An bio.

I was born right at this place 63 years ago between a couple who used to work at a sanatorium for tuberculotic patients. It was a small and poor facility that my aunt has started in the faith for Christianity before WWII. My parents had worked together and had known each other there. It was a quiet place surrounded with forests all around. My first memory in my life was a hymn in accapela flown througth the pine trees in the garden. Before WWII, tuberculosis was an untreatble illness which people were scared and hated for. This aunt was a person whose family and folks believed in as their backbone.

It won't take so long before the anti tuberculosis treatment was available for those patients however poor they might be. My aunt has decided to close down the facility since it has finished its role in the society. My parents have also decided to go to Tokyo, where they might have chances for work and education for their children. I still remember our parents working so hard. My father has become a house keeper at a hospital while my mother has got a position at a Salvation Army hospital in a suburb of Tokyo. They have worked hard from early in the morning. My mother used to go for work early in the morning and came back home for a while in a break to care for us preparing for the schools.

Accidentally watching a TV drama which ham radio was the main theme, I got interested in this hobby. I was aged 12 years then. I went to Akihabara, the famous downtown for electrical items, once a month when I was given a small amount of money. There were rows of small shops of electrical items and parts over there. I have purchased parts for radio little by little. At age 13 years, I got the licence and was issued this call sign. My set up those days was a single 6AQ5 transmitter and tubes single conversion superhetrodyne receiver. The antenna was a dipole, half wave for 40m, fed with a ladder line feeder. As an article in a magazine told, I have fried chop sticks with wax, which turned out not to be so effective against rain and sun outdoor. In the beginning, it was difficult for me even to work with JA. However, later on, as I have upgraded the rig to 6146 transmitter and double/triple conversion receiver, all home brew, I could work with all over the world.

In the beginning, I could work the other hams only on CW. That was the reason why I got on CW so much those days. Though that situation has gone on throughout my teen age days, I have become more interested in communication on this mode. As I already wrote, I had got acquaintance with Ed K6NB and his group on 40m CW. Ralph Multon WB6BFR was another elmer for me those days, as I also wrote. What an excitement I have had with them those days! They have lead me into the depth of the enjoyment of CW those days.

I was told to go for a college, that is, Kousen in japanese, a unique school system composed of a high school and a college, where we could learn engineering without going for universities. My parents later told me they could not believe that I would study for the entrance exams for any university since I was a real nut for ham radio then. I have spent a leisurely student days in the college. But I was not very interested in mechanical engineering I specialized. Finishing that college, I decided to be a MD. It took me a couple of years to enter a faculty of medicine at a university in Tokyo. A new world has opened to me then. At that time, ham radio did not take any place in my mind at all.

In the university, I was crazy for music. In the orchestra, I have chosen cello for my instrument and have started learning it. It was a club together with a women's university. It was a hell as well as a heaven for me who had never experienced studying together with girls. I have devoted myself to its activities. Most friends always retired from the club at the 5th grade or so. But I had gone on playing cello at the orchestra or at some chamber ensemble group until graduation. I still regret as for how to have practised instrument. That is, I have not spent much time for the basic training so much. But I always wanted to play in ensemble. At young age, we should concentrate on the basic activities, whatever it might be. Anyway, I have had unforgettable years at the orchestra. There were a girl friend whom I could hardly forget throughout my life as well.

On graduation, most classmates would stay in the mother university belonging to some speciality. I have chosen serving residency at a med school in this area together with my wife, where a professor whom I had known of in person  held a lab. of pediatrics. It was that time when I remembered of ham radio, being away from the orchestral activities. It took me a year or so to prepare a small set up at the dorm over there. It was late in fall in 1980. Most of you might know how I have been doing with the radio.

I could not brag nor even affirm that I have spent good life as reflecting it for now. But being born in that sanatorium and being involved in music in student days are not anything I should regret at present. I am thankful to my fortune for that. I don't know if I could close my life with gratitude and satisfaction yet. But with the pleasure of ham radio and music etc, I would spend days which I won't regret at that time.


  1. Very interesting bio, shin. it seems that a lot of us fellow hams got started in this hobby at an early age as a teenager's inquisition to find out what makes it work.

    wayne VE7HCW (I may had work you in the past on cw?)

  2. Wayne,

    Thanks for the nice comment. I don't know how old you are but I guess we have started ham radio at almost the same time. At low teenages. Ham radio was a real only window for us opening to the world those days as you might know.

    It is a serious question whether it is taken over by the internet or not. In Japan, only few young people are coming into this hobby.

    Yes, we might have seen on the radio, especially on CW, sometime in the past. I have been active on from 40 to 10m when they are open to NA. I would see you again soon.


  3. During the many contacts we have had over the years, I have picked up small pieces of your biography, but with what you have written in this blog it all fits together and I better understand your history. I knew you had used home built radios to begin with and one time you mentioned the 6AQ5 transmitter. I built a few rigs other than kits, one of them may have been similar to the 6AQ5, but used a 5763 tube and would run 12-15 watts input and was multiple band capable if I had crystals for that band! I never built a vfo into that rig. But your receivers were most interesting to me. When I went to work on radio communications equipment in 1962 most of the radios were tube type. But they were already building receivers using solid state technology so the new ones were very interesting to me. These were mostly FM receivers, and dual conversion or triple conversion radios with good audio amplifiers to procuce a lot of volume for trucks that were noisy when driving down
    gravel and rough roads! I truly enjoyed your BIO, you have taken a lot of schooling over your younger years.

    Bob Gates / W7AYN

  4. great bio Shin

    I had many rigs I built. I remember a arc 5 and a hr 10 at age 11. i started with a bug then my first paddles were two J38 keys back to back

    161, Steve N6TT

  5. My age is 64. i guess we were experimenters that dared to play with live 110v using a salt bath as a rheostat to control the brightness of a 100w light bulb. build AM and shortwave transmitters just to broadcast our music from a record player to hear how far it will travel. learned CW Morse the wrong way but with practice straightened out the copy.
    will be loading up the 40meter delta loop on 20meter ,30meter and 40meter this fall for a few JA contacts.

    wayne ve7hcw or va7at call sign

  6. Wonderful story, Shin. It just goes to show how little events have a large impact on our lives. It makes one wonder if these all are random. Congratulations on meeting "that one special girl" and on your most accomplished life. Jim N3BB

  7. Bob, Steve, Wayne and Jim,

    Thanks for the comment. I have read them all with much interest. It is not meaningless for us to remember things in the past. I would do that from now. It may reveal why I am here now and where I would go in my life.

    I was almost smiling to know you guys have almost similar histories as for radio in the same years. My rig was a product with much sweat those days. A relay controlled electronic keyer used to be broken because of keying at the final cathode. A bamboo made quad won't last a season due to the weak structure against typhoons.

    Jim, yes, the events and meeting people have made me as I am now. It may be necessary for us to recall them in order to know where we are heading to now.

    Thanks again.