From Donga:

“The end of the Roman Empire,” the last in the series “the stories of the Romans” (original work: Res Gestae Populi Romani) by the Japanese book writer Shiono Nanami (age 69) was published in Japan on December 15.

Shiono published her first series, “Rome was not built in one day,” in 1992, and pledged to “publish one volume each year for 15 years to complete the set.” She literally devoted herself to write a story about ancient Rome for the last 15 years, and has fulfilled her promise by spending half of the year collecting historical documents and the other half writing the story.

The critical point, which is consistent throughout the 15 books, is “why Rome was the only successful region to establish a universal empire by overcoming differences among nation, culture and religion.” According to her, Machiavelli’s philosophy, which states that human beings possess both good and wrong side, is linked with the key to its long lasting empire for 1,200 years. While Christianity focused on the next life in the name of heaven, Rome was attached to the world of today, tried to make the present life better, established systems and reformed it afterwards.

For now, the 14 separate volumes of “the stories of the Romans” have been sold, mounting to an estimated 2.2 million books only in Japan alone. The pocket-sized collection, which bound the 10 books into 28 volumes, has sold about 5.4 million copies.

Shiono who scheduled to visit Japan with the publishing of her last book said, “Right now, I am under an utter exhaustion. I will rest for a while so that I can recharge myself.”