IT'S BECOME common knowledge that Japanese lead the world in longevity. In fact, there are now 65,000 centenarians living in JapanI
Key elements that inevitably find their place in a longevity story include diet, attitude, exercise.
But one Japanese doctor, Shigeaki Hinohara, who passed away last month at 105 years of age, contributing a great deal to his countryman's longevity through sharing his knowledge, added a few more details:
- Take two stairs at a time.
- Have fun, even at places like hospitals.
- Think twice before committing to surgery.
- Don't collect clutter. You can't take it with you. And you could die any day.
- Ask how your role model might handle a situation.
- Find a favourite long poem and read it often.
During his long life, Dr Hinohara cared for Tokyo firebombing victims in WW2. He practised as a physician right up until a few months before he died.
In 1970, he was on a plane hijacked by Japanese Red terrorists and taken hostage. In 1995, his forethought enabled him to treat 640 victims of a radical cult's subway poison gas attack, because of the equipment he had procured for the hospital he worked at, in case of an earthquake.
Dr Hinohara's own favourite poem was "Abt Vogler" by Robert Browning.
Here is an extract from the poem:
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
On the earth the broke arc, in the heaven a perfect round.
Do you have a favourite poem you would like to share with us?