The Tochigi Shimbun, the predecessor of Shimotsuke Shimbun was first published on the 1st June 1878 in Tochigi City which used to be in the southern part of the present Tochigi Prefecture.
In the following year, Yoshio Nakata, an editor of the Tochigi Shimbun and Shozo Tanaka (1841-1913) who fought for the workers victims of the Ashio Copper Mine Incident republished it and called it the second Tochigi Shimbun to advocate the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement.
Shozo Tanaka was appointed to the editor in chief of the second Tochigi Shimbun.
In 1882 the second Tochigi Shimbun and the Ashikaga Shimpo merged into the third Tochigi Shimbun. As the prefectural government was moved from Tochigi to Utsunomiya, the third Tochigi Shimbun was also relocated to Utsunomiya on the 7th March 1884.
It merged the Shimotsuke Asahi Shimbun in Utsunomiya and changed the title to the Shimotsuke Shimbun.
The Shimotsuke Shimbun has continued after those events and celebrated the 140th anniversary on the 1st June 2018.
The Shimotsuke Shimbun is one the oldest local newspapers in Japan.