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Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities


The Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities is awarded each year to individuals who have made original, distinguished contributions in research or criticism through publications that adopt a broad perspective on society and culture.

The Prize is awarded in four categories: Political Science and Economics, Literary and Art Criticism, Life and Society, and History and Civilization. Selection committees in each category recommend and select the winning individuals and works. Winners receive a plaque and three million yen.

Works selected for consideration will have been published in Japanese during the preceding calendar year. In particular, the selection committees seek individuals who are rising critics or researchers of considerable originality and future potential, and works that distinctively represent the author's views or emphasis. The candidate's other published works to date may also be taken into consideration in the selection process.

Since there are few prizes to honor achievements in criticism and research on a broad basis, an important role of the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities is to showcase free-ranging criticism and research unconstrained by conventional categories.

A total of 346 people have been awarded the Prize from 1979, when it was established, through the 41st Prize in 2019. These individuals have won acclaim for innovative approaches to their subjects, for research at the boundaries of conventional scholarship, and for opening up new frontiers.

The 41st(2019) Prize Winners

Political Science and Economics
NameZenkyo Masahiro
AffiliationKwansei Gakuin University
Titles in English"Support for the Ishin: Is It a Consequence of Populism, or Rational Choice?"
Original Title『維新支持の分析 ― ポピュリズムか,有権者の合理性か』
NameYamaguchi Shintaro
AffiliationThe University of Tokyo
Titles in English"Economics of Family Wellbeing"
Original Title『「家族の幸せ」の経済学 ― データ分析でわかった結婚、出産、子育ての真実』
Literary and Art Criticism
NameKuwakino Koji
AffiliationOsaka University
Titles in English"Intellectual History of Renaissance Garden"
Original Title『ルネサンス庭園の精神史 ― 権力と知と美のメディア空間』
NameSuzuki Seiko
AffiliationParis Diderot University – Paris 7
Titles in English"The Birth of the 'Gagaku': the Sound of the Greater East Asia in the Vision of Hisao Tanabe"
Original Title『〈雅楽〉の誕生-田辺尚雄が見た大東亜の響き』
Life and Society
NameKoizumi Yu
AffiliationThe University of Tokyo
Titles in English"Geopolitics of Russia as 'Empire'"
Original Title『「帝国」ロシアの地政学 ― 「勢力圏」で読むユーラシア戦略』
NameFujihara Tatsushi
AffiliationKyoto University
Titles in English"Philosophy of Decomposition: Thinking of Corruption and Fermentation"
Original Title『分解の哲学 ― 腐敗と発酵をめぐる思考』
History and Civilization
NameBando Yosuke
AffiliationKogakkan University
Titles in English"From the Sorai School to the Kokugaku: people who are representating themselves"
Original Title『徂徠学派から国学へ ― 表現する人間』
NameFuruta Tetsuya
AffiliationThe University of Tokyo
Titles in English"A Philosophy of the Soul of Words"
Original Title『言葉の魂の哲学』