Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy

The Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy is awarded once a year by the Inamori Foundation for lifetime achievements in the arts and philosophy. The Prize is one of three Kyoto Prize categories; the others are the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences. The first Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy was awarded to Olivier Messiaen in 1985, the "greatest composer to have emerged from 20th century France".[1] The Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in fields not traditionally honored with a Nobel Prize.[2]

The Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy
Kyoto Prize(U-S-A-) 2013-11-03 17-37.jpg
Awarded forGlobal achievement in Arts and Philosophy
LocationKyoto, Japan
Presented byInamori Foundation
First awarded1985


A Kyoto laureate is awarded a gold medal, a diploma, and a prize money of 100 million yen (US$913,100 or €825,800 as of January 2020)[3], making it one of the richest literary prizes in the world.

Kyoto laureates in Arts and PhilosophyEdit

The Kyoto Prize is awarded annually in three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. The category Arts and Philosophy consists of four fields which are awarded in alternating cycles: Music, Arts, Theater and Cinema, and Thought and Ethics.



Year Laureate Country
1985   Olivier Messiaen   France 1908–1992 A Composer Who Left a Significant Mark on the 20th Century Music with His Original Theoretical Framework Fundamentally Dependent upon Catholicism[4]
1989   John Cage   United States 1912–1992 A Composer Who Established a New Style of Contemporary Music by His New Concept of "Chance Music" and Non-Western Musical Thought[5]
1993   Witold Lutosławski   Poland 1913–1994 A Composer Who Opened New Possibilities of a Contemporary Musical Expression of Atonality and Aleatory Influenced by East European Folk Music[6]
1997   Iannis Xenakis   Greece 1922–2001 A Composer Who Created a Totally New Music Using Computer-Aided Approach by Viewing Music Statistically as a Set of "Sound Elements"[7]
2001   György Ligeti   Austria 1923–2006 A Composer with Superb Originality and Firm Commitment to Innovation who Continues to Present New Challenges[8]
2005   Nikolaus Harnoncourt   Austria 1929-2016 A musician of exceptional creativity who has contributed to the establishment of the historically informed performance of European early music, and who has extended his principles and interpretation to modern music[9]
2009   Pierre Boulez   France 1925–2016 A Musician Who Has Consistently Set Trends through His Composition, Conducting, Writing, and Organizational Operation[10]
2013   Cecil Taylor   United States 1929-2018 An Innovative Jazz Musician Who Has Fully Explored the Possibilities of Piano Improvisation[11]
2017   Richard Taruskin   United States born 1947 A Musicologist and Critic of Prodigious Erudition Who Has Transformed Contemporary Perspectives on Music through Historical Research and Essays That Defy Conventional Critical Paradigms[12]


Year Laureate Country
1986 Isamu Noguchi   United States 1904–1988 An Artist Who Fused Eastern and Western Tradition not only in Sculpture but also in Broad Areas of Physical Design[13]
1990   Renzo Piano   Italy born 1937 An Architect Who Elicited a New Potentiality for Architecture by Lifting Technology to the Realm of Fine Art[14]
1995   Roy Lichtenstein   United States 1923–1997 A Painter Whose Pop-Art Motifs Continuously Challenged Established Concepts of Art Its Role in Modern Society[15]
1998 Nam June Paik   United States 1932–2006 An Artist Who Launched the Field of ”Media Art” With His Inventive Use of Image Media in Modern Art[16]
2002   Tadao Ando   Japan born 1941 An architect who explored the limits of humankind's relationship with nature through his original forms and structures[17]
2006   Issey Miyake   Japan born 1938 A designer who has made great contribution to the innovative development of clothing by fusing Eastern and Western cultures and applying cutting edge technology[18]
2010   William Kentridge   South Africa born 1955 An Artist Who Has Created an Original Art by Fusing Traditional Drawings with Animation and Other Media[19]
2014   Fukumi Shimura   Japan born 1924 An Artist in Constant Pursuit of the Fundamental Human Value of Harmonious Coexistence with Nature through the Artistic Creation of Tsumugi Kimono on the Basis of Folk Wisdom[20]
2018 Joan Jonas   United States born 1936 An Artist Who Pioneered New Artistic Expression by Integrating Performance Art and New Media, Remaining at the Forefront of Contemporary Art for 50 Years[21]

