I came across a very inspiring article written by Judit Kawaguchi for a Japanese audience and published in The Japan Times Online. This article has tremendous value to all young and elderly alike. We are therefore indebted to her for publishing Dr Hinohara’s amazing life and contributing to spreading health awareness worldwide. I am sharing this great persons living philosophy for the benefit of all of us and to make our lives more joyful and fun.

Dr Shigeaki Hinohara is 97 years of age and a physician and an educator. His magic touch is legendary. He has healed many patients. He believes rather than surgery and medicines music and animal therapy can help more.

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.

As said by many Indian sages and western philosophers and gurus Hinohara too believes that energy comes from feeling good, from within not from eating well and sleeping a lot. Simple food and a peaceful mind is important.

There is no need to ever retire.

Amazing as it may sound but Hinohara plans ahead and his schedule is booked up to 2014. He intends having fun in 2016 and attend the Tokyo Olympics.

Be Active and share

Share what you know. He delivers 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. He usually speak for 60 to 90

Dr Hinohara giving a speech. Picture courtesy The Tokyo International Forum

Dr Hinohara giving a speech. Picture courtesy The Tokyo International Forum

minutes, standing, to stay strong. Avoid the lift and go up the stairs. He himself takes two stairs at a time, to get the muscles moving. His advice to us is that in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society and work as volunteer. He still put in 18 hours seven days a week and loves every minute of it.

Avoid materialism

Live a simple life and don’t be greedy.

Forget pain

Pain is mysterious and having fun is the best way to forget it. A child with a toothache gets absorbed in a game, he forgets his pain. You can be the same way.

Find a role model

Observe the way they deal with life and emulate their ways.


Dr. Hinohara says that one of his inspirations is Robert Browning’s poem ” Abt Vogler”, which his father used to read to him.” It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that we can never finish it while we are alive. All we can see is an arch: the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.”

So three cheers to Dr Hinohara and grateful thanks to Judit whose article has inspired many. I am keen on reading his bestseller book “Living Long, Living Good”.

About Dilip

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

10 responses

  1. Navin Kumar says:

    Respected Sir,
    According to http://www.ihepa.org/ Dr. Hinohara was born in 1911 and that means he’s probably joined more than 25,000 centenarians of Japan.His zest for life is exemplary and what makes him further extraodinary is the fact that he is teaching people how to lead a prouctive and meaningful life.
    There is one simple assumption but difficult to comply with and that is “Adversity brings out the best in us”.Dr. Hinohara was in a hijacked aircraft and had little chance of survival. After his survival, he become a tansformed human being.
    Once Gurdjieff ordered two of his disciples to stand in a canal knowing quite well that it would get flooded anytime. Both the disciples were determined to prove their love, respect, and obedience for him therefore they didn’t think twice and stood in the middle of the canal. Within no time the canal got inundated and one of his disciples got scared and came out. The other one stood there smiling and when it became obvious to Gurdjieff that he would get drowned he (Gurdjieff) jumped in the canal to rescue him. That person became Gurdjieff’s most favourite disciple.He was such an enlightened person that he even declined to be nominated as the successor of Gurdjieff. Both Gurdjieff and that disciple maintained that the transformation happened only after that incident.
    I don’t mean to say that we should deliberately put ourselves in adverse situations but the moment we are in such a condition we should not forget that we would become a better human being if we successfully overcome that phase.


    • Dilip says:

      Dear Navin,

      Very interesting comments from you on Dr Hinohara. I checked out the link on IHEPA. That was an interesting experiment narrated by you in the Gurdjieff case.

      Great lesson emerges from this story – to me it appears that perhaps the disciples earlier spiritual practices and faith in his Master must have helped in his enlightenment.

      Many thanks and best regards!


  2. Girish Kohli says:

    Hon’ble Sir,

    We pattern our lives for those we respect most. I respect you for this beautiful article and your vivacious personality which inspires me to keep going.

    Needless to mention this article is a fact of our life. Happiness is a state of mind and is to be found within. Moreover the Indian culture depicts clearly that a man is as old as he or she thinks him to be. My grand father who at the age of ninety used to go alone and open his shop and work.

    When we expand our mental horizons beyond our limitation like MR Hinhara we can truly realise our potentials. Moreover brooding over the pain only multiples it , so we should stop complaining and start living.

    With Regards,



    • Dilip says:

      Dear friend Girish,

      @ Lovely words from you! I too am so inspired by the spirit of Dr. Hinohara and his philosophy of life. So the mantra for us is to ‘keep going’ and enjoy it too. And be on the look out to help the needy and the deserving by making them self reliant.

      @ Your comment on strategic HR is very insightful. And the live example of your organization is apt. Yes this is strategic HR.

      Thanks and warm regards!


  3. Rishikesh Palekar says:

    This article is true and really inspiring!!
    Got to look at things wholesomely is the answer
    to most solutions.

    Got to learn it from all my professors down the line, who I admired a lot and one of them Was Prof Naidu!



    • dilipnaidu says:

      Hey Rishi,

      Nice of you to drop in and post a comment. You too added a lot of value to the discussions which brightened the interest of everyone in the class.

      Thanks and do visit again 🙂



  4. Prachiti says:

    The article reminded me one thought : “Chita aur Chinta mein bahot kam fark hai. Chita insan ko bahar se jalati hai aur Chinta andar se. Isliye Chita ko dur rakhane ke liye chinta ko dur rakho.”
    The translation is : pyre burns you from outside and worries burns you from inside, so to live long keep aside your worries.
    Your long life is in your hands….


    • dilipnaidu says:

      Absolutely true! The wisdom in your quote sums up Dr Hinohara’s life philosophy so well! Thank you Prachiti.


  5. Dilip Naidu says:

    You have a point there. I suppose its best to get medical advice but avoid brooding and seeking sympathy as it will only make it worse. Thank you.


  6. Lubna says:

    Oh yes, I believe in animal therapy. A dog is a great stress releiver. But as far as ignoring pain is concerned, not truly sure of that. A pain is an indicator that something is wrong and it is best to have it checked immediately. As they say: A stich in time saves nine. But yes, brooding over pain prolongs the anguish.
    Thanks for sharing this.