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Grant-Making Foundations

Funding Sources for Japanese and U.S. Activities in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Studies

There are a number of public and private foundations and other organizations which support exchanges and other activities in Japan and the United States in arts and humanities-related fields. This is a list of some of these organizations. The list is a sample of some possible sources of funding and should not be taken as a recommendation by the United States Government.

Subject listings




Performing Arts:

Social Studies:

Visual Arts:


Alphabetical listing


Affinis Arts Foundation (Affinis Bunka Zaidan)

Established by Japan Tobacco Inc. to contribute to the cultural enrichment of Japanese society by promoting activities in the arts and culture with special emphasis on music and by supporting artist training programs.

Address: Toranomon Yatsuka Building, 6th Floor, 1-1-11 Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0002
Tel: 03-3431-4211 Fax: 03-3431-4214
Subject: Music Recipients: Japanese
Conditions: Grants not made abroad; primarily given to designated groups & organizations.

Grant Programs:

  1. Performance of Classical Music (Orchestra)
  2. Study Grants for Musicians in Classical Music
  3. Research/Survey of Artistic & Cultural Activities
  4. Other Activities (Orch. Training, Audio-Visual)

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Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkacho)

The Agency is charged with the promotion of culture and the preservation and utilization of cultural properties. A program called "Japanese Government Fellowship Program for Artists from Abroad" begun in 1990 to invite about 22 foreign artists a year in the areas of visual arts, music, dance, theatre and film to stay at a Japanese institution for a period between 3 to 10 months. The Agency will cover expenses such as international airfare and per diem.

Address:3-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8959


Subject:ArtsRecipient:Foreign artists


  1. Age limit: 18 - 35.
  2. Professional experience necessary
  3. Application must be filed by a Japanese arts organization/artist who proposes to provide a foreign artist with an opportunity for training in Japan. Neither applications submitted directly by foreign artists nor those submitted through diplomatic channels are accepted. Foreign artists who wish to be awarded the Fellowship are advised to establish contact with a Japanese artist in the same field and have him/her file an application to BUNKACHO. Application documents will be provided to the Japanese artist or institution.

Grant Programs:

1. Fellowship to foreign young artists

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Asahi Beer Arts Foundation (Asahi Biiru Geijutsu Bunka Zaidan)

Established by Asahi Breweries, Ltd. to help promote artistic and cultural activities primarily in the areas of fine arts and music.

Address: 1-23-1 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-8602
Tel: 03-5608-5202 Fax: 03-5608-5201
Subject: Music/Visual Arts Recipients: Foreign Students in Japan/Japanese Students abroad
Conditions: Must be foreign students studying in Japan or Japanese students studying abroad.

Grant Programs:

  1. Scholarships for foreign student studying art at Japanese post graduate schools
  2. Sponsorship for exhibitions of art works and concerts of musical performances of foreign students studying at Japanese postgraduate schools, universities, colleges and junior colleges
  3. Scholarships for Japanese Students abroad (area limited) and sponsorship for exhibitions and concerts upon their return to Japan
  4. Grants-in-aid for art exhibitions and musical performances in Japan

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The Asia Foundation

Established in 1954 to promote U.S.-Asian understanding and cooperation and to encourage Asian-Pacific efforts to strengthen representative government, build effective legal systems, foster market economies, increase accountability in the public and private sectors, develop independent and responsible media, and encourage broad participation in public life.

Headquarters Address: 465 California Street, 14th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel: 415-982-4640 Fax: 415-392-8863
Tokyo Address: Kowa #32 Bldg., 2nd Floor, 5-2-32 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047
Tel: 03-3441-8291 Fax: 03-3442-3320
Subject: US-J regional and global interests Recipients: Government Agencies and NGOs
Conditions: Not to groups or individuals in the US

Grant programs:

  1. Strengthening links between U.S. and Japanese NGOs.
  2. Providing leadership training.
  3. Organizing exchanges to facilitate contacts between U.S. and Japanese specialists
  4. Distributing translated Japanese articles to inform U.S. readers of a wide range of Japanese opinion on issues affecting the U.S.-Japanese relationship.

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The Asian Cultural Council (ACC)

Established in 1980 to supersede the Asian Cultural Council program of the JDR 3rd Fund created by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1963. The ACC supports cultural exchange between Asia and the United States in the performing and visual arts, primarily by providing individual fellowship grants to Asian artists and specialists for study, research, travel, and creative activity in the United States and vice versa.

