Matsutarō Shōriki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Matsutaro Shoriki)
Jump to: navigation, search
Matsutarō Shōriki
Native name 正力 松太郎
Born (1885-04-11)April 11, 1885
Daimon, Toyama, Japan
Died October 9, 1969(1969-10-09) (aged 84)
Atami, Shizuoka, Japan
Alma mater University of Tokyo
Occupation media mogul, politician, judo master
Employer Yomiuri Shimbun
Nippon Television Network Corporation
Known for father of Japanese professional baseball
"father of Japanese nuclear power"

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.[citation needed]

Biography[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Shōriki was born in Daimon, Toyama. He graduated from the University of Tokyo.

Metropolitan Police[edit]

Shōriki joined the Metropolitan Police, rising high in the ranks.[1] He was dismissed from the police after the Toranomon Incident of late 1923.[1]

Yomiuri Shimbun[edit]

In 1924, with the help of a powerful investor,[1] 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.

Baseball[edit]

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.[1]

Shōriki survived an assassination attempt by right-wing nationalists for allowing foreigners (in this case, Americans) to play baseball in Jingu Stadium.[1] 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[edit]

Shōriki was classified as a "Class A" war criminal after the Second World War, serving 21 months in prison.[1] However, he was released in 1947 after it was determined that the accusations against him were mostly of an “ideological and political nature”.[1]

Nuclear power[edit]

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.[2]

In 2006, Tetsuo Arima, a professor specialising in media studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, published an article that claimed Shōriki acted as an agent under the codenames of "podam" and "pojacpot-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.[citation needed]

Shōriki is thus also now known as "the father of nuclear power."[1]

Death[edit]

Shōriki died October 9, 1969, in Atami, Shizuoka.

Tributes[edit]

In 1959, Shōriki was the first inductee into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. 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.[3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Uhlan, Edward and Dana L. Thomas. Shoriki: Miracle Man of Japan. A Biography. New York: Exposition Press, 1957. E-book at the Internet Archive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Matsutaro Shoriki: Japan’s Citizen Kane," The Economist (Dec 22, 2012).
  2. ^ "Nuclear policy was once sold by Japan's media". The Japan Times. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Announces New Chair of Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa." artdaily.org. 20 September 2008. Accessed 14 May 2009.
Political offices
Preceded by
Koichi Uda
Minister of State, Head of the Science and Technology Agency
1957-1958
Succeeded by
Takeo Miki
Head of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission
1957-1958
Preceded by
Tomejiro Okubo
Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission
1957-1958
Succeeded by
Aoki Masashi
Preceded by
New post
Minister of State, Head of the Science and Technology Agency
1956
Succeeded by
Tanzan Ishibashi
Head of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission
1956
Succeeded by
Koichi Uda
Preceded by
Tomejiro Okubo
Minister of State, Head of the Hokkaido Development Agency
1955-1956
Succeeded by
Tanzan Ishibashi