I retired from Sophia University in Tokyo in March 2014 at the mandatory age of 70. Immediately afterwards, I started teaching in Beijing, and I did not have time to worry about my post retirement then.
But this time, it is so different. I gave my farewell lecture at Peking University in late September this year (2019). I was totally overwhelmed on that occasion by the profound kindness and warmest friendliness of the professors and students who attended the session. My stay in Beijing for the past five years was indeed the best of my life.
For the past six weeks after coming back Tokyo, I have been suffering from what one may call “retirement syndrome”, a sense of huge loss and helpless vacuum. I spend most of the day thinking about my wonderful days in Beijing, and, at night, all my dreams are in one way or another about my friends in China. In a word, I miss them so much. How could I overcome this loneliness?
Yes, I knew that this would happen to me and I was prepared for it. Thus, I mentioned in my farewell lecture that I would never retire, and that my next plan would be to be a full-time novelist in Okinawa (or more correctly, it should be called by its old name, Ryukyu). I also mentioned elsewhere that I would start a movement for restoration of the independent Kingdom of Ryukyu, and that, if pressed by the people of Ryukyu, I would be the King!
Unfortunately, a week ago, the palace of our Kingdom got fire and was completely burnt down. My enthronement will have to be postponed. It seems that my retirement syndrome will continue for some time….