Suntory Group is involved in a variety of cultural contribution activities such as operating the Suntory Museum of Art, Suntory Hall and other activities that contribute to the development of a rich culture and lifestyle.
In addition, we also support social science and humanities academic research and the research activities of the Suntory Foundation for Life Sciences. Through these activities we aim to foster international human resources capable of leading the next generation.
Promoting Arts, Culture and Academics
Suntory Foundation for Arts
Suntory Museum of Art opened in 1961 and Torii Music Foundation established in 1969 as a 70th anniversary commemoration of the founding of Suntory (name changed to Suntory Music Foundation in 1978). Two activities that have been carried out in the field of arts for about half a century was merged as a 110th anniversary commemoration activity and renew them to suit the 21st century in 2009 as Suntory Foundation for Arts.
Since April 2012, operation of Suntory Hall was added to expand its field and aims to contribute to further disseminate and develop music and arts in Japan through various unique activities. Roughly one million customers have visited the Suntory Museum of Art and Suntory Hall in 2016.
Suntory Museum of Art -- Art Revised, Beauty Revealed
Guided by the theme “Art in Life” since its founding in 1961, the museum’s current collection encompasses over 3,000 works of painting, lacquer ware, pottery, glass, and textile, including one national treasure and 15 important cultural properties. With no permanent exhibition, the museum is centered on its special exhibitions. The museum moved to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi in March 2007. Based on the museum message of "Art Revised, Beauty Revealed", we are also involved in passing down a sense of art of the Japanese people to future generations through larger and more diverse exhibitions with a total of approximately 3,000 items that include one National Treasure and 15 Important Cultural Properties. The museum, which was designed by architect Kengo Kuma with the theme of a living room in the middle of the city, provides facilities such as shops, cafes, halls that hold a wide range of programs, and tea rooms.
Exhibitions and Lectures Held to Celebrate a Decade in Roppongi
2017 brought celebrations to commemorate a decade in Roppongi with five exhibitions unique to Suntory Museum of Art; the Picture Scroll Enthusiasts exhibition focused on people who love picture scrolls, A Sacred Treasure Box exhibition where the fully restored Box with Fusenryo Design in Mother-of-Pearl Inlay and Maki-e National Treasure was on display for the first time, the first All Under Heaven Bowed to His Brush retrospective about Kano Motonobu who gave birth to the Kano School, and the Sèvres : 300 Creative Years exhibition which introduced the history of porcelain for the French Court.
In addition, we also held a premium talk series in a conversation format between artisans and curators pushing the boundaries of various fields for the purpose of communicating the joy of a broad range of works accessible not only to art fans but everyone. Each lecture was a hit.
In the Omoshiro Bijutsu Classroom Craft Workshop led by traditional artists such as living national treasures including lacquer artist Kazumi Murose and Japanese caster Yukie Osumi, everyone young and old was able to experience the excellence of traditional Japanese art and the joy of crafts.
In addition to the Suntory Museum of Art, we are involved in efforts to entertain customers from overseas such as publishing the Art & About Roppongi English information magazine that collects art information about Roppongi neighborhood while lending English guidance headphones at all of our exhibits. Suntory is also striving to provide opportunities for customers from overseas to enjoy events through efforts that include holding the Omoshiro Bijutsu Classroom Craft Workshop in English in 2017.
Suntory Hall — Aiming for the Most Beautiful Sound in the World
Opened in 1986 as Tokyo's first dedicated concert hall. Performances by leading musicians from Japan and overseas are conducted in two halls, Main Hall with a vineyard style, praised as “a jewel box of sound” by great composer Karajan, and Blue Rose (Small Hall) which the hall prides. More than approximately 600 lectures are seen by roughly 600,000 people.
Promoting Universal Design Through Large-scale Renovation after 30 Years Since Opening
Suntory hall celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 12, 2016 before closing between February and August 2017 for large-scale renovations. While valuing the mission to “pursue the world’s most beautiful sounds”, we are promoting universal design to offer more entrances able to approach concert seats without traversing stairways so that everyone can enjoy performances regardless of mobility while also adding a ramp to easily move from the foyer to the large first floor hall as well as additional multi-purpose restrooms.
Suntory Hall is still moments away from opening after these renovations, but a concert with an evacuation drill was held with the participation of Suntory Group employees. We aim to ensure Suntory Hall has the highest level of safety management in the world.
Full Performance Archive from the Inaugural Performance to Present Day
A complete Suntory Hall Performance Archive has been built to allow anyone to search performance information about the many historic performances held at the hall from the day the doors opened up to today.
The Suntory Hall website also introduced messages from more than 70 international artists sent to celebrate the 30 years since the doors first opened.
