The Niwano Peace Prize has been awarded annually in Tokyo since 1983. It was named after Rev.
Nikkyo Niwano, founder of the Risho Koseikei lay Buddhist movement in Japan. It was colloquially
known as the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia, as the Right Livelihood Award is also known as the
Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. The latter began in 1980 and is awarded by the Swedish Parliament.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, whereas the other Nobel Prizes for literature, science,
economics etc., are awarded in Stockholm.
The Nobel Prizes are over one hundred years old and are very prestigious. However, some of the
Peace Laureates are not truly nonviolent such as Henry Kissinger. Moreover, the prizes are not
always awarded to those who really deserved them. For instance Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi
never received the Nobel Peace Prize despite the fact that no one deserved the peace prize more than
the Mahatma did.
Alfred Nobel, the initiator of the Peace Prize, himself depended on violence and aggression to sustain
his livelihood. Perhaps the Peace Prize was to ease his conscience whereas the founders of the
Alternative Nobel Prize and the so called Nobel Prize of Asia led their lives nonviolently.