Profile of the Foundation

Profile of the Foundation
Date of establishment: May 1, 1959
Administration: Cabinet Office, "CO"
Capital: 1,879 million yen
Founder: Ginjiro Fujihara
(As of the End of March 2023)

History and Activities of the Foundation

Ginjiro Fujihara, known as the “King of Papermaking of Japan ," had always worked to help make Japan, a country with limited land and few resources, one of the world's leading nations based on science and technology. Among the great contributions he performed to achieve this objective was an exceptional donation of 2,670,000 yen (worth approximately 9 billion yen today) to The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, Waseda University and other major universities in the name of the former Oji Paper Co., Ltd. This colossal contribution was made by Mr. Fujihara in 1938 (when he headed the company) to encourage science education in Japanese colleges, in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the merger of three paper manufacturing companies (Oji Paper Co., Ltd., Fuji Paper Co., Ltd., and Karafuto Industry Corp.). In the same year when he retired as president of the former Oji Paper Co., Ltd., Mr. Fujihara founded an educational institution called the Fujihara Institute of Technology, which is currently the Faculty of Science and Technology of Keio University, out of his own pocket (8 million yen, equivalent to about 28 billion yen today).
At the age of 90illi (1959), he founded the Fujihara Foundation of Science again out of his own pocket (100 million yen) to encourage activities in science and technology in Japan in the future. Mr. Matsutaro Shoriki, the then head of The Yomiuri Shimbun, was the first chairperson of the Foundation's board of directors, and Dr. Seiji Kaya, was president of The University of Tokyo at that time, assumed office as Chairperson of the Screening Committee of the Fujihara Award.
To achieve Mr. Fujihara’ s cherished desire, the Foundation carries out two key missions: the Fujihara Award and the Fujihara Seminar. The Fujihara Award is given with supplementary prizes to scientists who have contributed greatly to the development of science and technology in Japan. The first awards ceremony took place ln 1960.
Since 1975, the awards have been given two persons a year and the value of supplementary prizes has been increased to 10 million yen each. The awards given in 2023 marked the 64th year, with 131 scientists awarded in total.
"The Fujihara Seminar" was started in 1974 to support annual international seminars with 500 million yen donated from 16 companies in 1973 as a part of the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the former Oji Paper Co., Ltd. These included Oji Paper Co., Ltd. and Jujo Paper Co., Ltd. (currently Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.) , which branched off from the former Oji Paper Co., Ltd. Seventy nine seminars have been funded as of 2022.
With the wish for contribution to the progress of science and technology through international exchange among young scientists, the Foundation is funding two seminars each year, giving the total financial assistance up to 24 million yen (up to 12 million yen per seminar).
We are very proud of our long-standing contributions to the promotion of science and technology in Japan, through the activities of the Fujihara Foundation of Science more than half a century—64 years since its foundation.
We are continuing our efforts in the spirit of the founder, Ginjiro Fujihara, with financial assistance from Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd., and Oji Holdings Corporation, both of which inherited the business from the former Oji Paper Co., Ltd. before the World War II, along with publicity support from The Yomiuri Shimbun.