Previous Indian recipients of the award include sitarist Ravi Shankar, dancer Padma Subrahmanyam, historian Romila Thapar, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan and historian Ramachandra Guha.
The Fukuoka Prize was established by the city of Fukuoka and the Yokatopia Foundation. It honours individuals and organisations who preserve Asian culture. It has three categories – Grand Prize, Academic Prize, and Arts and Culture Prize.
Apart from Rahman, Philippines’ historian Ameth R Ocampo (Academic Prize) and Yasmeen Lari from Pakistan (Arts and Culture Prize) were also awarded the prize by the Fukuoka committee.
A R Rahman, 49, is known for composing music for films like Roja, Bombay, Dil Se, Taal, Rang De Basanti and Swades.
In 2009, Rahman received two Oscars and a Golden Globe for his work in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire.
A R Rahman’s honours also include four National Awards and several Filmfare trophies.