“Memory of Brother-in-Law,” Ms. Akiko Ashizawa



Akiko Ashizawa, sister-in-law


57 years ago, when my sister Yukiko got engaged with Shoshichi-san, ”a world-famous brain,” my father, who was born in the Meiji era, got so excited that he talked boastfully about it to his acquaintances and neighbors, and my mother was just nervous. When we met Shoshichi-san, however, we found him to be a very liberal and considerate person, caring about even the relatives of the Ashizawa family. He used to listen, always with a smile, to endless conversations between jocular Yukiko and my mother.He seemed to be especially in accord with my mother’s heartstrings and was very kind to her in her last years.

I am a cinemagotographer by profession. One day Shoshichi said to me, “Akiko-san, your work and mine are very similar in the sense we are both pursuing beauty.” That was a gracious praise, but more than I deserve. Those words of his have been more encouraging to me than anything else.

I think that there were a plenty of things that Shoshichi-san still wanted to do. Soon after the surgery last summer he made a special trip by himself to Tokyu Department Store in Shibuya and purchased a nice hat. Later, I walked the same route from Shibuya Station, thinking about what was on his mind. It (wearing the lovely hat to meet friends) was perhaps one of his many unfulfilled dreams. I think it would please Shoshichi-san immensely if the younger generation could inherit his thoughts and dreams liberally in the form of his memorial fund. I wholeheartedly thank those professors and young researchers who have worked so hard to launch the Memorial Fund and to arrange this evening’s Memorial Reception.

(Translated by Hisashi Kobayashi and edited by Philip Chou)