April 11, 1885|
Daimon, Toyama, Japan
|Died||October 9, 1969
Atami, Shizuoka, Japan
|Native name||正力 松太郎|
|Rank||jūdan (10th dan)|
Born in Daimon, Toyama, 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.
He was classified as a "Class A" war criminal after the Second World War. However, he was released in 1947 after it was determined that the accusations against him were mostly of an “ideological and political nature”.
Matsutarō Shōriki is also known as the father of Japanese professional baseball. He was a media mogul, 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.
Shōriki organized an 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 had faced an assassination attempt from right-wing nationalists for allowing Americans to play in Jingu Stadium. Shōriki received a 16-inch-long scar from a broadsword during the assassination attempt.
Shōriki became Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) 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. In 1959, he was the first inductee into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. He died October 9, 1969 in Atami, Shizuoka.
The Matsutaro Shoriki Award is given annually to the person who contributes the most to Japanese baseball. The position of Chair of the Department of Asia, Oceania, and Africa at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is also named after Shōriki.
In 2006, Tetsuo Arima, a professor specialising in media studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, published an article that Shōriki acted as an agent under the codenames of "podam" and "pojacpot-1" for CIA to establish a pro-US nationwide commercial television network (NTV) and to introduce nuclear power plants using US technologies across Japan. Arima's accusations are based on the findings of de-classified documents stored in the NARA in Washington, DC. In 1956, Shōriki became chairman of the newly created AEC in January, 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 a strong support behind the scenes from CIA. He is later called "the father of nuclear power".
- 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 22nd 2012
- "Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Announces New Chair of Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa." artdaily.org. 20 September 2008. Accessed 14 May 2009.