Award Programs

Each year Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai selects and honors individuals with two award programs.

The BDK Bunka-Sho (Cultural Award for the Promotion of Buddhism) is presented to individuals who have who have made significant contributions in the promotion of Buddhist spirit, culture, and study.

The BDK Shorei-Sho (Numata Innovation and Visionary Award) is presented to emerging and exemplary Buddhist leaders, cerlics, or visionaries.

The honor of the recognition includes a monetary award, currently three million yen, or approximately $27,500, for Bunka-Sho,  and two million yen, or approximately $18,400, for Shorei-Sho.

Selection Process

An independent selection committee appointed by BDK annually selects individuals or organizations to receive these awards through recommendations and information submitted by Buddhist schools, academic institutions, scholars, researchers, and media. 

Nominations are considered from around the globe, and recipients include people of diverse backgrounds. 

Applications Next Open in April 2020

Although applications are closed for 2019, the nomination form is typically posted each year by BDK Japan in early April. The 2019 application in the meanwhile is available for reference only at 

                               Cultural Awards in Buddhism

Past American Recipients

Awardees from the United States include

  • Rev. Gyomay Kubose, American Buddhist priest (1971)
  • Mrs. Shinobu Matsuura, Life long, American Buddhist Missionary (1975)
  • Rev. Hozen Seki, Founder of American Buddhist Academy, New York City (1980)
  • Dr. Kikuo Taira, American Buddhist Lay Leader (1984)
  • Dr. Kenneth Inada, Innovative American Buddhist Scholar (1990)
  • Gary Snyder, Pullitzer Prize Winning, American Poet and Zen teacher (1998)
  • Dr. Alfred Bloom, American Buddhist Scholar (1999)
  • Dr. Taitetsu Unno, American Buddhist Scholar & Mentor (2006)
  • Dr. Barbara Ruch, American Buddhist Scholar specializing in research of Japanese Imperial Convents (2008)

(Last updated June 16, 2019)