Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara

March 30, 2009 § 1 Comment

Dr Shigeaki-Hinohara

Dr Shigeaki-Hinohara

This inspirational tale was sent to me today in an email.

“At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara JUDIT KAWAGUCHIPHOTO:

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

All people who live long   regardless of nationality, race or gender   share one thing in common: None are overweight… For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work.. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat..

Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!

There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100…

Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

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. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery  I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler.” My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

Don’t be crazy about collecting 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. We designed St…. Luke’s so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. 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.

Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at DukeUniversity in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

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. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”

Curry with Troy

March 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Prawn Curry and Royal Festival Biryani

Prawn Curry and Royal Festival Biryani

Had a yummy meal with our good friend Troy last night. It was so unbelievably delicious.

Some finely chopped onions garlic and ginger, and some Mangal Korma Masala mix then added some tinned tomatoes. A little yoghurt and lemon juice and cook it down. Add a mixture of shelled green prawns and whole green prawns at the end so they don’t overcook.

We served it with some Royal Festival Biryani from Turban Chopsticks. All the ingredients were in the pack and instructions on the back.

Washed down with some delicious wines. To coin Mr Parmenter “Australian, of course”.

Sonny Rollins serenaded us during dinner. How lucky were we?

Thanks for a great hang brother Troy.

Copyright and the web

March 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

Serious Concerns by Wendy Cope

I heard a radio programme on the ‘net today about poet Wendy Cope.  Her poetry so charmed me, I immediately wanted to share it with others.

So I searched the net, and came across this article by her from the Guardian about copyright.

So, taking her advice about copyright and artists, if you’re interested too, I suggest you visit the page where she reads her poems aloud or visit the ABC radio national webpage where you can listen to her read her beautiful work.

If you like her work and think others might like it too, support this living artist and buy one of her books.

Being a well meaning soul who likes to share things with others, I feel somewhat chastened by her words.  Being a performing artist I’m grateful to her for reminding me about the need to be respectful towards the intellectual property of others.

That said, check her out.  She’s brilliant!  Her witty aphorisms on love lost, unrequited, unrealised made me laugh and cry at the same time.  You can hear these near the beginning of the programme on the ABC radio national website.

Sydney Opera House

March 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Graham Abbott’s musings on the vexed questions surrounding one of our most famous icons.

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Originally uploaded by paddy_28

Sydney Opera House – my two-cents’ worth.

“As a child visiting my grandmother in Milson’s Point in the 60s I have vivid memories of the Opera House being built across the harbour. I was a high school student when it opened in the 70s and I attended one of the first concerts in the Concert Hall (the German Bach Soloists with Monika Leonhardt and Marilyn Richardson as soloists in an all-Bach program).

The current talk about the renovations to the Opera Theatre seem to be viewed by some people as an attempt to restore the building to Utzon’s original plan. Whatever the merits (or otherwise) of the current proposal, they most certainly do not represent a return to Utzon’s original plan, as far as I am aware.

If I remember correctly, the original plan was the have the big hall (now the Concert Hall) as a proscenium theatre which would double as an opera/ballet venue AND a concert venue. For this, some of the most advanced stage machinery in the world at the time was built, and this explains the height of the Concert Hall ceiling, as this was the original fly tower.

The smaller hall (now the Opera Theatre) was to be a drama theatre, so no provision was made for a pit of any great size.

When Utzon left the project the interior plan was changed to what we now have. One result of this (much-mentioned in arts circles at the time, I recall) was that the stage machinery for the original large theatre was sold for scrap as it was obviously too large for the proposed Opera Theatre. The continuing problems with the smaller theatre as an opera and ballet venue are too well-known to mention.

The fact remains that if we were to return to Utzon’s original plan we would have a building totally inadequate for the needs of Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet AND the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Can you imagine these three organisations attempting to share the one venue? Such a thing was conceivable in the 50s when the building was designed, but it’s certainly not an option now. So let’s not pretend that returning to Utzon’s original plan will solve all our problems. And let’s not pretend that the current discussions about the Opera Theatre renovations are anything to do with Utzon’s original ideas either.

If anyone wants to see how lousy an “all-purpose” proscenium theatre trying to be a concert hall can be, one need look no further than the Adelaide Festival Theatre. The fact remains that because of this line of thinking, Adelaide still has no concert hall worthy of the name.

The Sydney Opera House is miraculous in so many ways and like many such things, it has its flaws. I think we’re stuck with it and that a larger theatre for larger opera and ballet productions should be built elsewhere. Not an ideal solution but one which would probably alienate a lot less of the public than spending a billion dollars on the present building.”

Graham Abbott is a professional conductor, and a radio presenter on “Keys to Music” on ABC Classic FM.

Concert in Fremantle Friday March 27th 8pm

March 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

love in the 3rd degree

Originally uploaded by guckstdu

If you’re in the vicinity of Fremantle on Friday night and you love classical music then treat yourself to some extraordinary brass playing at the Fremantle Arts’ Centre at 8pm.

Featuring some of Australia’s finest professional brass players the Australian Brass Quintet is a MUST SEE event.

Performing a selection of works celebrating composers of the Americas, ABQ pay tribute to music legends, Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Trumpets: David Elton & Tristram Williams I French Horn: Ben Jacks Trombones: Michael Bertoncello & Shannon Pittaway

For those who can’t make it on Friday they are also playing at the UWA at 3pm on Sunday 29th Winthrop Hall


March 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

On The Radio.

Originally uploaded by Neuenschwander.

Mike’s Radio World

I was talking with someone about this site recently. It does webradio links by category, country and streaming format. VERY GOOD!

It’s at

If you want to listen to your computer through your speakers, get a simple lead with headphone jack at one end and 2 RCAs at the the other which you plug into your ports on your amp.

Leeuwin Estate Concert 2008

March 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

View from the stage before it was graced by Yvonne Kenny and David Hobson.

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