Headquarters Address: 437 Madison Avenue, 37th Floor, New York, NY 10022-7001
Tel: 212-812-4300 Fax: 212-812-4299
Tokyo Address: 1-16-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03-3535-0287 Fax: 03-3535-5565
Subject: Performing and Visual Arts Recipients: All
Conditions: n/a

Grant Programs:

  1. The Japan-United States Arts Program (JUSAP)
  2. ACC Residency Program in Asia for Americans

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Hoso Bunka Foundation, Inc. (Hoso Bunka Kikin)

Established by NHK to provide financial assistance to research/projects/events considered useful in promoting social and cultural aspects of broadcasting and toward the advancement of new technologies through direct grants or subsidization of commissioned studies or projects.

Address: Kyodo Bldg., 5th Floor, 41-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042
Tel: 03-3464-3131 Fax: 03-3770-7239
Subject: Broadcasting Recipients: All
Conditions: Must relate to Japan and/or international cooperation in broadcasting

Grant Programs:

  1. Assistance to Development in Broadcast Technology
  2. Assistance to Socio-Cultural Studies Re: Broadcasting
  3. Assistance to Projects and Events in Connection with Broadcasting

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International Communications Foundation (Kokusai Komyunikeeshon Kikin)

Established by KDD to contribute to the wholesome and balanced development of the world by promoting international telecommunications and increased international communication.

Address: Shinjuku Monolith Bldg., 7th Floor, 2-3-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0907
Tel: 03-3347-7094 Fax: 03-3347-6439
Subject: Broadcasting/Miscellaneous Recipients: All
Conditions: Various restrictions according to grant type.

Grant Programs:

  1. Assistance for Convening International conferences
  2. Assistance for Participating in International Conferences
  3. Assistance for Cultural Activities
  4. Assistance for Foreign Researchers & Grad Students
  5. Research & Survey Grants

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The International House of Japan (Kokusai Bunka Kaikan)

Established with financial support from domestic and foreign private sources as well as a special grant from the Rockefeller Foundation of the U.S. to promote cultural interchange and intellectual cooperation between the peoples of Japan and the peoples of the United States and other countries, thereby contributing to the cultivation of international friendship and understanding.

Address: 5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Tel: 03-3470-4611 Fax: 03-3479-1738
Subject: Exchange Recipients: Japanese
Conditions: Age and degree restrictions

Grant Programs:

  1. Nitobe Fellowships for Japanese Social Scientists (awarded to young social scientists for research and advanced study abroad)

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The Japan Foundation (Kokusai Koryu Kikin)

Established in 1972 as a special legal entity under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote mutual understanding and friendship on the international scene. It carries out a broad variety of cultural exchange programs with personnel exchange as their basic premise ranging from such academic pursuits as Japanese studies and Japanese language education to the arts, publication, audio-visual media, sports and general life and culture.

Address: Ark Mori Bldg., 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6021
Tel: 03-5562-3511 Fax: 03-5562-3494
Subject: Exchange/Arts and Performing Arts/Media/Misc. Recipients: All
Conditions: Limited to Social Science & Humanities

Grant programs:

  1. Overseas Dispatch/Invitations to Japan
  2. Japanese Studies
  3. Arts/Performing Arts Exchange
  4. Publication/Film Exchange
  5. Programs of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership
  6. Programs of the Japan Foundation Asia Center
  7. Others

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Japan-United States Friendship Commission (Nichibei Yuko Kikin)

Established by US Congress in 1975 to administer a U.S. Government Trust Fund for the promotion of scholarly, cultural and public affairs activities between Japan and the United States.

Headquarters Address: 1110 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D. C. 20005

Tel: 202-418-9800 Fax: 202-418-9802

Tokyo Liaison Office: c/o International House of Japan, 5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

Tel: 03-3470-4611 Fax: 03-3479-1738

Subject: Social Sciences (Education)/Humanities(Arts, Literature)/Media and Communications/Business, Economics, Industry, Trade & Finance/International Relations

Recipients: non-profit institutions (as a general rule)

Conditions: Provides grants to support the activities of institutions to promote reciprocal understanding between the United States and Japan.

