About the Foundation

The Kao Foundation for Arts and Culture was established in 1990 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Kao Corporation, a leading consumer goods company in Japan. Kao Corporation employs about 35,000 people worldwide and has more than 120 years of history in innovation.

In the late 1980s, people in Japan were enjoying material affluence due to remarkable economic growth. At the same time, there was strong public desire for artistic and cultural enrichment. Sensing the spirit of the times, Kao Corporation decided to establish a foundation with the aim of promoting and contributing to the arts and culture.

Since its establishment, the foundation has supported a wide range of cultural activities centering on music and the fine arts. In April 1997, it was renamed the Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences. While continuing to support artistic and cultural activities, the foundation expanded its objectives to support research in science and technology.

The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences provides grants for art exhibitions and for performing arts centering on music. It also provides grants and awards for research in two areas: arts and culture, and science and technology. Finally, the foundation supports interdisciplinary research across the arts and sciences and organizes related symposia. Through these activities, the foundation aims to contribute to the enrichment and evolution of Japan’s arts, culture, science and technology.