• Tue. May 28th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

Haruki Murakami Wins The Nobel Prize For Literature!….in Japan. For a few minutes.

It was reported on the evening of October 10th that Japan’s much beloved novelist Haruki Murkami had won the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 10…but this turned out to be true only in an alternate universe.

Murakami Wins The Noble Prize for Literature! (According to the Sankei Shimbun, for a short time)
Murakami Wins The Noble Prize for Literature! (According to the Sankei Shimbun, for a short time)

Japan’s conservative newspaper, Sankei Shimbun, mistakenly released a special digital edition of their paper on the day the Nobel Prize for Literature was announced (October 10th), listing Mr. Murakami as the winner for this year. The article noted that his works Norwegian Wood and IQ84 were highly esteemed.

The digital edition had been prepared in advance, in anticipation that Mr. Murakami would win the award. In Japanese journalism, pre-written articles called 予定稿 (yoteiko) are often prepared months in advance to make sure that the newspapers don’t miss their deadlines. In the past, obituaries of the living have also been prematurely published, much to the embarrassment of the newspapers that published them. It is not clear exactly why the mistaken special edition was sent to Sankei Shimbun digital application subscribers.

Today, JSRC reporters spoke to a middle-aged talking dog in a trench coat eating rice-balls outside of a jazz bar in Shimo-kitazawa. When the talking dog was informed that Mr. Murakami had not actually won the prize, he expressed his outrage as follows, “There’s something wrong with this world when a whiny wench like Alice is heralded as a literary genius but Murakami remains unhonored. By the way, I’m looking for a sheep. Take a look at this picture. Ever seen it?”

The attractive, young and slender  Japanese woman with him greeted the news with seeming diffidence, taking a puff of her Virginia Slim cigarette, and saying, “Well, someone has to lose and someone has to win. It doesn’t have anything to do with Japan or maybe it does. I don’t know. What do you think?”

Sankei Shimbun issued an apology for the mix-up in the October 11th edition of the paper. The actual winner this year was Alice Munro. The Japan Subculture Research Center wishes that Murakami had actually won rather than Ms. Munro, but then again, we certainly aren’t objective.

We have no plans to change the website to The Alice Munro Subculture Research Center despite non-existent reports to the contrary.

subcultureist

Managing editors of the blog.

3 thoughts on “Haruki Murakami Wins The Nobel Prize For Literature!….in Japan. For a few minutes.”
  1. “In Japanese journalism, pre-written articles called 予定稿 (yoteiko) are often prepared months in advance to make sure that the newspapers don’t miss their deadlines.”

    I don’t think that’s at all peculiar to Japanese journalism. News organisations all over the world do this, and have been doing so far a long time. The most famous case is probably the one that resulted in the Nobel prizes.

    1. It probably isn’t unique to Japan. I have mostly worked in Japan as a journalist and I thought it was fairly unique to Japan but what you say makes sense.

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