Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If the name Dr Shigeaki Hinohara does not ring a bell, let me share some amazing facts about the good doctor as an introduction.

~ He's 97 years old and still practises at St Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo.

~ He has published about 150 books since his 75th birthday.

~ In 1970 enroute to a medical conference, his JAL plane was hijacked by the Japanese Red Army. He survived the four-day ordeal. The experience taught him to value life and he vowed to dedicate it in service to others.

~ He was director of St Luke's Hospital during the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway by Aum Shinrikyo. Thanks to his motto of "Always plan ahead", the hospital was well-equipped to take in 740 victims of the attack.

~ His book "How to Live Well" published in 2001 has sold more than 1.2 million copies. It was originally titled "How to Die Well".

Here are some quotable quotes from Dr Hinohara. Read the full interview by Judit Kawaguchi. Dr Hinohara shares how he keeps himself active, healthy and happy.

~ Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot.

~ All people who live long, regardless of nationality, race or gender, share one thing in common: none are overweight.

~ Always plan ahead.

~ Share what you know.

~ When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure.

~ To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff.

~ My inspiration is Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler".

~ Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.

~ Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: you don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.

~ Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors.

~ Science alone can't cure or help people. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

~ Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do.

~ It's wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one's family and to achieve one's goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society.

~ If you keep working, if you keep learning something new, you'll never get old.

1 comment:

Starmandala said...

Excellent story, my dear! :-)