Yomiuri Prize for Literature

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Yomiuri Prize for Literature

Sponsored by the publisher of the largest-circulation newspaper in Japan, this prize was established in 1949 to help foster a resurgence of literary activity following the end of World War II.

The prize is given annually to the best new literary works published during the past year, and the historical list of awardees can be seen as representing the essence of Japanese literature in the decades since the war. There are six categories—fiction, drama, essays and travelogues, criticism and biography, poetry, and academic research and translation—though in any given year one or more categories may be declared to have no winner. In the 60-odd years since its inception, the total number of recipients has climbed to over 350. By custom, the prize year runs from November to October, and the awards are announced the following February. Typically going to authors who are well along in their careers, it is one of the most prestigious prizes of the Japanese literary world.