Shigenobu Sakano

Shigenobu Sakano, a House of Councilors lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party and former home affairs minister, died of a stroke Wednesday at a Tokyo hospital, his family said. He was 84.

A native of Tottori Prefecture, Sakano graduated from the University of Tokyo and became an administrative vice minister in the former Construction Ministry. He was first elected to the Upper House in 1974 under a nationwide candidate system.

He was elected to the Diet from Tottori for five consecutive terms since 1986.

In 1988, he was appointed home affairs minister, and had a key role in upgrading rural infrastructure under the late Prime Ministers Noboru Takeshita and Sosuke Uno.

Takatoshi Senge

MATSUE, Shimane Pref. (Kyodo) Takatoshi Senge, the chief priest of the centuries-old Izumo Shrine in Shimane Prefecture, died Wednesday evening at a local hospital, according to shrine officials. He was 89.

Senge had been suffering from exhaustion and poor health after participating in a festival Feb. 17 at the Shinto shrine in the town of Taisha.

A native of Taisha, Senge attended Tokyo’s Kokugakuin University and served as a priest at Meiji Jingu Shrine and a shrine in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, before being chosen as chief priest of Izumo Shrine in 1947.

He was the 83rd “Izumo kuni no miyatsuko,” or priest who handled Shinto rites in the Izumo region.

The mythical origins of Izumo Shrine are described in the eighth-century chronicles “Kojiki” and “Nihon Shoki.”

Senge also served on the boards of Kokugakuin University and the Association of Shinto Shrines.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.