A university orchestra concert

I went for a concert to a hall nearby with my wife yesterday afternoon. The orchestra of Jichi Medical University has played the 9th symphony of Dvorak et al there. My wife has been invited to this event by her flute teacher, whose husband has been playing flute at this orchestra.

Both of us have served residency at this university hospital. In my case, from 1979 to 1981. I could not forget enjoyment to play in an orchestra and decided to join the university orchestra there when the things in residency had settled down. It was still a small ensemble. Only about 10 members. Mostly boys. I have never played in any concert the orchestra held then but have had fun having good company, mostly, young med students. Once a week, we gathered at a class room of the school and practiced some Baroque tune. I have known a guy who played pretty good piano. We have played some piano trio with a junior high school student girl, who was a daughter of a professor. It has not lasted too long. It is still a fond memory for me.

This photo might be uploaded here before. However, it was the days of our residency at that university hospital. At the campus. More vacant space there than now. We lived at a dorm there. We have spent a lot of time for training as doctor, studied a bit, played instruments, cello with me and piano with my wife at that time and enjoyed driving a lot.

Who knew hectic and hard days were waiting for us after this peaceful days? I have been away from cello performance for years since then.

The orchestra sounded great. Of course, there were inequality of playing technique among players, especially, wind instrument players. Whenever I listen to such an amateur orchestra, however, I could not help feeling the players' enthusiasm at every moment. It might be different from genuinely deep impression but is still a fun to listen to such an orchestra. The company at the orchestra almost 40 years ago might be working hard as doctors all around the country. The graduates from this school are supposed to work for the hospitals at the area they came from. Listening to their performance, I just wondered how they were doing now.  They must be over sixties of age by now.

After finishing the program, the conductor has come to a contrabass player who would graduate the school next year and has shaken hands with him.


A phone call from Lee HL2DC

I have just received a phone call from Lee HL2DC. It seemed a reply to my e mail I had sent to him a few days ago asking how he and his family were doing. He and his family are doing fine. Not so much like panic there. They used to have an announcement by the president some more than ten years ago in a threat , which told the people to prepare for food and water in case of war. It is not so serious as that time so far, as Lee told me. He is not sure what will happen tomorrow. Mainly because Trump is not a person whom we could hardly predict how he will behave. If war should happen there, he told me he won't take refuge anywhere. The roads would be jammed with cars all around and it won't be possible for them to go anywhere. He lives only 20km away from the DMZ.

I felt we must apologize to Korean people because the present mess going on is originated from the history that Japan colonized Korea before WWII. We should feel that debt to them as a kind of basso continuo. I am really angry as well at the politicians who behave like playing with fire in this region. The on going threat of war is due to OPLAN 5029 or 5055. Of course, needless to say the Kim administration is an inhumane dictatorship and should be overthrown by non military way. North Korea has not started invading the other coutries nor attacking them with weapons at present. The US president is insisting that North Korea should not be allowed to own nuclear weapon and ICBM. There seem to be some domestic problem that Trump won't get good approving rate in the US and would resort to military action which was partially successful in Syria. Our prime minister is slaving after Trump possibly thinking it would be a good chance to change our constitution to that in old era, under which the basic human right and freedom is deprived of us. Our government has recommended the school teachers to teach on the Imperial Rescript of Education. They have recently admitted "Mein Kampf" by Hitler as a teaching material. Both Trump and Abe, and of course Kim Jeon Un are playing with fire in this area. 

It seems China is trying to calm down North Korea with the card of prohibiting export of gas to North Korea. I don't know if it will work long. This situation of serious threat could be accidentally turned to war any time. In such a case, it means a suicidal war for North Korea and will give us tremendous damages and casualties in this area.


Russian roulette

North Korea and the US military are gambling Russian roulette. No one knows what will happen. Inhumane Kim regime in N Korea should be vanished. It should be, however, done with economical pressure.

Has armament export from N Korea to such as Iran or Malaysia been monitored and banned strictly? North Korean people have been sent for labor in foreign countries like Russia etc and been exploited badly there. There should be more things to do with N Korea before resorting to weapons.

The damage due to the war should be astronomically serious. S Korea and possibly our country may suffer so much as they could never recover. There will be millions of refugees from the peninsula of Korea to China or else where. I wonder if the US government has any exit plan from such a disastrous event. The East Asia should never be another Afghanistan or Iraq.

I have heard the US NSC has had more members from the military. I wonder if they are nor working for the military industrial complex. The US administration should be wiser.

Cherry blossoms at a shrine grounds

I went to a barber close to my former office. It takes me almost half an hour to drive there. The master is almost 80 years old. He told me he had had the cataract surgery at a hospital near by, which went on very successfully. He used to take his granddaughter for management of various illnesses to my clinic some 20 years ago. She has grown up to be a student studying economics at a university near by. They are like my family members.

On the way back home, I drove on the way I used to commute those days. There is a shrine named Gosho Shrine on the way. Mostly surrounded by rice farms. There are some houses or even buildings for the workers at factories in the area. The shrine has a woods behind it and stays very quiet. Very few people around there. A few cherry trees were blooming fully in the shrine precincts. Serene as well as beautiful. I stopped by there to take a few photos.

