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Our History

The Honda Foundation's mission is to seek technology that helps realize true peace and happiness on earth.

About the FounderHistory

Humane Use of Human Ideas

The Honda Foundation was established in December 1977 by donations from the founder of Honda Motor Company, Soichiro Honda, and his younger brother, Benjiro. The Foundation was established as a result of the first DISCOVERIES*1 International Symposium that had been held the previous year.

As a manufacturer of motorcycles and automobiles, Honda has been unceasing in its exploration of the idea of what role the motorcycle and automobile should play in society. Especially with safety, the company recognized the importance not only of the conventional approach of upgrading product performance, but also of active efforts towards safety education. Based on this awareness, Honda created its Driving Safety Promotion Center in 1970.

As the scope of its activities expanded, however, Honda recognized the limitations of these efforts by a single company. This led to the establishment of the Honda-Fujisawa International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS). The objective of the Association is to explore the role of the automobile in society and the current state and future of our motorized society. The Association created opportunities for academic experts, intellectuals and representatives of industrial sectors to assemble, regardless of disciplinary boundaries, to engage in free discussion and research.

In the course of its activities to bring together experts from a broad range of fields including traffic and safety engineering, the Association realized the need for communication with other countries to promote its activities across a broader spectrum and thus organized the first DISCOVERIES* international symposium in 1976. Although the theme was "An Intelligent Human Approach to Traffic Problems," discussions took place over a broad range of fields beyond traffic and safety, across disciplines, and adopting an interdisciplinary and civilizational approach.

Its impact exceeded the Association's expectations, winning high recognition for its academic focus and theoretical approach to examining our civilization, and it seemed certain that the symposium would continue thereafter. The impact was felt deeply by, more than others, our founder Soichiro Honda himself. And, this was followed by the establishment of the Honda Foundation in 1977 as the organizing body for the DISCOVERIES symposia.

In 1979, the "DISCOVERIES Declaration" was announced at DISCOVERIES International Symposium 1979 in Stockholm. The declaration defined three objectives to serve as the basis of the Foundation's activities.

According to this Declaration, the Honda Foundation started the Honda Prize, which is an international award that honors individuals or groups that have achieved distinctive results in the field of ecotechnology, in 1980. Since then, the Foundation has been acknowledging the achievements of scientists and engineers that bring new value to the world.

In addition, the Honda Foundation started the Honda Y-E-S Award program for the excellent students in the field of science and technology in the countries of Asia in 2006 as a part of the 30th anniversary project. The scope of its activities expanded further into what it is today.

*1. Definition and Identification Studies on Conveyance of Values, Effects and Risks Inherent in Environmental Synthesis.

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our mission

Founder

Born as the eldest son of a skilled blacksmith on November 17, 1906, he spent his early years in Komyo Village (currently, Hamamatsu City). From 1922, he worked for the automobile repair factory Art Shokai in Tokyo. He set up the Hamamatsu Branch of Art Shokai in Hamamatsu City in 1928, where he started an automobile repair service. Later, he started a new enterprise named Tokai Seiki and began development of various types of machinery such as the manufacture of piston rings.

After World War II, he sold all of his shares in the company and set up Honda Motor Co., Ltd., becoming its president in 1948. He was personally involved in internal combustion engine research and began the production of motorcycles. He later expanded into automobiles leading to the growth of the company as a leading Japanese business corporation. He resigned from the office of company president at age 67 and was appointed executive advisor. In December 27, 1977, he founded the Honda Foundation. He received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun for his long8me contribu8on to the industry. He passed away on August 5, 1991, at the age of 84.

He received the Medal with Blue Ribbon (1952), the Order of the Polar Star from Sweden, the Legion of Honour from France, the Order of Leopold II from Belgium, the Holley Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1980), the Global 500 Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (1987), the Gold Medal of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (1990), and many others. He was the first Japanese to be inducted into the US Automobile Hall of Fame in 1989.

The award ceremony for the Honda Award takes place every year on November 17, Soichiro Honda's birthday.

Our History

2016
November

2nd Honda Y-E-S Forum held

November

37th Honda Prize 2016 Conferring Ceremony held

July

2015-16 Annual Activity Report published

May

Honda Foundation/CCSTD Symposium (Tashkent)

2015
November

1st Honda Y-E-S Forum held

November

36th Honda Prize 2015 Conferring Ceremony held

July

2014-15 Annual Activity Report published

2014
December

Honda Foundation/King Saud University Symposium (Riyadh)

