The 12th anniversary of father

A broadcast mail from my sister has arrived here this evening. It tells tomorrow will be the 12th anniversary of our father passing at the age of 84 years. I was aware of that anniversary coming soon. But, honestly, I was not sure what day it was in July. She told, getting older, she recalled of our parents more often. So do I. Whenever I look at the house in the same property where they have lived with us for years, or when I stand on the garden where my father used to work, I always remember of them.

It is no use to reflect, I know, that I should have been able to do much more for him especially when he got ill in the end of his life. That thought still often creep into my mind with incurable sadness and regret. Getting this old, I could fully imagine what he thought of in his life those days.

He has born in a fairly wealthy family. His father, that is, my grandfather seemed to be involved in something like juridical scrivener. Both of my grandparents died of tuberculosis when my father and his brothers were very young. All of them were grown under different families of their relatives. My father has not told us too often how hard it was to live at that time. I remember he told us he had had to care for a baby of the family while his friends were playing outside. Though my father wished to study more when he finished compulsory education, the situation in the family he had been taken care of did not allow him that.

He has spent his youth in the military service. He has been sent to China for a few years where he has experienced most inhuman and absurd reality in war. I don't know how he have known my mother. It seemed he had been to the sanatorium my aunt managed at this place those days, where he has met her. I have written of his story after this elsewhere in this blog. In short, they have got married and was given 3 children, all of whom have worked as doctors and a nurse later.
When that sanatorium was closed, my father took his family to Tokyo. All of his children were grown up there while my father used to work as personnel of hospitals. He has worked real hard. He has lived in belief in Christianity since the sanatorium days. He was not a perfect person at all in his character or behaviour. But he used to attend to church as if he would get something necessary to live on. My sister told in that mail she remembered him reading Bible in a dark room at the apartment those days.

Retired in his 60s in Tokyo, he has moved and settled down here at this place where aunt had the sanatorium. In a few years, finishing residency at a med school hospital nearby, we joined them building our home in the same property. We owed much to father for house keeping or caring for children while both of us worked hard at hospitals and, later, at own practices. It must be his most peaceful days ever in his life. Suffered from liver cancer, he has finished his life at age of 84 years.

In the last years of his life, he has been concerned about the responsibility for the WWII. No one has taken it. Remained unanswered to that question, the post war regime has started and carried on to the present time. I guess that was his inquiry. It must be a question which could not help coming up in his mind because the war had deprived him of his youth and the colleagues and the people in China of lives. I was surprised to have found many books regarding of the modern history of our country in addition to those regarding Christianity. I was not surprised to have found the voluminous biography of Showa Emperor titled as Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan in his book shelf. I guess he has reached the problem of emperor system as a cause of WWII. It was a surprise that I had been conscious of the same problem to overcome the absurdity in the post war regime. I could have discussed more on this issue if I had known of sharing the same problem consciousness with him while he was alive. I could not help asking myself with much bitterness what he would say seeing what is going on in our country. I mean the movement toward the prewar regime by the leading party now. I sure should do against that movement partly on behalf of him.

I would clean the house our parents used to live recalling of them tomorrow.

Thanks for reading this lengthy and discursive story. Forgive me for my age.

Father and our 2nd son in 1980s.


  1. No forgiveness necessary, Shin! To remember a family member with such love is a blessing in life.

    1. Ellen,

      Thanks for the warm words. It was a pleasure for me to work with him at my own office for a few years. But the same thought often comes in my mind that there should be more I could do for him in his latest years. I know it is little use at present. With that regret in my mind, I might live the rest of my life. Being able to feel the passed parents closer to us must be a blessing in life in deed.