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Top>People>Confirmation as Shichihei Yamamoto Prize recipient for the non-fiction Devoting This Life to Justice


Mr. Ryusho Kadota

Mr. Ryusho Kadota [Profile]

Confirmation as Shichihei Yamamoto Prize recipient for the non-fiction Devoting This Life to Justice

Mr. Ryusho Kadota
Journalist (1983 Graduate from the Faculty of Law)

If you don't research until you're satisfied, you can't write a good piece

Journalist Ryusho Kadota (1983 Graduate from the Faculty of Law) has been confirmed as the recipient of the 19th Shichihei Yamamoto Prize (presentation ceremony on November 16), for Devoting This Life to Justice - The Miracle of Army Lieutenant General Hiroshi Nemoto, Who Saved Taiwan (Shueisha), which was released in April. I was taken aback a little when I visited Kadota's office. Other than Kadota's wife, Emi, who attended to me, there was no staff. This is a journalist who, this year alone, has published three non-fiction titles. On top of Devoting This Life to Justice, there is That Moment - Why Do Athletes Perform Miracles? (Shinchosha, July) and, Grave-Posts Swaying in the Wind - A Father and Son of the JAL Air Crash (Shueisha, August). I expected that there would be numerous staff such as a data man in charge of reporting (for weekly magazines, other than the editor, work is divided into a data man for reporting and an anchorman for putting the story together) and people sorting materials.

I immediately asked if there were any other staff like a data man and received a reply of, "No, nobody else. I do all the reporting."

"If I leave the reporting up to other people, I can't write non-fiction. It is hard work doing the reporting yourself, but if you don't, starting with your subject's expression and mannerisms, you can't reach deep down inside that person."

For example, Why Did You Fight When There Was No Hope? - Hiroshi Motomura's 3300 Days, published in late August with over 120,000 copies printed. Mr. Kadota depicted a youth who continues to fight against the law while carrying the pain of having his beloved wife and child murdered, and finally won his nine year battle. This autumn, the story will be dramatized on WOWOW with Yosuke Eguchi playing the lead role.

"I spoke with Motomura countless times and I felt how deep his despair was by myself. The suspect, youth F, was handed a life sentence after the first second trial. But, while being tormented with anguish and despair, Motomura continued to fight, and nine years after the incident, he finally won his appeal for the death penalty to be given."

Drawing compassionate, yet undaunted Japanese

It can be readily imagined but, Mr. Kadota loves people.

"I love the compassionate, yet undaunted side of typical Japanese."

Only this Mr. Kadota would be capable of producing Devoting This Life to Justice. At the end of the war, Hiroshi Nemoto, an army commander in Mongolia, fought through the rampaging Soviet army which had scrapped the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Pact, and succeed in helping 40,000 Japanese escape from Inner Mongolia. Four years later, Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist army which helped protect the Japanese, lost the Chinese Civil War and retreated to the Kinmen islands.

"To repay the favor to Chiang Kai-shek, Nemoto decided to go to Taiwan. As Japan was under American occupation, he would, of course, stow away. On a fishing boat that could have sunk at any time, Nemoto finally reached Taiwan, and as military adviser for the nationalist army, stood up to the Communist army in Kinmen."

With Kadota's cooperation in reporting, Fuji Television aired a documentary on Hiroshi Nemoto on the anniversary of the end of the war, and the emotions felt are still fresh in my memory.

Dealing with a wide range of topics including law, history and sport

After graduating from Chuo University in 1983, Kadota entered the editorial department of Shinchosha Publishing Co.'s Shincho Weekly. He spent his first days there continuously gathering material as a data man. After getting a few scoops, in 1990 he became the youngest person in Shincho Weekly history to land a desk job. Though he was in charge of reporting and editing, he ended up being in charge of putting the final draft together.

"I think I wrote close to 800 feature articles. It is highly likely that I am the only person to have written that number of feature articles at any weekly magazine desk."

While working for Shincho Weekly, he published Judges Will Ruin Japan (Shinchosha), A Will to Koshien - The Life of Legendary Batting Coach, Michihiro Takabatake (Kodansha), and Handkerchief Prince and the Old Ace - The Tale of 100 Years of Waseda Jitsugyo Baseball That Gave Birth to a Miracle (Kodansha), before becoming independent in April 2008. Since then he has sought the world's opinion with seven publications.

With a wry smile, Kadota says, "the editors at the publishers told me "your pace of production is too fast," so instead of writing my next publication this year, I will do it next year!" Kadota has dealt with a wide range of topics such as law, history, news events, and sports etc. I wonder what he will provide us next year.

Offered by: Chuo Daigaku Gakuin Jiho No. 465

Mr.Ryusho Kadota
Born in Aki City, Kochi Prefecture in 1958. Real name, Mamoru Kadowaki. Entered Shinchosha Publishing Co. after attending Aki No. 1 Primary School, Tosa Junior High School, Tosa High School and Chuo University Faculty of Law's Political Science Department. During his time with Shincho Weekly, he spent 18 years at the special edition desk and penned close to 800 feature articles before publishing works such as, Judges Will Ruin Japan (Shinchosha), and A Will to Koshien - The Life of Legendary Batting Coach, Michihiro Takabatake (Kodansha) under the penname, Ryusho Kadota. A Will to Koshien was adapted to the small screen on NHK's Saturday drama Full Swing (starring Katsumi Takahashi), and became a best-seller. After that, he became independent in April 2008 and has written many books including his depiction of the nine year Hikari City mother and child murder incident in Why Did You Fight When There Was No Hope? - Hiroshi Motomura's 3300 Days (Shinchosha), and Yasuko, 19 Years Old-Diary of War Damage (Bunshun).