The Kyoto Prize medal presented to the laureate in honor of his/her achievements was designed by Yoshiyuki Chosa (1915-2002), a Japanese metalwork artisan who received the Order of Culture. At the center of the medal is a camphor tree in relief, a "divine tree" that has been an object of nature worship since ancient times, believed to symbolize eternity and perpetuity. Weighing about 250g, it is made of 20K gold. It is adorned with four recrystallized emeralds (4.56 ct.) and four recrystallized rubies (6.88 ct.), which are called Inamori Stones. The reverse side is engraved with the laureate's name and the year of the award.
“Great Efforts Lead to Great Illumination”
The passage reminds us that no one has ever achieved greatness without commensurate effort and striving. It was because the masters of old exerted themselves to their utmost that they were able to attain the Way. The scale of our achievements depends upon the degree of our efforts. Dedication to spiritual growth is the key to fostering virtue, and the path to Great Light.
The diploma measures 34.5 cm in length and 63 cm in width, with a fold in the center. On the right side, the Prize category and field, Laureate's name and the date of awarding appear. The diploma is undersigned by the president of Inamori Foundation and Chairmen of respective Committees in the Kyoto Prize Selection Organization. The left side is calligraphic inscription in the hand of the President of the Myoshin-ji Temple school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, which is generally selected from pertinent Chinese aphorisms with lives and achievements of that year's laureates in mind.