150th anniversary

The Yomiuri Shimbun celebrates
its 150th anniversary
on November 2, 2024.

Henshu Techo
(editorial notebook)
150th Anniversary
Special Edition

“Children Who Don’t Know War” (1971, Jiro’s) was a popular antiwar song, which also drew antagonism from the generation who lived through World War II—You didn’t go to war, so don’t be cocky. Actually, Henshu Techo, too, was born after the war.

I’m its seventh writer. I write about everything under the sun—disasters, political affairs, incidents, accidents, compendiums of seasonal words, literature. When I grumble about the government, it may sound impertinent. But when grumbling is not enough, I got heated at times and made some statements. I’m sure my predecessors spent most of their lines about war. World War II was a major calamity. The war ended with the air raids across the country and the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Newspapers were reborn after the war, just as the country’s systems were. They made a grave mistake of driving the people into war. The Yomiuri Shimbun, along with other newspapers, didn’t look away from the bitter past and started out again from scratch. It is the true nature of a journalist to pursue democracy and have the awareness that a newspaper is an instrument that serves for freedom of expression and for people's peaceful lives.

When thinking about the world today, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the turbulence of the 20th century. The century of war, the century of science, the century of ideology—the last century could go by all these names. What has changed in the 21st century? The clash of ideologies has disappeared, but what has emerged was the "century of division." Democratic countries being opposed to autocratic ones crosses the mind. This emerged in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The world is fracturing into two extremes and glaring at one another. We saw missiles being shot into homes and train stations. We didn’t see the result of this division and opposition before facing the worsening of the situation surrounding Palestines. Hospitals and schools were targeted as hideouts of terrorists and it is reported that half of the victims of the bombing were children.

Democracy is not omnipotent. Dangerous populism is on the rise. I remember the meaninglessness of the United States’ temporary withdrawal from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Disasters are occurring frequently. “For us humans, the land has more to tell us than a thousand page book” (Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars. Translated by Daigaku Horiguchi). If democracy cannot protect the Earth and human beings, what system could take its place?

Provoked by divisions and confrontations, the “century of turbulence" still conitnues. Changes and events that make us realize our responsibility as a media organization are likely to continue unabated. Our paper celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. 1874 was the year Taisuke Itagaki and his cohorts submitted a paper asking for a democratic parliament so that citizens could participate in politics. How can we give back to the society what we've learned through our experiences of publishing newspaper for three centuries? We can do it only through accurate reporting and speech.

In “Children Who Don’t Know War,” the third verse has lyrics that are relieving. “I like blue skies, I like flower petals, if you’re always someone with a smile on your face, let’s walk together whoever you are, on a path glowing in the beautiful sunset. (lyrics by Osamu Kitayama, music by Jiro Sugita ).” In the blue sky and in the sunset let there come a day when no missiles are seen.

※This is the 150th anniversary special edition of Henshu Techo, The Yomiuri Shimbun’s first-page column.

A Brief History of Our 150 Years

Major events from the time of our founding

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Since its inaugural issue in November 1874, The Yomiuri Shimbun, which celebrates 150 years in 2024, has recorded and delivered to our readers turbulent times and the people living in them.

With prompt and accurate news reporting, we have not only responded to people’s right to know, but also reported innumerable scoops realized through conscientious newsgathering. We reported on Daigo Fukuryu Maru ship crew's exposure to radiation from the nuclear fallout from hydrogen bomb testing, an incident that showed the horrors of nuclear weapons. And, on the underside of a global sporting event, we reported on the corruption of the Olympics, uncovering how money exchanged hands inappropriately. Our special reports disseminated widely both at home and abroad are too numerous to mention. As a media organization, we make responsible arguments in our editorials that stand up to scrutiny 30 years later. We have also focused on making proposals in a variety of fields, such as the three proposals to amend the Constitution as well as on national security, administrative reform, the tax system, education and medicine.

In addition, we have contributed to society through a wide variety of projects that enrich people’s lives, including sports, culture and entertainment. Through sports events such as the Yomiuri Giants’ professional baseball games, the Tokyo-Hakone Intercollegiate Ekiden Relay Race that marks the 100th anniversary in 2024, exhibitions and concerts that offer access to global masterpieces and invaluable cultural goods, we delivered to people astonishment and delight. In recent years, we are also focused on protecting Japanese traditional beauty and culture to pass them down to the future.

With the spread of social media, there is an abundance of information on the internet mixed with falsehoods. The problem has become even more serious with the rise of generative AI, making it even more imporatnt for media outlets to deliver accurate information. The Yomiuri Shimbun will fulfill its mission as a fair and accurate news and media outlet and will continue the challenge of surviving during this period of change in order to continue to be a trusted source of information into the future.

and Events

Introductions to projects and events commemorating our 150th anniversary.


We produced TV commercials and other videos to commemorate our 150th anniversary.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Seibu Headquarters
marks 60 Years of Publication

The Seibu headquarters, which covers seven prefectures in the Kyushu region as well as Okinawa and Yamaguchi prefectures, celebrates 60 years of publication on September 23, 2024. Since 1964, the year when the first Tokyo Olympics was held, The Yomiuri Shimbun has been the most read newspaper in the area. As a locally-rooted national newspaper, we will continue to deliver a newspaper trusted by our readers.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Seibu Headquarters

Yomiuri Giants
Celebrates 90 Years

The Yomiuri Giants, which started as the Dai-Nippon Tokyo Yakyu Kurabu (Great Japan Tokyo Baseball Club ) in 1934, celebrates its 90th anniversary on December 26, 2024. The Giants have carved a rich history, producing many star players and championships while being loved across generations all over Japan. While looking ahead to its 100th anniversary, the Giants will serve as leaders for professional baseball in Japan and sports culture in general.

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Yomiuri Giants

Yomiuriland marks
60th Anniversary

The Yomiuriland amusement park turns 60 on March 19, 2024. Since its opening, it has continued evolving with the times, offering new attractions such as “Jewellumination,” in which the park is lit up with colorful lights at night, and opening the “Goodjoba !!” area. In fall 2024, a new Ferris wheel will open next to the existing one, which is the symbol of the park. Events are planned to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

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