From Seoul


I went to Seoul from October 13th to 17tth.

Departing early morning from Tokyo on the 13th, this is to join the reunion I organized of Mr. Sadamu Sasaki, the first grandson of Dr. Gozo Sato who devoted his life to the modern time Korean medical education and Dr. Sato’s 3 students (ages 83-86), which took place in the evening of 13th.  Exactly one century has passed since Dr. Sato went to the Korean Peninsula as a staff doctor of a hospital.  It also marks the 100th anniversary of the Korean Medical Institution (now the Seoul National University College of Medicine).  Mr. Sasaki was born and lived in Seoul with Dr. Sato for his initial 14 years.  He returned to Japan in 1945 after the end of the world war and this was his first visit to Korea ever since then.  What a surprise, what a centennial coincidence.  We also visited the house where Mr. Sasaki used to live.


Photo1  from left Dr. Ishida, Mr. Sasaki, Dr. Ju, and myself


Photo2  With Dr. Ju (Vice Chairman of the Korean Academy of Sciences)


Photo3  At the Korean Medical Institution


Photo4  Keijo Imperial University School of Medicine (now the Seoul National University College of Medicine)

I hope that this visit helps to further our understanding of our history between the 2 closest countries and opens a new door to the future.  The detail of this visit is reported in Mr. Deguchi’s mail magazine (Oct. 10 and 17 edition) who joined this trip: his background is a journalist, thus write much better and professionally.  As he wrote properly of our encounter, the story is much real and very touching; I hope you have a look.

The following day, Mr. Sasaki, Dr. Ishida and I strolled around places associated with Dr. Sato.  At night, we had a “luxurious” dinner where fresh fish were cooked in front of us at the fish market.


Photo5  At the fish market in Seoul

On the 15th, I met with a charming woman scientist, Dr. Narry Kim of the Seoul National University (Photo 6).  I wanted to pay this visit because I recognize her outstanding achievement on micro RNA.  I wanted to know how she could establish her independent research as an assistant professor while being a mother of 2 children.  I will touch upon this on a different occasion.  There are things that I can’t disclose at the moment, but please look forward to the story sometime later.


Photo6  With Dr. Narry Kim of the Seoul National University

On the 16th, I joined the World Knowledge Forum held at the Walkerhill Sheraton.  The following day, on the 17th, there was a Keynote Lecture by Mr. Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State of USA. With no paper, no memo, he talked for 45 minutes right off the reel about Vietnam War, his stay in Korea, his visit to the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, his visit to China, his secret rendezvous with Gorbachev before the end of the Cold War, etc.  He shared some specific episodes with us and talked about the current China and expectations for the future.  It was such an outstanding well constructed and presented speech with full of grace.

As for me, I joined a panel with Dr. D. Bangalore who is playing an active role in India and Silicon Valley, and Yoko Ishikura who is my co-author of the book “How to build a world class career.”

After this panel, I went straight to the airport to catch a flight back to Haneda.