The words a professor has left

Seven years ago, professor of Tokyo University, Yohji Totsuka, has died from colon cancer. He was a disciple of Masatoshi Koshiba, professor emeritus of the same University, a Nobel Prize awardee for quantum physics, and had been making research work regarding elementary particle after his elmer. I bet he was in his fifties then. Of course, I had no acquaintance with him but have known him only through his blog as told below.

In the process to death, he had kept a blog for months. He has written something profound in plain words in it. Once, he was asked by a person with the same illness of poor prognosis how he/she could live positively despite of the fatal illness. Professor Totsuka has answered that person to start writing/reading/listening more carefully as well as deliberately. With that effort, he/she could overcome the fear for death. He has told this in most tender manner to that person. Most affectionate way. I knew that was what he had actually been doing at that time. He also introduced words of Shiki Masaoka, one of the renowned haiku poets in japanese traditional style, who fought against tuberculosis and died in his young age. It was "To be enlightened in life is not to die well but to live well." I was most impressed how he has answered, in kind and open minded way, to the other who suffered from the same fatal illness. Very few could do such a thing in his situation. What he said sounded right and appropriate as an answer to the inquirer. It is, moreover, suggestive to us how to live and die.

It is not so soon when I should consider of dying by myself. But no one knows when it comes to us. At my age, I feel I should get ready for that. Totsuka might mean we should live well in order to die well. I feel it couldn't be too early for us to prepare for that moment.


  1. Shin...hello there from W7PAU Paul long time brother!
    I died in the hospital about 3 yrs ago from heart attack...I really like these words of wisdom...they ring true...I knew I was going and told the nurse that I thanked all for tring but I was going now...and I did...I woke up going to the O R...they said they saved me and not to worry ...they put a stint in me...everything seems to be good for now...riding my bicycle about 250miles each month and sometimes more...but I just let go..and thought of peaceful times and my beautiful wife and GOD...it seemed to be very peacefull and I was hurting but relaxed...I think life is a very great thing..I don't want to lose it but...if it's time it's time...everything has a season...God bless you !! I heard you today fairly I tried to get you but too much QSB...73s for now...regards always Paul W7PAU sk

    1. Hi Paul,

      I am pleased to know you have been saved with the stent procedure for your heart attack. Blessed you are. Have great time with your wife. Bicycle riding may help you to be kept in good shape. Are you still running QRP? If so, it is not easy for me to read you completely. But let me try it. See you soon. Happy holiday season to you and yours all.


  2. Heard your great cw fist and strong signal on 20Meters today, looked you up on QRZ and discovered this way of blogging. I'm building rig and will talk to you on the air one of these days.