November

35th Honda Prize 2014 Conferring Ceremony held

November

35th Honda Prize Commemorative Symposium

November

Renewal booklet "Our Mission" published

July

The Y-E-S Award started in Myanmar

July

2013-14 Annual Activity Report published

2013
November

34th Honda Prize 2013 Conferring Ceremony held

July

2012-13 Annual Activity Report published

2012
November

33rd Honda Prize 2012 Conferring Ceremony held

July

2011-12 Annual Activity Report published

June

Honda Foundation/KADIN Indonesia International Symposium (Jakarta)

June

Honda Foundation/Myanmar Association of Japan Alumni (MAJA) Workshop (Yangon)

2011
November

32nd Honda Prize 2011 Conferring Ceremony held

 
August

Qualified as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation under the renewed Japanese law

 
August

Appointment of third president Hiroto Ishida (August 1)

 
July

Resignation of second president Hiromori Kawashima (July 31)

 
May

2010-11 Annual Activity Report published

2010
November

31st Honda Prize 2010 Conferring Ceremony held

 
September

Chronicle "Fifteen Years of the Honda Prize - 1995- 2009" published

 
March

2009 Annual Activity Report published

2009
November

30th Honda Prize 2009 Conferring Ceremony held

 
March

2008 Annual Activity Report published

2008
November

29th Honda Prize 2008 Conferring Ceremony held

 
April

The Y-E-S Award started in Cambodia and Laos

 
March

30th Anniversary Booklet “Our Dream” published
HOF/NSTDA International Symposium on Ecotechnology (Bangkok) held
2007 Annual Activity Report published

2007
August

The Y-E-S Award India initiated

 
February

2006 Annual Activity Report Vol.1 published
Confederation of Indian Industry International Symposium 2007 (New Delhi)

2006
November

100th anniversary of Soichiro Honda's birth
Booklet "Our Mission" published
Complete renewal of our website

 
June
The Y-E-S Award initiated (Vietnam)
2005
November
Ecotechnology Workshop 2005, Ho Chi Minh City
 
October
Commended by Japan Committee on the World Year of Physics 2005
 
February
The Honda FoundationThe Honda Foundation
International Symposium, 2005,
Hanoi
2003
March
Chronicle "Twenty-five Years of the Honda Foundation" published
2002
October
China-Japan-Korea International Symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Honda Foundation in TokyoChina-Japan-Korea International Symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Honda Foundation in Tokyo
2000
October
Japan-Korea Leaders Forum Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and The Sejong Institute in Seoul
1999
November
20th Ceremony of the Honda Prize
1998
October
Beijing University International Symposium in Beijing
1996
June
Seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and Bank Austria in Vienna
1995
November
Chronicle "Fifteen Years of the Honda Prize - 1985- 1994" published
1994
November
Eco-Technology Symposium commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Honda Prize in Tokyo
1993
October
Symposium Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa
 
October
11th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Toronto
1992
December
Founder Benjiro Honda died. (December 1)
 
September
Bilateral Symposium in Taiwan (Taipei)
 
January
Appointment of second president Hiromori Kawashima
1991
August
Founder Soichiro Honda died. (August 5)
 
June
10th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Bonn10th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Bonn
1989
November
10th Ceremony of the Honda Prize
 
September- October
Co-sponsored the symposiums of Science & Technology "Europalia 89 Japan". (Brussels, Toulous, Varese, Berlin, Lisbon)
1988
September
5th seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and AGNELLI FOUNDATION in Torino
1987
December
Seminar Sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION with the cooperation of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in Tokyo
 
July
9th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Vienna9th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Vienna
1986
November
Conferring Ceremony of the Honda Prize 1986 Seminar Sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION with the cooperation of the Institute of Japanese Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing
 
October
4th Seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and AGNELLI FOUNDATION in Tokyo
1985
October
8th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Brussels8th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Brussels
 
September
3rd Seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and AGNELLI FOUNDATION in Torino
1984
August
7th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Melbourne7th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Melbourne
 
May
2nd Seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and AGNELLI FOUNDATION in Tokyo
1983
December
Malaysia International Symposium in Kuala Lumpur
 
September
1st Seminar Co-sponsored by the HONDA FOUNDATION and AGNELLI FOUNDATION in Torino
 
April
6th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in London6th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in London
1982
May
5th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Columbus, Ohio5th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Columbus, Ohio
1980
November

Conferring Ceremony of the Honda Prize 1980
2nd HONDA FOUNDATION Tokyo Symposium

1979
August
4th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Stockholm4th DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Stockholm
1978
November
1st HONDA FOUNDATION Tokyo Symposium
1978
October
3rd DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Paris3rd DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Paris
1977
December
HONDA FOUNDATION established Appointment of first president Takeso Shimoda
 
November
2nd DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Rome2nd DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Rome
 
May- June
Soichiro Honda tours Europe to promote the cause of DISCOVERIES
1976
October
1st DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Tokyo1st DISCOVERIES International Symposium in Tokyo

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