Grant Programs:

Grants to organizations under five program areas:

  1. Japanese Studies in America
  2. American Studies in Japan
  3. Policy-oriented research
  4. Public affairs/education
  5. The Arts

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Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)

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The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences (Kao Geijutsu Kagaku Zaidan)

Established by Kao Corporation to contribute to the development of Japan's culture by fostering cultural activities, in particular, the arts and music, andsupporting international exchanges related to such activities.

Address: Kao Bldg., 1-14-10 Nihonbashi Kayabacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo103-8210
Tel: 03-3660-7055 Fax: 03-3660-7994
Subject: Music/Visual Arts Recipients: All
Conditions: Applications must be submitted in Japanese.

Grant Programs:

  1. Grant Support of Fine Arts (Paintings/Prints/Sculpture)
  2. Grant Support for Classical Music (Concerts, etc.)

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Northern Regions Center (Hoppouken Senta)

Established by the government of Hokkaido, and firms, organizations and individuals to support the efforts of those living in the Northern regions to create a rewarding regional environment through further mutual understanding promoted by financial support to various exchange activities regarding lifestyle, culture, research and other matters.

Address: Hokkaido Government Annex Building, W. 7, N. 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0003
Tel: 011-221-7840 Fax: 011-221-7845
Subject: Exchange Recipients: All
Conditions: Restricted by area (Hokkaido-related).

Grant Programs:

  1. Research/Travel/Conference/Publication

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Saison Foundation (Sezon Bunka Zaidan)

Established by Seiji Tsutsumi to contribute to Japan's cultural development by disseminating and enhancing arts and culture through awarding grants for artistic activities and through promoting international artistic and cultural exchange.

Address: Toka Bldg., 8th Floor, 1-16-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03-3535-5566 Fax: 03-3535-5565
Subject: Performing/Visual Arts/Misc Recipients: All
Conditions: Japanese introduction required.

Grant Programs:

  1. Research/Travel/Conference/Publication/Other Grant

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Suntory Foundation (Suntory Bunka Zaidan)

Established by Suntory Ltd. to provide financial aid to pioneering research activities and fostering talented people, with the ultimate objective of promoting international and interdisciplinary research relating to society and culture, and contributing to the furtherance of academic studies and cultures throughout the world.

Address: Suntory Annex, 9th Floor, 1-5 Dojima, 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8204
Tel: 06-6342-6221 Fax: 06-6342-6220
Subject: Social Studies/Science/Misc Recipients: All
Conditions: Application must be submitted in Japanese; not publicly solicited.

Grant Programs:

  1. Research on Society and Culture
  2. Suntory Prize for Cultural Community Activities
  3. Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities
  4. Support for Overseas Publication

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Toyota Foundation (Toyota Zaidan)

Address: Shinjuku Mitsui Building, 37th Floor, 2-1-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0437
Tel: 03-3344-1701 Fax: 03-3342-6911
Subject: Social Studies/Exchange/Misc Recipients: All
Conditions: Different restrictions according to Grant Type
Comments: Awarded for research and projects re: human & natural environments/others.

Grant Programs:

  1. Research (Identify/Solve Prob's. Contemporary Soc.
  2. Citizen Activities
  3. Citizen Research Contest on Theme
  4. Int'l. Research/Conf./Publications/Others Grants
  5. "Know Our Neighbors" Trans./Publication Program
  6. "Know Our Neighbors" Trans./Publication in S. Asia
  7. "Know Our Neighbors" Trans./Publication in S. Asia
  8. Foundation Initiative Grant (Research/Conf./Other)
  9. Communications-Supplement Grant Program

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United States-Japan Foundation (Beinichi Zaidan)

Established with a grant from the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation under the United States law in 1980 to improve understanding between the United States and Japan.

Headquarters Address: Headquarters - 145 East 32nd Street, New York, New York 10016
Tel: 212-481-8753 Fax: 212-481-8762
Tokyo Address: Tokyo Office - Reinanzaka Bldg, lst Floor, 1-14-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
Tel: 03-3586-0541 Fax: 03-3586-1128
Subject: Social Studies/Misc Recipients: All
Conditions: Application only from organizations not individuals

Grant Programs:

  1. Precollege Education
  2. Joint Studies of Major Public Policy Issues of Concern to both the US and Japan

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