1Kapranov, S
1A. Yu. Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS of Ukraine. 4, Hrushevskoho Str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine
Kitaêznavčì doslìdžennâ 2019, 2:61-70
Section: China and its neighbors
Language: Ukrainian

The article considers such a significant indicator of the nation’s intellectual potential as the number and qualitative composition of scientists, writers, and public figures who have received the prestigious Nobel Prize. Despite all the discussions about it, this award remains weighty in the public mind. To date, there are 25 Nobel laureates in Japan, with the country ranked eighth in the world. Seven other Nobel laureates are of Japanese descent or are closely related to Japan. In addition, eight Japanese were nominated for the Nobel Prize. Among the disciplines, the first place belongs to Physics (9 laureates) followed by Chemistry (8 laureates) and Physiology and Medicine (5 laureates). These facts refute the Western belief that the Japanese are “incapable” of scientific and technical creativity and can only copy foreign samples. The first Nobel Prize winner was the physicist Yukawa Hideki (1907–1981, 1942 Prize). Most of the awards were received in the 21st century, which testifies to the growth of Japan’s intellectual potential in our time. Particular attention in the article was paid to the Nobel Prize-winning writers in Literature. These include Kawabata Yasunari (1899–1972, 1968 Prize) and Oe Kenzaburo (b. 1935, 1994 Prize); their works have been translated into many languages and are well known in Ukraine. In addition, Japan’s Nobel Prize-winning writer K. Ishiguro is associated with Japan (b. 1954, 2017 Prize). However, if the Nobel Prizes in the field of natural sciences generally reflect the level of scientific and technological progress in Japan, then in the field of Literature, they clearly do not correspond to the development of Japanese fiction in the XX–XXI centuries and its popularity in the world. Thus, it can be concluded that the Nobel Literary Prize is clearly Eurocentric in nature. The article also focuses on the only Japanese – the Nobel Peace Prize laureate; he is the former Prime Minister Sato Eisaku (1901–1975, 1974 Award).

Keywords: intellectual potential, Japan, Nobel Prize

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