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.
Kojin kokku kōmyō kanarazu seidai nari
“The Assiduous Efforts of the Ancient Masters always Brought Great Illumination”
The ancient masters endured the rigors of strenuous training to reach the bright realm of enlightenment. If we persevere through the months and years without slackening our resolve, the path to progress will invariably open. No need to be overly concerned with results—what is important is sustained eff ort.
From the Zen text Zenkan Sakushin (Spurring Study of the Zen Barriers)
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.