Shiba Ryotaro, one of Japan's most popular authors, was born in Osaka in 1923.He graduated from Osaka University of Foreign Studies, where he studied Mongolian and served in the Imperial Japanese Army during the World War II, as did many other students.
After the war he worked as a newspaper reporter and began to write novels, mainly based on Asian history.
By writing historical novels he embarked on a lifelong exploration of people and events in Japanese history, trying to establish how a nation's course is set. In 1959 he received the Naoki Prize for the ' The Owl Castle' and entered into the group of popular novelists.
His many works, which often provide new interpretations of the turbulent times of 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 Cultural Merit in 1991, and conferred with the Order of Culture in1993.