Daisetz T. Suzuki and Kitaro Nishida are two of the most prominent philosophers and thinkers of modern Japan. Daisetz T. Suzuki made major contributions to the introduction of Eastern thought, particularly Zen, all over the world. He pursued a lifelong quest for spiritual awareness, recognizing it as the core of Buddhism. Kitaro Nishida, the originator of a unique philosophical movement, educated numerous scholars and researchers in what came to be known as the “Kyoto School.” Nishida won the Order of Culture in 1940, and Suzuki won the same in 1949.
Both Suzuki and Nishida were born and raised in Ishikawa Prefecture and studied at the Fourth Advanced Middle School, the predecessor of the Fourth High School established in Kanazawa City under Japan’s former education system. That these two great talents both appeared in Kanazawa can be put down to the city’s history as an academic center characterized by a unique spiritual climate and a culture based on thought and philosophy. In 1899, Kitaro Nishida was appointed a professor at the Fourth High School, where he taught for around 10 years. The Fourth High School is one of the predecessors of Kanazawa University, and the Fourth High School alumni association has been consolidated into the Kanazawa University Alumni Association.
The Kanazawa University International Award in Commemoration of Daisetz T. Suzuki and Kitaro Nishida (the “KUI Award”) has been founded in tribute to Daisetz T. Suzuki and Kitaro Nishida, both of whom are associated with Kanazawa University, with funds donated by Dr. Mitsuru Usui (a class of 1964 graduate of Kanazawa University’s School of Medicine). The KUI Award is intended to honor scholars or researchers who are making internationally distinguished achievements in the realm of philosophy, thought and religion, and thereby to facilitate advancement of the University’s research and studies in this realm and inspire and motivate the next generation of young scholars and researchers.