Theater, cinemaEdit

Year Laureate Country
1987   Andrzej Wajda   Poland 1926–2016 A Film Director Who Kept a Firm Eye on the Tumultuous Era of Poland in the 20th Century and Has Depicted Liberty, Courage and Dignity of Human Beings[22]
1991   Peter Stephen Paul Brook   United Kingdom born 1925 A Stage Director, Who Has Inspired New Anima to Classic Repertories through His Innovative Rendering Which Amalgamates Essential Expressions of West and East Theatre Traditions[23]
1994   Akira Kurosawa   Japan 1910–1998 A Film Director Who Has Pursued the Humanity with an Acute Insight and Highly Original Images[24]
1999   Maurice Béjart   France 1927–2007 A Choreographer Who Has Contributed the Dance to Regain Its Status as Fine Art through His Major Performances such as the ”Sacre du Printemps” and the ”Bolero”[25]
2003 Tamao Yoshida   Japan 1919–2006 The Foremost Master Puppeteer in Bunraku, a Major Classical Performance Art of Japan[26]
2007   Pina Bausch   Germany 1940–2009 A choreographer who has broken down the boundaries between dance and theater and pioneered a new direction for theatrical art[27]
2011   Tamasaburo Bando V   Japan born 1950 A Creator of Elegant Beauty Whose Artistry with Kabuki at Its Core Crosses Many Genres of Performing Arts[28]
2015 John Neumeier   United States born 1942 A Choreographer Who Developed 20th Century Ballet to New Levels, and Continues to Lead the Global Dance Scene Today[29]
2019 Ariane Mnouchkine   France born 1939 A Stage Director Who Has Innovated Theatrical Expressions Through Her Original Masterpieces for Over Half a Century.[30]

Thought and ethicsEdit

Year Laureate Country
1988 Paul Thieme   West Germany 1905–2001 One of the Most Eminent Indologists of the 20th Century Who Made a Significant Contribution to the Comprehension of Indo-Aryan and the Ancient Indian Philosophy through His Detailed Studies of Vedic[31]
1992   Karl Raimund Popper   United Kingdom 1902–1994 A Philosopher Who Gave a Great Impact on the Intellectual World of Natural and Social Science by What He Calls Falsifiability Criterion and Advocated the Realization of Open Society Based on the "Critical Rationalism"[32]
1996   Willard Van Orman Quine   United States 1908–2000 A Philosopher Who Made Significant Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Philosophy by Rejecting the Method of Analytic-Synthetic Distinction and Naturalizing Epistemology Based on a Holistic and Systematic Linguistic Framework[33]
2000 Paul Ricœur   France 1913–2005 An Imposing Construct of Hermeneutic Phenomenology that Embraces a New Concept of Ethics[34]
2004   Jürgen Habermas   Germany born 1929 Achievements in social philosophy, in particular establishment of the communicative action theory and discourse ethics, and its application in practical activities for a public-minded ideal society[35]
2008   Charles Margrave Taylor   Canada born 1931 Construction of a Social Philosophy to Pursue the Coexistence of Diverse Cultures[36]
2012   Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak   India born 1942 A Critical Theorist and Educator Speaking for the Humanities Against Intellectual Colonialism in Relation to the Globalized World[37]
2016   Martha Craven Nussbaum   United States born 1947 A Philosopher Who Has Developed a New Theory of Justice Advocating the Capabilities Approach[38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Olivier Messiaen". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Kyoto Prize honors achievement and character". USA Today. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  3. ^ "About Kyoto Prize | Kyoto Prize". 京都賞. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  4. ^ "Olivier Messiaen". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  5. ^ "John Cage". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  6. ^ "Witold Lutoslawski". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  7. ^ "Iannis Xenakis". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  8. ^ "György Ligeti". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  9. ^ "Nikolaus Harnoncourt". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  10. ^ "Pierre Boulez". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  11. ^ "Cecil Taylor". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  12. ^ Richard Taruskin 2017
  13. ^ "Isamu Noguchi". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  14. ^ "Renzo Piano". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  15. ^ "Roy Lichtenstein". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  16. ^ "Nam June Paik". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  17. ^ "Tadao Ando". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  18. ^ "Issey Miyake". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  19. ^ "William Kentridge". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  20. ^ "Fukumi Shimura". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  21. ^ "Fukumi Shimura". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  22. ^ "Andrzej Wajda". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  23. ^ "Peter Stephen Paul Brook". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  24. ^ "Akira Kurosawa". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  25. ^ "Maurice Béjart". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  26. ^ "Tamao Yoshida Ⅰ". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  27. ^ "Pina Bausch". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  28. ^ "Tamasaburo Bando V". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  29. ^ "John Neumeier". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  30. ^ Ariane Mnouchkine 2019
  31. ^ "Paul Thieme". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  32. ^ "Karl Raimund Popper". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  33. ^ "Willard Van Orman Quine". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  34. ^ "Paul Ricœur". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  35. ^ "Jürgen Habermas". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  36. ^ "Charles Margrave Taylor". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  37. ^ "Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  38. ^ "Martha Craven Nussbaum". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.