View source for Keeping Sabbath in Japan Leads to Challenges But Later University-wide Schedule Change
It was 1979 when I was a med student, Yamagata University School of Medicine, I observed the Sabbath which is 7th day of the week, and it became the issue in the medical school because I did not attend a class or an exam on Saturday. Academic dean finally summoned my father all the way from Hokkaido. My non-christian parents were upset. My father, was furious, met medical school deans. After the meeting, he came to my apartment in the evening. He was unexpectedly quiet. He said, “When I went to the medical school, I met academic dean and whatever deans in there, but among them, I met Professor Endo, who was a student dean. Professor Endo said to me with tears in his eyes, ‘it is poignant to see such a great student like your son unable to continue the medical education because of such and such reason (Sabbath problem)’. Don’t you understand how seriously Prof Endo think of you!?” I knew Prof Endo. His class and exams had never done on Saturday, but, he was so deeply concerned of me while a liberal local church pastor did not care. I was impressed. Next morning, he quietly left my apartment for Hokkaido with no anger. I saw off his back without saying anything. [[File:hasegawa.jpg|thumb|Nori Hasegawa]] Several years had passed. After I departed Japan, I reentered into a medical school (Loma Linda University). On the final year, I revisited Yamagata with my wife for some thought. Because of the incidence above, I felt obliged to meet Professor Endo again and thank him. He was so glad to meet me again there as if I was part of his family! At that moment, Professor Endo surprised me by saying this, “To tell you the truth, I thought about the Saturday issue over after you departed our medical school. Then, I finally concluded that it should be more beneficial for our school system and students if our medical school made both Saturday and Sunday off. So I did this after multiple painstaking negotiations with Government Health Ministry. We became the first medical school in Japan to make both Saturday and Sunday off. So feel free to come back to us anytime.” I was not sure how serious he was when he told me I could come back. But it did not sound like he was kidding me. I told Professor Endo that since I’ve gone this far as to study abroad, I had no intention of coming back. He smiled at me. Soon after the change, Yamagata University became famous for the highest passing rate in Japanese Medical National Board Examination. After all, Prof. Endo and his entire medical school also became partakers of the benefits of the blessings that the Sabbath gives. A few years later, I heard an obituary of Prof. Endo. It was like news of my parents’ death. (He died of Hepatitis B) Retrospectively, if I would have gone back to Yamagata when he told me I could return, I would have returned to be a medical student/resident in Yamagata University once again and I would have been practicing in Japan ever since. Subsequently I overcame several more hard times and now I became a neurologist and an epileptologist. Although I did not return to the medical school which Prof. Endo invited blessing by making the Sabbath day a rest, my heart remained with him even now. I wished I could see him again. Posted on [http://www.facebook.com/groups/adventistmissionjapan/permalink/408784065847594/ Facebook] by [http://www.facebook.com/hisanori.hasegawa Nori Hasegawa].
Keeping Sabbath in Japan Leads to Challenges But Later University-wide Schedule Change
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