It's never too late to start over. Japan's NHK had a story this past week of one man who was forced to give up his career as a fisherman after suffering a debilitating stroke. But at the age of 90 his rehabilitation led him to an entirely different career track.
On the shores of Okhotsk, I was born and bred.
This song describes a fisherman devoted to his job. This man who wrote lyrics sits on the stage. Seizo Nogami is 100 years old.
He was born in Aomori prefecture, northeastern Japan. When he was 42, he moved to Shiretoko, Hokkaido. He braved the harsh weather there, because the seas were well stocked with fish. For more than half a century, he caught salmon and sea urchins.
The waters around here are so rich in fish. They're like a treasure trove. I never fell behind fishermen from other regions in getting a good catch.
At the age of 90, a stroke forced Nogami to retire. To rehabilitate his right hand affected by the ailment, he began to write Japanese characters.
I was a fisherman, so I first broke down the names of fish.
The therapy worked. Nogami progressed to writing poems about his life as a fisherman. The poem gradually attracted attention. Prominent folk singer Takio Ito offered to put one to music. The poem also describes Nogami's wish to pass down his business to his descendants. That wish has come to pass. He is succeeded by his son, grandsons, and great-grandsons.
We passed down the family business to four generations. Isn't it amazing? Some families have been fishing for three generations, but we are already in the fourth. I want my family to continue to work at sea as long as it holds so many fish. That's what I always feel in my heart. I hope we'll be fishermen for generations.
When the sun sets on the ocean, I want my children and grandchildren to follow in my wake.
Nogami says he wants to keep on writing poems about Shiretoko's beautiful scenery and the joy of fishing.