This sentence comes from a science portal about the nobel prize


I believe it means something like "A japanese person has not received the medical physiology prize since Tasuku Honjo in 2018"

Is となる modifying 日本人の医学生理学賞受賞はならなかった? If so, does it mean more litteraly "It didn't become the winning of the medical physiology prize that becomes from since Tasuku Honjo in 2018"?

If I am correct, why did they put a comma?

If I am not correct, what does it mean literally?

Previous paragraph for context:


Is the sentence considering him a japanese person beucase he is from okinawa's university?


1 Answer 1


Surprisingly, no JLPT study sites or dictionaries I usually look at explain this usage explicitly.

~以来 basically means "since ~", but when it's used as a noun (or no-adjective) and with some rare event, it means "the first after ~" (or sometimes "the most significant after ~").

It can be used in two ways:

  • Like a suffix, noun + 以来
    • 卒業以来の再会でした。
      It was our first reunion since graduation.
    • この町でこんなに雨が降ったのは2010年以来だ。
      We haven't had this much rain in this town since 2010.
  • te-form + 以来
    • 子供が生まれて以来の海外旅行に行きます。
      We are going on our first trip abroad since our child was born.
    • これほどの危機は第二次世界大戦が終わって以来だ。
      This crisis is the worst one after WWII ended.

This となる is roughly the same as である. See: Trouble with translation 「アジア人歌手では過去最大級となる。」 and What is the difference between 〜となる and 〜になる?

So 2018年の本庶佑氏以来となる is a relative clause meaning "which would have been the first after Tasuku Honjo in 2018". It adjectivally modifies 日本人の医学生理学賞受賞. Note that なる is an attributive form, so it never adverbially modifies ならなかった.

Note that 以来 as an adverb does not have meaning of "for the first time". Compare the following sentences and see how の drastically changes the meaning:

  • 3年前に会社を辞めて以来煙草を吸っている。
    I have been a (regular) smoker since I left my job three years ago.
  • 3年前に会社を辞めて以来初めて煙草を吸っている。
    I am (now) smoking a cigarette for the first time since I left my job three years ago.
  • 3年前に会社を辞めて以来煙草を吸っている。
    I am (now) smoking the first cigarette since I left my job three years ago.
  • Does that mean that "It didn't become the winning of the medical physiology prize that would be the first since Tasuku Honjo in 2018"? Is a proper literal translation?
    – Manab
    Oct 14, 2022 at 11:11
  • @Manab ならなかった at the end means the same thing as 実現しなかった ("was not realized" or "did not come true"), and its subject is of course 受賞. So a literal translation is "A winning of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine by a Japanese person, which would have been the first after Tasuku Honjo in 2018, did not come true."
    – naruto
    Oct 14, 2022 at 12:25

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