Author/physician Shigeaki Hinohara 

By JUDIT KAWAGUCHI

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

 Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot.

All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight.

Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work.

There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65.

Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people.

When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.

Don’t be crazy about amassing material things.

Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual.

Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do.

It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.

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Very inspiring words from a man of almost 100.  I really appreciate his mixture of physical/nutritional type things and more emotional and spiritual realities.  It reminds us that some of the most important things in life have more to do with our state of mind and awareness than anything physical or material.  I know I’ll start taking stairs two at a time from now on.