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Getting to know more about the Japan Foundation

Chapter 4
Promoting Understanding of and Participation in International Cultural Exchanges

The Japan Foundation gives the Japan Foundation Awards and the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship to individuals and groups who have contributed to deepening mutual understanding between Japan and the world through international cultural exchange, and to groups who engage in outstanding community-based international cultural exchange.

The Japan Foundation Awards

The Japan Foundation Awards are given to individuals and groups who make significant contributions to the enhancement of international understanding and the promotion of international friendship through academic and artistic or other cultural activities, and who are expected to continue to engage in such activities. In fiscal 2015, 3 individuals/groups were chosen from a total of 103 individuals and groups.

Fiscal 2015 Recipients

Photo of [Wang Yong China]
Wang Yong [China]
(Professor/Director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, Zhejiang Gongshang University)

Wang Yong is a leading Chinese authority on research into the history of Sino-Japanese cultural exchange. He takes a novel approach to the field, looking two-way cultural exchange including the intellectual exchange via written materials that continued up until the Edo period. Wang Yong shed light on forgotten historical cultural/academic exchange.

Photo of [Isao Tomita Japan]
Isao Tomita [Japan]
(Composer/Synthesizer performer)

Isao Tomita received international acclaim for his renditions of works of classical music on synthesizers. His works fusing traditional Japanese instruments, orchestras, and synthesizers have been performed around the world. In recent years, his piece based on the works of Kenji Miyazawa that utilized a “virtual idol” was performed to acclaim in Beijing.

Photo of [Sibiu International Theatre Festival Romania]
Sibiu International Theatre Festival [Romania]

The Sibiu International Theatre Festival had invited Japanese theater groups to perform every year since 1995. The Festival has, over many long years, contributed to the globalization of Japanese culture. The festival organizers have also strived hard to enhance international friendship and goodwill. Since 2007, Japanese volunteers have been dispatched to the Festival, and as of 2015 a total of 127 volunteers have participated.

The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship

The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship are awarded to organizations in Japan who engage in forward-thinking and original initiatives that deepen ties between Japan and overseas, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and information, and encourage collaborative thinking. In fiscal 2015, 3 organizations were selected for prizes from a list of 134.

Fiscal 2015 Recipients

Image picture of [NPO Peace Field Japan]
NPO Peace Field Japan [Tokyo]

Peace Field Japan implements a program for deepening mutual understanding between the youths and letting them coexist harmoniously with nature. The program was recognized for the social significance of its fundamental approach to building peace through connecting citizens and enhancing mutual international understanding.

Image picture of [Yamamoto Noh Theater Osaka]
Yamamoto Noh Theater [Osaka]

The Yamamoto Noh Theater engages in grassroots international cultural exchange activities in East European countries. They have strived hard with initiatives aimed at familiarizing local people with traditional Japanese performing arts including the development of a Noh-related smartphone app.

Image picture of [NPO Kobe Foreigners Friendship Center Hyogo]
NPO Kobe Foreigners Friendship Center [Hyogo]

Since the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake the Kobe Foreigners Friendship Center has provided direct support to over 350,000 foreign residents to help them maintain their independence. The Center has also held workshops that encourage people to change their way of thinking about inclusiveness in their communities.