In the summer of 1945, I was at the third grade of Matsumoto Middle School (equivalent to the senior of junior high school) in Matsumoto-City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. I was working at a Japanese Army's secret air-base from where Kamikaze pilots departed -- we never had an occasion attacked by American airplanes, though there were several newest models of fighters -- I learned later that they were copied after German's Messerschmit, which model was brought from Germany by a submarine and was later stored at a gymnasium of Tokyo Institute of Technology, my alma mater. (That was probably because the President Koroku Wada designed an airplane which hold the world long distance record -- which was more than flying non-stop to the U.S., albeit one-way.) The Kamikaze pilots were a few years elder than I. They flew off with bi-plane used for training which had only about 100 miles per hour speed -- no match with high speed Granman fighters. Later I learned that they were decoys to American aircrafts -- i.e., while they were detected by radar to lure American fighters on one side, Kamikaze Zeros attacked on the other side -- it was truly the savage war.
We were prepared to die at guerilla war (which could have been much fierce than Vietnam war) -- we were trained by fanatic Japanese militarism to die only after killing, at least, one enemy, with a bamboo spear!! This was for the glory of Emperor, a living God of Japanese Shintoism, and his hiding cave after American's landing on Japan main island, was being constructed in a mountain near to our town. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war and saved my life. (In spite of such fanatic training, I was skeptical if Japan could win the war, and studied secretly in a hiding place, mathematics, science and English, which was prohibited as the enemy's language.)
After hearing Emperor's declaration to end the World War II from a noisy radio on August 15, 1945, my father and I visited a friend who lived about 5 miles away in a rural mountain area. While walking through a forest, a dove descended on my shoulder. My father was scared and tried to drive it away with his straw hat and stick. The dove flew up but came back on my shoulder again and again, and finally left into the woods. Later, I learned that the dove is a symbol of peace when Raymond Roy designed the box of a Japanese cigarette named "Peace" with a dove. Recalling the incident with my father and Bible's words "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God," I thought I had a mission to devote my life for the world peace-keeping with the use of advanced information and telecommunication technologies.
A few days later, my brother and I heard that Japanese army were disposing their materials. We hurried to a nearby Japanese army air base and found a big box in their warehouse. It was very heavy so that we thought it had to be very valuable. We loaded it on a cart and started running to our home. An army officer chased us as swinging his Japanese sword high over his head and shouted to us "That belongs to Emperor!!." We yelled back to him "War is over, what's the heck with Emperor!" He stopped chasing us with a sad face. It happened to be something of a short-wave transceiver with large vacuum tubes and transformers. We buried it in deep underground if an American GI might visit us to find it out. However, fiddling of it made me getting interested in electronics, e.g., transistor radio with a tiny stone, ear-phone and antenna across my small studying room a few years later.
While I was studying chemical engineering (which is on the design of petroleum refinery, petrochemical and chemical plants and cement factory, etc.) at Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1949 to 1954, my interest in electronics grew to build super-heterodyne radios, high-fidelity audio set, and even a TV receiver for which experimental broadcasting was just started by NHK (a quasi government broadcasting corporation) in Tokyo. I often designed them with a copy-and-paste procedure, as taking one part of a set from one example circuit diagram and another part from another diagram. I visited many stores in Akiwabara in Tokyo, which became a mecca of electronics discount stores in the world. I could earn a small money as selling some of them I built -- I received even a job offer from some of those electronic shops. Incidentally, Sony was a small shop and they often visited our professors for technical consultations. TDK was established by our alumni.
When I found miniature vacuum tubes in some of the shops in Akiwabara which were disposed by the U.S. Army camps, I was completely surprised with American's advanced electronic technology, since I was accustomed with large vacuum tubes of diode and triode. My desire to study abroad in the U.S. was then triggered.
One of the important things I learned with this hobby was that there was analogy between those distillation columns of refinery and vacuum tubes of electronic set. This analogy was later extended my interest in to the process control simulation of petrochemical plants with analog and digital computers. This was also extended to analogy and simulation of socio-economic simulation models after learning systems dynamics methodology from Professor Jay Forrester at Sloan School of Management of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in the summer of 1967. Although I did not take, I was offered a research job there which later became "Limit to Growth" of the Club of Rome.
Once I decided to study in America, I gave up all of my electronic hobby, and concentrated on learning English as immersing myself all day from morning to night. I woke up by American Army's radio broadcasting, went to English conversation school in day time, and took a tutorial lesson from an American missionary in evening -- sometimes as exchanging with my teaching Japanese to him. On several week-ends, I took sandwiches and went to a movie theater where "Gone with the Wind" was being shown, after studying its scenario with a dictionary. It was a very long movie, but I stayed in the theater from morning to evening. Even after many viewings, I could not still get what a black woman shouting from a window to beautiful Vivian Lee with a heavy southerner's accent. Vivian's silhouette over a large red sun setting on the horizon at the end of the movie caught my heart. She became one of my idols ever since. This experience on immersing oneself to learn English was inherited in my pursue of creating global electronic distance education.