureates as of 2017
TWN Order of Brilliant Star 6Class BAR.svg
Ribbon of the prize

The Kyoto Prize (京都賞, Kyōto-shō) is Japan's highest private award for lifetime achievement in the arts and sciences.[2] It is given not only to those that are top representatives of their own respective fields, but to "those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind".[3] The Kyoto Prize was created in collaboration with the Nobel Foundation[4] and is regarded by many as Japan's version of the Nobel Prize,[5][6] representing one of the most prestigious awards available in fields that are not traditionally honored with a Nobel.[7]

The prizes are endowed with 100 million yen (roughly 800,000 USD) per category and have been awarded annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, founded by Kazuo Inamori. The laureates are announced each June; the prize presentation ceremony and related events are held in Kyoto, Japan, each November.[8]

Categories and fields[edit]

The Kyoto Prize consists of three different categories, each with 4 subfields. The subfields rotate every year to create a diverse group of Laureates. The categories and fields are:

Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology
With Fields: Electronics, Biotechnology and Medical Technology, Materials Science and Engineering, and Information Science.[9]
Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences
With Fields: Mathematical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences (Astronomy and Astrophysics), and Life Sciences (With the fifth subfield of Cognitive Sciences with one Laureate, Noam Chomsky in 1988).[9]
Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy
With Fields: Music, Arts, Theater (Cinema), and Thought and Ethics[9]


With the 2015 Kyoto laureates, the three-category prizes have honored 99 individuals and one foundation (the Nobel Foundation). 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 (44), followed by Japan (19), the United Kingdom (12), and France (8).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joan Jonas Wins $900,000 Kyoto Prize". ARTnews. June 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Donald Knuth Wins Kyoto Prize". Retrieved 2019-12-21. Donald E. Knuth, one of the founding fathers of computer science, has been awarded the 1996 Kyoto Prize, Japan's equivalent of the Nobel Prize and the country's highest private award for lifetime achievement.
  3. ^ "About the Kyoto Prize | Kyoto Prize at Oxford". Retrieved 2019-12-21. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honour those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. The Prize is presented annually in each of the following three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.
  4. ^ "Nobel Prize awarded to Kyoto Prize Laureate | Kyoto Prize USA". Retrieved 2019-12-21. The Kyoto Prize was created in 1984, with the assistance of the Nobel Foundation, to create Kyoto awards which do not duplicate the Nobel categories established a Century ago. In fact, the very first Kyoto Prize was awarded to the Nobel Foundation as a group for its assistance in advising the Inamori Foundation in creating the Kyoto Prize.
  5. ^ Vergano, Dan (12 November 2006). "Kyoto Prize honors achievement and character". Retrieved 9 June 2012. The Kyoto Prize, sometimes called Japan's version of the Nobel ... simultaneously recognizes the arts and philosophy, as well as scientific achievement.
  6. ^ Brozan, Nadine (1996-07-01). "Chronicle". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-21. The awards, often called the Nobel Prizes of Japan, are given by the Inamori Foundation.
  7. ^ "Kyoto Prize honors achievement and character -". Retrieved 2019-12-21. Many of the prizes serve as precursors to a Nobel or fill in areas where a Nobel is unlikely to be awarded ...
  8. ^ Brozan, Nadine (1996-07-01). "Chronicle". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  9. ^ a b c "About Kyoto Prize | Kyoto Prize". 京都賞. Retrieved 2019-12-21.

External links[edit]