The Suntory Prize for Community Cultural Activities is awarded annually to individuals and groups making significant contributions to the development and promotion of culture in their local communities through activities in such fields as art, literature, preservation and propagation of traditional culture, environmental beautification, the creation of culture in daily life, and international interchange.
Selections for consideration are based on recommendations from local newspapers and offices of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) throughout Japan. Following document screening, local evaluations are carried out with final screening based on the results. Consideration is given to such factors as the activity's sustainability, originality, level of development, and degree of influence on the local community. The Prize is normally awarded to five groups each year. Winners receive a plaque and three million yen.
Winners of the Prize since its establishment in 1979 have come from all 47 prefectures of Japan, with 230 groups honored as of the 43rd Prize in 2021. These winners have continued their activities as cultural leaders in their local communities and are serving as drivers for the development of local culture in Japan.
While most prizes for local culture are awarded at the prefectural level, winners of the Suntory Prize for Community Cultural Activities are evaluated and selected from the nation as a whole, providing the winners with additional motivation and opportunity.