Hills, Ben

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Hills, Ben


Born in Grassington, Yorkshire, England; married Mayu Kanamori (a photographer); children: two. Education: Attended Queensland University.


Home—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Journalist. Reporter for Stanthorpe Border Post and other newspapers; Melbourne Age, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, investigative reporter and foreign correspondent, 1969-81; 60 Minutes (television show), Australia, producer, 1981-85; Syme Media Enterprises, Hong Kong, publisher, early 1980s; Melbourne Herald, Melbourne, investigative reporter, mid-1980s; Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, investigative reporter, since late 1980s; Japan correspondent for Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald, 1992-95.


Walkley Award, for investigative reporting; Graham Perkin Award (highly commended), for Australian Journalist of the Year.


Blue Murder: Two Thousand Doomed to Die: The Shocking Truth about Wittenoom's Deadly Dust, Sun Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1989.

Japan behind the Lines, photographs by wife, Mayu Kanamori, Sceptre (Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia), 1996.

Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Gourmet Traveller and Wingspan.


Ben Hills is one of Australia's most respected investigative journalists, having spent more than three decades writing for such publications as the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. Hills is also the author of nonfiction works, including Blue Murder: Two Thousand Doomed to Die: The Shocking Truth about Wittenoom's Deadly Dust, concerning an Australian industrial disaster, and Japan behind the Lines, which recounts the tumultuous events that occurred during his three years of reporting from that nation. In Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, Hills explores the life of Japanese diplomat Masako Owada, whose marriage to Crown Prince Naruhito earned her comparisons to Diana, Princess of Wales. Masako proved ill-suited to the royal life, however, and her unsuccessful efforts to reform the monarchy and produce a male heir resulted in debilitating bouts of depression. Since 2004, she has withdrawn from public life and lives as a virtual recluse. According to Hills, observed a critic in Kirkus Reviews, "the Harvard-educated princess, accustomed to being her own woman, has had an extremely difficult time adjusting to the strict restrictions placed on Japanese royalty." Noting that the author was unable to secure any interviews with the princess or her husband, Booklist contributor Margaret Flanagan stated: "Hills' effort lacks depth but will nevertheless appeal to inveterate royal watchers."



Booklist, December 15, 2006, Margaret Flanagan, review of Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, p. 14.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Princess Masako, p. 1112.


AsiaMedia,http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/ (February 15, 2007), "Masako Book Author Spurns Call to Apologize."

Ben Hills Web site,http://www.benhills.com (June 10, 2007).

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