Kawabata Judged Pure, Genuine Author for 1968 Nobel Prize

Society Culture

Stockholm, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) was evaluated as a pure and genuine author of Japanese literature in the screening process for the 1968 Nobel Prize in Literature, documents of the Swedish Academy have shown.

The academy released the documents on Wednesday following a request from Jiji Press. The screening process for the award is kept confidential for 50 years.

Kawabata, known for such works as "Izu no Odoriko" (Izu Dancer) and "Yukiguni" (Snow Country), was the first Japanese author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

According to the documents, a total of 83 candidates were listed for the prize in 1968, including three Japanese--Kawabata, novelist Yukio Mishima and poet Junzaburo Nishiwaki.

Kawabata was selected over three other finalists--Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, who was active in France, British poet W.H. Auden and French author Andre Malraux, the documents showed. Beckett won the prize the following year.

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