Battle Royale

For the novel, please go to Shogo Kawada (Novel). For the film, please go to Shogo Kawada (Film).

Shogo Kawada (川田 章吾, Kawada Shōgo) is a major character in Battle Royale.


Shogo's mother died when he was young, and he grew up helping his father out in his small clinic. Helping his father gave him a knowledge of medicines as well as a numb approach to death during the program, having seen so many people die already. His father later got killed by the government, opposing Shogo's involvement with the program.

Shogo was dating Keiko Onuki, who he cared about, but struggled to show his feelings. He sometimes spoke bluntly and allowed his pessimistic view of the world to upset her. Before the program, they had plans to go birdwatching.

The First Program[]

In the first program, Shogo's class thought they were having a class physical but, after being gassed, they were taken to a remote location. In the program, Shogo was a ruthless killer, and later compares himself to Kazuo Kiriyama. However, unlike Kazuo, he was capable of feeling emotions, but he was capable of repressing his emotions for the sake of the program. Keiko did not trust him after she witnessed his first murder, running away from him. His motive for killing was to ensure that Keiko would win.

Towards the end of the program, he finds her again, now held at gunpoint by Nakata, who criticizes Shogo for the way he treated Keiko, claiming Keiko should be with him instead. Shogo manages to kill Nakata. After talking to Keiko, she points her gun at him, visibly distressed. He shoots her in automatic self-defense, killing her. However, when he turns around, he sees that she was actually aiming at another classmate, who was coming to kill Shogo. She then taunts him about killing Keiko, and he kills her, leaving Shogo as the winner.

Friends and Enemies[]

Shogo dated Keiko Onuki and although they would often fight over their opinions, the two did love each other. Shogo did have an enemy in classmate Nakata who stalked Keiko, claiming that he loved her and hated seeing the way Shogo treated her. Shogo's relationships with the rest of his classmates was unknown.

After the events of the first program, Shogo didn't make any friends at his new school as he already knew that they were going to be in the program. All of his classmates kept their distance from him due to his personality and appearance.

Shogo did keep watch on two of his classmates: Kazuo Kiriyama and Mitsuko Souma as he felt they would be the most likely to play the game. Kazuo, he felt was dead inside and would play because he could. As for Mitsuko, he knew that she was emotionally damaged and was 'acting out' to hide her damage.  

During his second program, he befriends Shuya Nanahara and Noriko Nakagawa. This may be because Noriko was a lot like Keiko and he saw the two as a potential couple. 

The Second Program[]

Right before Shuya falls asleep on the bus, he witnesses Shogo desperately pounding on the window, trying to break it; he fails, and just before he falls unconscious, he deems the BR officials as "bastards". When the program started, Shuya and probably other students in the class were cautious of Shogo and saw him as a potential enemy. Being a transfer student, he did not make friends with anybody in his class and there were various rumors as to where his injuries came from.

The only known encounter he makes before running into Kyoichi Motobuchi who was trying to kill Shuya is during the first night when Shogo comes across Shinji Mimura who was inside a building Shogo happened to be passing by. Neither made an attempt to talk or fight as they both were more focused on their escape plans and recognized the danger they each possessed.

Shuya and Noriko[]

He saves Shuya's life by shooting Kyoichi in the arm, surprising Shuya. He made it clear that although he wasn't playing the game, he would do what he had to do to survive. Due to Shogo being logical and Shuya being emotional, they did not always get along and often annoyed each other, but they still remained allies throughout the program. Shogo proved very useful in protecting the two, even saving Noriko when she got ill. He promises them an escape plan, although he does not give any details as to what that is.

It is suggested that the reason he chose them as allies, apart from them being strongly opposed to killing, is that Noriko reminded him of Keiko and he thought the two of them would make a good couple. Also, even though he often blows off emotions, he does admire both of them for it.

After a battle with Kazuo Kiriyama that ended with the emotionless boys' death, Shogo pulls a gun on Shuya and Noriko and claims to have taken advantage of their desire to trust their classmates before shooting them. After being declared the winner and brought on a ship Yonemi Kamon reveals he knows Shuya and Noriko are still alive and tries to kill Shogo for cheating. Before he can, he's distracted by the sounds of the pair incapacitating the soldiers and Shogo stabs Yonemi in the neck, avenging Keiko. After sending off the soldiers in a life raft, Shogo explains how to control the ship before collapsing from his injuries sustained during the battle with Kazuo. After telling the pair to keep living, Shogo succumbs to his injuries.


  • The name Shogo means "chapter, section" (章) (shō), and "me, I" (吾) (go)
  • Shogo's surname Kawada means "river, stream" (川) (kawa), and "field, rice paddy" (田) (da)


  • Of all the main characters, if the first program was included, then Shogo has killed the most people with seventeen people.
  • Shogo is the last character to die in the manga
  • Metaphorically speaking, he was the "thinking heart" in the story. Despite being logical, reasonable, unemotional, stubborn and unaffected by death, every decision he makes is entirely selfless, for the sake of Keiko, Shuya or Noriko.
  • This is the only version of Shogo to kill Kaori Minami. In the novel, she's killed by Hirono Shimizu, while in the film, she's killed by Mizuho Inada.