Former Shows & Episodes

Brain-Body Breakthroughs

Brain-Body Breakthroughs – Musings from an Issei: An interview with Mr. Paul Okimoto.

We all arrive at that time in our life when we feel the need for contemplation about the decisions we have made and how our life has unfolded. Tumultuous events we encounter along the way can refocus the prism with which we filter future experiences. Nowhere is that more prescient than with my guest today — Paul Okimoto. At a tender age he was plucked from his Japanese homeland and taken to San Diego, California shortly before the outbreak of WWII.

He and his family were subsequently placed in an internment camp in Poston, Arizona where they spent three years. Mr. Okimoto describes these poignant memories and how they catapulted him off to college and then around the world. He reveals his unease with the opposite sex and how he used humor to defuse stressful situations such as childhood dates where he referred to holding hands as “promiscuous interdigitation.”

He learned to read at age 4 and was introduced to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Pathetique the same year. These events simultaneously launched his musical career and wanderlust. In his memoirs the reader is exposed to many glimpses of an unconventional lifestyle. Join Mr. Okimoto on his journey across Russia, through medical school in Bordeaux, for early morning educational training with a Palestinian mathematician and while careening through Amsterdam streets with crazed cabdrivers.

Listen as Mr. Okimoto reflects on a life well-lived and what he would do differently if given a second chance.