STOCKHOLM — Four Japanese writers, including novelists Junichiro Tanizaki and Yukio Mishima, were nominated for the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, according to documents released by the Swedish academy.
The documents were released at the request of Kyodo News following a customary 50-year period of secrecy. The documents also showed that Tanizaki made the final shortlist of six candidates for the prize that year.
Tanizaki also made the shortlist of five writers for the 1960 award, indicating that he received consistent attention from the Nobel committee during the period.
A total of 76 writers were nominated for the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, with novelist Yasunari Kawabata and poet Junzaburo Nishiwaki rounding out the four candidates from Japan.
Tanizaki fell out of contention when the shortlist of six was narrowed to two — French novelist and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who was ultimately named the winner, but declined the award, and Russian novelist Mikhail Sholokhov, who won the prize the following year.
Tanizaki died in 1965 and Kawabata became the first Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968.
The names of the Nobel Prize nominees and information on the selection process remain sealed for 50 years following announcement of the winners. All four Japanese writers nominated for the prestigious literary award in 1964 were also considered the previous year, with Mishima reaching the final short list of six writers.