An old historic temple in Kita-Kamakura, Engaku-ji, was founded in 1282 by Mugaku Sogen, a Chinese Buddhist monk at the request of the then ruler Hojo Tokimune. The temple was intended to honor the memory of those of both sides who died during the Mongol invasions of Japan. Nakajo is planning an Engaku-ji Summit to which Asian leaders will be invited. He hopes to gather the wisdom of many people so they can learn from the spirit and history of the foundation of the temple in order to pioneer our future.


When the war ended in summer 67 years ago, young Nakajo was in Imperial Japanese Army Academy, preparing for death. After a conflict within himself, he decided to live like there is no tomorrow. Soon he joined a new kind of battle field, the beer industry. Nakajo exerted great efforts to revive the company of which he was a part but was declining significantly, and ultimately reached to the top management.


His day starts with a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine early in the morning where he never fails to offer prayers even on rainy and windy days. Nakajo wrote a memoir for a magazine about a farewell note he had read. The note was left by a war victim to his wife. Nakajo was saddened by the note and cared deeply about what might have happened to the widow in the postwar years. Just recently, he had a soul-shaking experience when he received a letter from the widow, to say that she was still alive. She is in her 90’s and still keeps her husband’s last name. He gets closer to the sorrow and pride of bereaved families.


He has been spending his time delivering lectures and writing books so the people who will be the leaders of tomorrow will learn the correct view of history and the virtue of the Japanese. “Do not be troubled by dark nights” – He continues to kindle a light in many people’s hearts.



Takanori Nakajo

Born in Chikuma City, Nagano in 1927. Joined the 60th group of Military Academy. After graduating from Matsumoto Higher School (under the old system) and Gakushuin University, he joined Asahi Breweries. As the General Manager of the Sales Department, he achieved great success in the company’s corporate revival with Asahi Super Dry. Assumed the position of chairman of Asahi Beer Soft Drinks (current Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd.) in 1990. Author of Ojichan Senso no Koto Oshiete (Grandpa, Tell Me About the War) (Chichi Publishing Co., Ltd.) and many other books. Cooperation: Tadanori Kawame, Kashiwa City RINRI Hojinkai

4 December 2014, Mr. Nakajo died of respiratory failure
aged 87 at a hospital in Tokyo.

Spirit and Spine

created by

project direction
Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
site design
title calligraphy
Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)