Centenarian Dr. Saburo Shochi and Round the World Lecture tour
Submitted by vkraus on Wed, 09/13/2006 - 09:37.
Centenarian on a Round the World Tour
Dr. Saburo Shochi who celebrated his 100th birthday on August 16th is a lifelong educator and specialist in early-childhood education for disabled children. He is the founder of the Shiinomi School (1954) in Fukuoka, Japan, the first established school for physically and mentally challenged children in Japan. A Shiinomi class was also established in China, the first for challenged children.
On his third Round the World Tour, Dr. Shochi has traveled to Shanghai and Beijing, China and Los Angeles. On September 12 at the SGI-USA Community Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Dr. Shochi gave a 90 minute lecture and powerpoint presentation in English on his life and health. He shared that his first two children who were both born with cerebral palsy were his motivation to establish a school for physically and mentally challenged children. He sold his family property and opened the Shiinomi Gakuen in 1954. He led the audience in a baton exercise and performed the “Kurodabushi” dance, a traditional Japanese fan dance. His secret to a healthy long life is to chew each mouthful of food 30 times.
He has written a number of books on childhood education. One recently published is a booklet on Parent and Childhood Toymaking. One of the most emphasized programs at the Shiinomi School is making toys from recycled products such as tissue boxes, film canisters, and empty toilet paper rolls. Dr. Shochi says that handmaking toys stimulates one's brain and creativity. It is especially beneficial for children to be able to make toys with their parents.
Dr. Shochi holds doctorates in medicine and literature. He is an honorary professor of Philosophy and Education. He speaks Russian, Korean, Chinese and English.
He will be traveling to Boston to give a lecture at the Harvard School of Public Health on Monday, September 18. He will also travel to Paris, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Lecture at Harvard School of Public Health, Monday, September 18, 2006
* * *
I wouldn't rule out chewing food slowly, deliberately, and properly, but what struck me is that in spite of the stress of having his beloved children suffer from illnesses, he pressed on and made accomodating them and other children like them his ikigai, or life's purpose--the thing that gets him out of bed in the morning. He must deal with stress well to begin with, but having this motivation certainly must have enhanced that coping mechanism in addition to occupying him with personally satisfying (working with handicapped children typically tops surveys for satisfying professions), meaningful activities. He also has to be in exceptional cognitive shape as a polyglot with advanced education.
103 year old appointed to the Order of Canada
10 years ago