A memory of a couple of lovely siblings came up in my mind. A small child and a toddler. They were living in this district and were regularly attending to my clinic taken by their quiet mother those days. Almost 20 years ago. They must have grown up to be college students or even to work at some places by now. Hopefully, they are getting along well. It is a pity I could never see them grown up yet. It is still a fact I have lived together with them for a while those days. They still remain being my family members in my memory.

From now on, I will be busy plowing and planting vegetables in the garden farm. It is the time of hope end joy for vivid lives now.  


Military action won't bring forth any solution

I was shocked to see most people including Democrats in the US are approving the missile attack to Syria by Trump administration.

So far as I heard from news sources, Trump had let Russia know about their attack a few hours prior to the attack. Syrian government must have known of that through Russia.

I am very afraid, with this military action, Trump was intending to recover his approval rating which had hit record low. It seems like a show to me. Being convinced with the fact such show could work well for him, he might resort another military action at various places including North Korea.

Reportedly, Trump has decided to bomb Syria when he saw a TV news showing dead children due to the Sarin gas attack. Without verifying that it was executed by the Syrian government and having referred it to the UN, they have bombed Syria. It is a typical style of a populism politician. They would decide such a serious matter considering only its effect on the reputation by the people. They are always concerned about the emotional reaction of the people but not concerned about the truth. The US president has the biggest power in the world. It is really scary that he and his group like Steve Bannon have the switch for nuke attack.

It seems Northe Korea became a serious matter in the US since they have been armed with nuclear bomb and ICBM. The threat by N Korea has been present for years especially in South Korea or in Japan. The problem is that the allied military of S Korea and the US have publicly aiming at ceasing the Kim regime in N Korea. Of course, that regime has been awfully inhumane to the people and greedily dictating there. It should be ceased as soon as possible. But, I am sure, military action must cause too much disaster in the Eastern Asia. Strict economic pressure, including banning the export of arms to the other countries like Malaysia or to Iran should, be done in the international community. Threatening to N Korea by military forces won't solve the problem.


Magnolia is fully blooming

It is the time the magnolia in our garden fully comes out. Since the branches were pruned last fall by a gardener, the outlook of the tree is rather small. Pruning might be effective to have it bloomed even more gorgeously than before. I have uploaded the photos of this tree in the same season for the past few years. It is the tree my mother used to love most. It will be 6th anniversary of her passing away very soon.

It will be the time to plant vegetables very soon as well. The ancient people have celebrated this season shining brightly as well as vividly. I would go after them enjoying the garden.


Apres Un Reve by Tortelier and Iwasaki

When I started playing cello in the med school days, I was fascinated by Tortelier playing Apres Un Reve. The accompaniment pianist was Shuku Iwasaki. It was a live recording at a concert. The refrain of the theme is often played in piano of the dynamics. Tortelier refrained, however, the theme passionately in forte. Even with accelerando. Iwasaki was an excellent accompaniment player. She followed him with really appropriate distance in timing. Not too close but not too far either. That accompanying style was quite important to have Tortelier's tension in performance going on livelily. 

I found a video clip of this combination playing that piece. 8'15" and thereafter in this recording. This is not what I listened to those days but still reminds me of that performance in live.     

One of the fondest memories in music those days.


Bifurcating roles of doctors

A doctor has died several days ago. He has been a chief priest of an old temple named Saimyoji not so far from here as well as the president of a clinic next to it. He has suffered from pancreatic cancer for the past 3 years. I haven't had any personal acquaintance with him at all. My father used to be cared for by him for a while when father was alive.

Saimyoji is an old temple founded in the 8th century. It is located a few km aouth of the main street of Mashiko town famous for the pottery industry and is on the top of a small mountain near by here. It is one of the places I used to bring the visitors either he/she is from the oversea or not. I have been there with them or alone once a year or twice. A very quiet place surrounded with high trees. As at any old temples, I always feel as if the time has stopped there. The quietness as well as its long history may make me feel that way.

At the temple 3 years ago when AJ2Y visited us here. He is not related with this article.

There is a clinic on the foothill of the mountain, I mentioned in the 1st paragraph, where the doctor has worked for years. He is told to have done the terminal care for the patients with grave prognosis. I am sure he has worked for those people with his religious belief in Buddhism. 

The role of doctors is bifurcating into two different ways. One is to give high tech medical treatments. It is the cutting edge effort to make patients survive longer. It has been the main power which drove the medical research in the past. It may persist for the benefit of people.

The other is the terminal care. Of course, there are a lot of specialties and fields in medicine which are situated between these two roles. The more progress medical science makes, I believe, the more conspicuous this bifurcating roles seem to be. Since medical science has reached to gene science and, possibly, the
medicoeconomic limit is getting more apparent due to the high cost of the modern high tech medical treatments, standing by the dying patients will be even more important for doctors from now. Accepting death used to be a defeat for the doctors as well as the patients. Nowadays, however, oftener, we confront to the point where no further treatments will be promising cure. It is the time terminal care would work for them and in that situation, the doctors should stand by those who are accepting their death. 

We should stand by them as the same human being destined to death. It is not an easy task for us if we seriously go along with them. It is a way to live death together with them. I believe it is the time when religion shows up before us with its original value. Of course, all we should do is to stand by those dying and to listen to what they think of life and death. But not to force any religious belief to them. 

I believe this doctor, having served for the dying people in the terminal care while having had the terminal cancer for the past 3 years, has done a great job as the by stander to them. RIP to doctor Tanaka.