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Winning a Nobel Prize is a pretty big deal, to put it lightly. Many people would even say that it is the most prestigious award out there. Knowing that, no one would ever call a Nobel Prize a nuisance, right? Well…

Haruki Murakami, one of the most famous authors to come out of Japan, is not really interested in winning a Nobel Prize and actually kind of wishes people would stop nominating him.

▼ The Nobel Prize for Literature until 2014


The Nobel Prize nomination and awarding process is very secretive. Only certain kinds of people or institutions can nominate people for the award, and from those the Nobel Committee makes their decisions behind closed doors. While the awards are announced in October every year, the official nominees that the Committee deliberated between aren’t made public for 50 years, so we don’t actually know who the candidates are. 

That being said however, it’s not like people don’t have their guesses. In fact, there are so many theories that the English gambling and bookkeeping company, Ladbrokes, actually announces the odds and speculations on the winners in the days leading up to the announcements.

This year, for the tenth year in a row, Japanese author Haruki Murakami was speculated to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and for the tenth year in a row, despite having the best odds, he didn’t win. 

Does it bother him? Not at all, and if anything he’s glad. He actually doesn’t even want to win and thinks it’s just annoying. The author doesn’t really respect the whole secretive Nobel Prize selection process and that it’s a committee decision and not a popular vote.

It’s not just the Nobel Prize he’s against though, he doesn’t care to fuss over any award:

“The most valuable thing of all are good readers. Whatever prize, decoration, or favorable review I get, compared to the people who use their own money to go out and buy my books, [the prizes] hold no meaning.”

▼ And there are so many of his books to choose from!


Clearly, not all of the author’s fans understand his feelings, as his name is still in the pot year after year. Harukisutos, as hardcore Murakami fans are known, keep cheering him on and feverishly hope, wish, and pray for his selection every year. A bookstore owner is quoted as saying, “He’s always working, so there’s going to be another chance.”

Some people just don’t get it! The guy says he doesn’t even want to win! Other fans are on his side though:

 “I’m a Murakami fan. I’ve read all of his books. Even though Murakami said, ‘More than an award, I’m thankful for my readers, the Nobel Prize is just an annoyance,’ people still hope he’ll win. Why?”

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So-called Murakami fans, year after year, clamor about his Nobel Prize candidacy, I wish they’d stop. He’s said he thinks it annoying. As far as asking ‘Why wouldn’t you accept it?’ goes, it’s none of your business!”

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Murakami sees this happening and knows their fervor will not change,

“Already, they’re saying, ‘Definitely next year!’ The more I lose, the higher their expectations become.”

Whether Haruki Murakami likes it or not, we’re probably going to be hearing about this again next year. Until then, if you want to make him happy, go out and buy some of his books and read them!

Sources: Naver Matome, New Republic
Top Image: Haruki Murakami
Insert Image: Arizona Public Media, Tomas Transtromer