Message & Greeting

Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado
Honorary President, Inamori Foundation

The Inamori Foundation announced this year’s Kyoto Prize laureates in June. I am highly delighted that the new laureates have written another page in the history of the Kyoto Prize, and I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureates: Dr. Carver Mead, in the category of Advanced Technology; Dr. Bryan T. Grenfell, in the category of Basic Sciences; and Dr. Zakir Hussain, in the category of Arts and Philosophy.

For many years, the three laureates have contributed to the progress of science and the arts, have striven to make our society more prosperous and sophisticated, and have dedicated countless efforts to encouraging the aspirations and happiness of humankind. I would like to express my profound admiration for their exceptional achievements.

Kazuo Inamori, the founder of the Inamori Foundation, passed away calmly at the age of 90 on August 24, this year. He firmly believed that a human being has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humanity and the world. It was in line with this philosophy that the Kyoto Prize was created in 1984 to recognize persons who have made outstanding contributions to the progress of science, the advancement of civilization, and the enrichment and elevation of the human spirit. The prize has now come to be recognized at home and abroad as one of Japan’s foremost international awards and has grown into one of the world’s most distinguished prizes.

Since the first Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony was held in 1985, the Inamori Foundation has invited laureates to Kyoto to honor their achievements in the presence of a large audience. However, in the last few years changes in social circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic have regrettably prevented the foundation from extending such invitations. I eagerly look forward to the foundation soon being able to resume inviting laureates to Kyoto to joyfully celebrate their achievements here with us all.

I sincerely hope that the three outstanding individuals who have this year been added to the illustrious list of Kyoto Prize laureates will continue to pursue their successful endeavors and in doing so further support world civilization, science, and enrichment of the human spirit, and that the Kyoto Prize, in its ongoing celebration of human wisdom, will also continue to make significant contributions to our future.

In closing, I would like to respectfully remember Kazuo Inamori’s dedicated commitment to establishing and nurturing the Kyoto Prize, and offer my heartfelt prayers that his spirit may rest in peace.

Shigetada Nakanishi
Chairman, Inamori Foundation

Shinobu Inamori-Kanazawa
President, Inamori Foundation

On behalf of the Inamori Foundation, we wish to extend our sincere congratulations to the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureates: Dr. Carver Mead, electronics engineer and applied physicist, and Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus at California Institute of Technology in the category of Advanced Technology; Dr. Bryan T. Grenfell, population biologist, and Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs at Princeton University in the category of Basic Sciences; and Dr. Zakir Hussain, tabla player in the category of Arts and Philosophy. We are truly honored and delighted to be able to add such prestigious names to the history of the Kyoto Prize.

The Inamori Foundation was established in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, the founder of KYOCERA Corporation. Since the first award presentation ceremony, which took place in the following year, the Kyoto Prize has been presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to humankind through their outstanding achievements in the three categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.

When Inamori created the Kyoto Prize, he compiled his thoughts in the form of the Philosophy behind the awards program. In this Philosophy, he describes his desire to give back to the world, to which he feels deeply indebted, and his hopes for a balance between scientific/technological progress and spiritual depth, in keeping with his conviction that a human being has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind and society. Every previous recipient of the Kyoto Prize has possessed the drive and ability to change the future of humanity for the better. Their passion for work, love for humanity, and purpose-driven lifestyles have never failed to impress us profoundly. Through the Kyoto Prize, Inamori’s thinking has found many empathetic to his cause.

Last year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the agonizing decision to cancel the 2021 Kyoto Prize presentation ceremony and the related events, and instead released the laureates’ commemorative lectures available online. We would like to do the same way this year as well. Unfortunately, it is not attainable for us to welcome the laureates to Kyoto and to provide an opportunity to directly touch their profound expertise and fascinating personality. However, we will be delighted if many people take this opportunity to listen to the lectures, which we hope will help to deepen their understanding of both the laureates and the Kyoto Prize itself as they get to know each laureate’s background and wisdom.

We want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the selection process, the Government of Japan, the Kyoto Prefectural Government, the Kyoto City Government and other government officials, and the many others to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. We sincerely hope that, sooner rather than later, we will again be able to hold ceremonies and commemorative events here in Kyoto to celebrate the splendid achievements of Kyoto Prize laureates.