Music Division — Innovative Activities to Promote Music
We are involved in a variety of projects designed to promote Western music in Japan, including awarding the Suntory Music Award to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements in the field of music as well as the Keizou Saji Prize awarded for outstanding challenging performances and Akutagawa Award for Music Composition given to up-and-coming Japanese composers with superior works. We also introduce "Works of Japanese Composers" and provide grants for concerts. Since 2014, Suntory has also been aiming to conserve excellent stringed instrument artifacts which are cultural heritage assets as well as cultivate new musicians through lending activities. The Suntory Foundation for Arts lends its instruments to junior high and senior high school students and has begun a new program to lend instruments to up-and-coming musicians.
Holding Three Music Festivals
The festivals were held after the grand re-opening in September following the large-scale renovations in 2017.
The Suntory Hall Chamber Music Garden shares the joy of chamber music in the intimate space of the Blue Rose (Small Hall).
The Summer Festival to introduce pioneer music of the summer has been delivering a challenging stage with a broad and rich variety of modern music by new producers every year since 2013. In autumn, we hold the Suntory Hall Festival with a spectacular variety of rich classical music over two months to present a fall of arts, which gathers the best musicians throughout the world.
Vienna Philharmonic & Suntory Music Aid Fund
The Suntory Foundation for Arts engages in activities with Suntory Holdings Ltd. for the Vienna Philharmonic & Suntory Music Aid Fund for the purpose of invigorating disaster afflicted areas as well as the rest of Japan.
We are expanding many of these activities from the aid given to music activities provided together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Concerts for Children in disaster affected areas to mentoring of junior orchestras and musical remembrances.
We held a remembrance concert in 2017 with the Vienna Philharmonic as part of our support toward recovery after the Kumamoto Earthquake.
Celebrating the 80th anniversary of Suntory's founding, Suntory Foundation was established in 1979 to engage in research in the field of humanities and social science and to contribute to the development of culture in local communities in Japan. The Foundation engages in various activities such as awarding of the Suntory Arts Prize and the Suntory Prize for Community Cultural Activities, grants to research institutes and overseas publishers in the humanities and social sciences, and research and study conducted by the foundation itself.
In recent years, the Foundation is focusing on providing research aid for young researches and expanding programs such as "Challenge Research Aid for Young Researchers," "Aid of Private Research Related to Society and Culture by Young Researchers (Torii Fellow)" and "Aid of Private Research Related to Society and Culture by Young Researchers Overseas (Suntory Fellow)."
The winners of the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities is active as a leaders in the four categories of Political Science and Economics, Literary and Art Criticism, Life and Society, and History and Civilization with 329 people selected up to 2017. In addition, we called upon 209 winning associations of the Suntory Prize for Community Cultural Activities from all cities and prefectures throughout Japan in 2017.
SUNTORY FOUNDATION FOR LIFE SCIENCES
Preceded by the Institute of Food Chemistry which was established in 1946 to improve the health and nutrition of the Japanese people, the name was changed to Suntory Foundation for Life Sciences 1979 as the Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research. The Institute promotes research and disseminating academics of life science and its fusional area of bioorganic science. It currently nurtures university professors and other researchers that play active roles on the frontline.
We engage in research activities for the purpose of promoting collaborative research with research institutions such as universities while unveiling the mechanisms of life emphasizing molecules by positioning our own research into structural biology, organic chemistry, and molecular biology as points of integration for dissimilar fields. It also operates an analysis center to aid research by universities, aiding new researchers, grants for graduate students, aid for promoting research such as aiding academic meetings as well as research and educational support through the launch of courses cooperating with graduate schools and projects to research the development of human resource development such as system of doctoral guest researcher. It also operates analysis center to aid research by universities, aiding new researchers, grants for graduate students, aid for promoting research such as aiding academic meetings, system of doctoral guest researcher, educational support for universities, and other activities to train researchers.
The world has begun to discover the health components of sesame in Sesamin and the biosynthesized coryneform bactermium of Sesamin as well as Sesaminol antioxidants included in sesame seeds. Moreover, the gene controlling the contour shape of leaves is also now known. In addition to these discoveries, Suntory has published the results from a large number of research studies in notable scientific journals.
Suntory Presents Beethoven’s 9th with a Cast of 10,000
Suntory Presents Beethoven’s 9th with a Cast of 10,000–Spreading the Joy of Singing Together
Suntory Presents Beethoven’s 9th with a Cast of 10,000 started as a commemorative event of the opening of the Osaka-jyo Hall in 1983 which was held for the 35th time in 2017. Suntory Group has been a co-sponsor from the first concert, which has become a seasonal event in December.
The wide ranging event went beyond the borders of the region and surpassed generations with the participation of 10,000 people of all ages from elementary school students to people in the silver years of their life with the expansion of the lesson venue as an opportunity to experience the joy of singing and the excellence of classical music.
In 2011 to 2013, Tohoku venue, which was linked live with the Osaka-jyo Hall, was also set as a part of an activity to support the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. In 2014, 150 people from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures were invited to the Osaka-jyo Hall.