RYOTARO SHIBA is one of Japan's bet-loved writers of all time. Working as a newspaper reporter, he began to write 1959 received the Naoki Prize for his novel The Owl Castle. His many works, which often present new interpretation of turbulent times such as the Meiji Restoration, have had enduring success with Japanese readers. He was named a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1981, cited as a person of cultural merit in 1991, and was conferred with Order of Culture in 1993. Shiba died in 1996.