Dr. Tetsu Nakamura (September 15, 1946–December 4, 2019)
It brings a great sadness to my heart to write that Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, University Professor of Kyushu University’s Institute for Advanced Study, was killed on December 4 while in Afghanistan as part of his charity’s humanitarian work improving irrigation conditions in the country.
On behalf of the university and all of its members, I would like to offer our heartfelt sympathies upon this tragic loss and to express our deepest and sincerest gratitude for all that he has done to help and inspire not only people facing hardship but also everyone around him.
A 1973 graduate of Kyushu University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Nakamura travelled to Pakistan in 1984 to provide medical services in areas of severe need, and these efforts went on to expand into Afghanistan.
Upon witnessing the effects of drought in 2000, Dr. Nakamura realized, “More than one hundred clinics, these people needed one irrigation canal.”
From 2003, he began coordinating efforts to provide irrigation to rural areas in Afghanistan as a means to restore agriculture and improve living conditions—work that continued up until his senseless killing.
Throughout this work, he valued harmony among people more than anything, building a strong trust with the local people over the years.
Since becoming a University Professor in 2014, he has shared his invaluable experiences and thoughts with students, faculty, and residents at lectures every year, often telling them, “Thirst and hunger are not cured with medicine.”
In addition to the deep and lasting impression of his great accomplishments, hearing him speak openly and kindly about his experiences instilled an understanding of his warm character and deep integrity in all that listened.
Dr. Nakamura was an exemplary graduate and faculty member, and he will be greatly missed.
On behalf of the entire university, I express our condolences to Dr. Nakamura’s family, friends, and colleagues.
President, Kyushu University
December 5, 2019