Ishiguro's Nobel prize brings autumn for Murakami fans

08 October 2017 - 00:00 By ALICE VINCENT

In Japan, there's a word to express the autumnal turning of the leaves - koya. But, as social media user Meganekko Keiba joked on Twitter, there's another tradition that marks the passage of the seasons: "When Haruki Murakami loses out on the Nobel literature prize and Harukists around the country all fall to their knees in disappointment, I feel autumn has come."
"Harukists" is a term given to those who follow the work, publications and acclaim of Japan's most eminent living author, Haruki Murakami. Every year, they gather to see if the Swedish Academy will award him the Nobel prize for literature. Every year they are disappointed.Such were the events at a shrine in Tokyo on Wednesday evening as 200 Harukists got together to see if 2017 would be the year for their beloved literary hero. Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported that a chorus of sighs erupted from the crowd - although polite applause and a few celebratory party poppers followed shortly after for Kazuo Ishiguro, who was named this year's Nobel laureate.
Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, but left for the UK when he was five. Although he is regarded as a British author by the academy and by the UK because he writes in English and was educated at Kent University and the University of East Anglia, Japan has claimed Ishiguro as their own.

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