Keiro Chats: Meet Keito!

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Name: Keito Nakazawa
Age: 84
From: Orange County Japanese American Association

What does happiness mean to you?
” To eliminate stress, and to enjoy every day. To not look back at the past too much. You can’t really do much if you keep on dwelling on the past, so living life without regrets is important.”

What is your weekly schedule like?

Every third and fourth Wednesday and Saturday, as well as every third Tuesday of the month, I teach an iPad class. Once a week, I go to the library to read newspapers and research various topics.

I don’t have many opportunities to use English as much after retirement, so I always make sure to watch the latest news in the morning and evening in English. My daily routine also includes solving Sudoku puzzles and solving Japanese middle school entrance exam questions for Japanese private schools (just for fun!). I even make my own Sudoku puzzles sometimes.

What do you look forward to each week?

Every day is fun. I often read English and Japanese books on my iPad. Lately, I’ve been rereading classical Japanese novels.

As my grandchildren grow older, there are fewer opportunities to meet with them, but I look forward to summer and winter breaks when they come visit me with my children. I look forward to seeing them grow, as long as I can.

Are there any goals that you are currently working towards?

I don’t really have anything in particular at the moment, but there are things I want to do. I want to form my own opinions about things I hear in the news. I usually like to research various new topics I hear about to learn more deeply. I think for anything, it’s important to understand concepts from different angles, and I don’t like to see it just from one perspective. That’s why I like to go to the library.

Recently, I researched Nobel Peace Prize winners and their works. I didn’t like to study when I was a student, but ever since my mid-20s, I’ve enjoyed learning new things. It’s always fun to discover new, interesting facts.

What contributes to your happiness?

To eliminate stress, and to enjoy every day. To not look back at the past too much. You can’t really do much if you keep on dwelling on the past, so living life without regrets is important.

And I hear about healthy trends telling us what to eat and what not to eat, but my philosophy is to eat whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you want to. Drinking too. I think drinking moderately whenever you want to drink is the best for your health.

Animals don’t know what is good or bad for the body, but they eat whatever is needed to balance their health. I personally think humans became too smart, and that instinct has numbed. I am working to sharpen this instinct that’s been lost. (Keito said, with a laugh.)

What is the most important thing to you back when you were in high school?

I was immersed in jazz and rakugo (Japanese storytelling entertainment) when I was a student. And I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else too, but spending time with my girlfriend!

What sustains your quality of life?

I don’t push myself too much, and I do what I want to do. I try to actually avoid anything or anyone that could be a source of stress for me.

What is your biggest accomplishment you are proud of?

Umm, what can it be … well, right now, as I look back at my life, there are things I would do differently, but as a whole, I don’t have any regrets. Especially for my career. I had a lot of failures, but there were successes that exceeded those failures, so I think my proudest accomplishment is that I have no regrets in my life.

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