|Died||October 9, 1969 (aged 84)|
|Alma mater||University of Tokyo|
|Occupation||media mogul, politician, judo master|
Nippon Television Network Corporation
|Known for||father of Japanese professional baseball|
"father of Japanese nuclear power"
|Member of the Japanese|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Matsutarō Shōriki (正力 松太郎, Shōriki Matsutarō, April 11, 1885 – October 9, 1969) was a Japanese journalist and media mogul, also known as the father of Japanese professional baseball.
Shōriki owned the Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan's major daily newspapers, and founded Japan's first commercial television station, Nippon Television Network Corporation. He was also elected to the House of Representatives, appointed to the House of Peers, and was one of the most successful judo masters ever, reaching the extremely rare rank of 10th Dan.
Early life and education
In 1924, with the help of a powerful investor, he bought Yomiuri Shimbun. Shōriki's innovations included improved news coverage and a full-page radio program guide. The emphasis of the paper shifted to broad news coverage aimed at readers in the Tokyo area. By 1941 it had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the Tokyo area.
Shōriki organized a Japanese baseball All-Star team in 1934 that matched up against an American All-Star team. While prior Japanese all-star contingents had disbanded, Shōriki went pro with this group, which eventually became known as the Yomiuri Giants.
Shōriki survived an assassination attempt by right-wing nationalists for allowing foreigners (in this case, Americans) to play baseball in Jingu Stadium. He received a 16-inch-long scar from a broadsword during the assassination attempt.
Shōriki became Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) unofficial first commissioner in 1949. In 1950, Shōriki oversaw the realignment of the Japanese Baseball League into its present two-league structure and the establishment of the Japan Series. One goal Shōriki did not accomplish was a true world series.
World War II controversy
Shōriki was classified as a "Class A" war criminal after the Second World War, serving 21 months in prison. However, he was released in 1947 after it was determined that the accusations against him were mostly of an “ideological and political nature”.
In January 1956, Shōriki became chairman of the newly created Japanese Atomic Energy Commission, and in May of that year was appointed head of the brand-new Science and Technology Agency, both under the cabinet of Ichirō Hatoyama with strong support behind the scenes from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
In 2006, Tetsuo Arima, a professor specialising in media studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, published an article that proved Shōriki acted as an agent under the codenames of "podam" and "pojackpot-1" for the CIA to establish a pro-US nationwide commercial television network (NTV) and to introduce nuclear power plants using U.S. technologies across Japan. Arima's accusations were based on the findings of de-classified documents stored in the NARA in Washington, DC.
Shōriki is thus also now known as "the father of nuclear power."
Shōriki died October 9, 1969, in Atami, Shizuoka.
- Uhlan, Edward and Dana L. Thomas. Shoriki: Miracle Man of Japan. A Biography. New York: Exposition Press, 1957. E-book at the Internet Archive.
- "Matsutaro Shoriki: Japan’s Citizen Kane," The Economist (Dec 22, 2012).
- "Nuclear policy was once sold by Japan's media". The Japan Times. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- 有馬哲夫 (2006-02-16). "『日本テレビとCIA-発掘された「正力ファイル」』". 週刊新潮.
- "Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Announces New Chair of Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa." artdaily.org. 20 September 2008. Accessed 14 May 2009.