When he was a youth, Kiyomu Shimomura found his mentor in the late scholar Masahiro Yasuoka. Yasuoka wrote the draft of the statement made by the Emperor Showa at the end of World War II. That was the first time for a Japanese emperor to speak to the people, and in his radio address to the nation he announced that Japan had surrendered.

Shimomura learned from Yasuoka, he said, "that there is magic in the relationships between people." He took for himself the philosophy that Yasuoka propounded: "A person who is unknown has power. A person who is famous has no power." The thoughts behind these messages have propped Shimomura throughout much of his career, and determined his more recent activities.

Born in Saga Prefecture, Shimomura has turned 70. He chose to study politics and economics at Waseda University. "When I graduated, I was in a poor state of health," he said. "I had been doing a lot of heavy part-time jobs in order to help pay for my education. Then although I tried to find regular employment, my health always let me down. Times were hard then, and a lot of people couldn't find work."