The 128th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society

Welcome Message

Toshinori Murata, M.D., Ph.D.
The 128th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society
President: Toshinori Murata, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology,
Shinshu University School of Medicine

The department of Ophthalmology at Shinshu University is honored to host the 128th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society (JOS) in 2024. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all the JOS members for their generous – almost adventurous – decision to allow a small local university in Nagano Prefecture to serve as the host of this important event, held with more than 10,000 participants annually.

The theme of the 2024 JOS Annual Meeting is “Fight for their SIGHT, with all our MIGHT.” Let me explain the background to the choice of this theme.

It was four or five years ago that we were encouraged to apply to host the JOS Annual Meeting. As a local medical school preoccupied daily with outpatient and inpatient treatment and surgeries, we were thrilled at the thought of our department hosting this prestigious meeting, but at the same time, we were concerned about our ability to successfully organize it. At that time, I was inspired by a phrase used by Eikichi Yazawa, a charismatic Japanese rocker, in a TV commercial for Nissan Motor, “Just do it, Nissan,” which I translated in my mind as “Just do it, Nichigan (JOS in Japanese).” I thought this phrase would be perfect for the theme of the JOS Annual Meeting, but then the case of the former boss of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn shocked the nation. As a result, the commercial was withdrawn, which made it ethically inappropriate to use this phrase as a theme of the meeting.

Actually, the theme that first occurred to me was “We will cure diseases by any means” but this was criticized for being too prosaic by members of our department, who insisted that the phrase could trigger complaints from ophthalmologists around Japan, such as “It’s too mediocre” and “Are you really saying you can cure any disease?” After this idea was rejected in an internal meeting, I then proposed an alternative, toned-down version, “Determined to cure diseases by any means,” but this too was rejected.

We then had several twists and turns before finally agreeing on the theme. We decided to ask Mr. Tatsuya Tanaka to create a work for the Annual Meeting. He is a talented artist known for the extraordinary miniature worlds he creates using the technique of mitate, in which daily objects are likened to something quite different. His Instagram is as popular as idols’ with as many as 3.7 million followers. He is best known for a miniature model used in a serial TV drama Hiyokko, in which a bread roll, a standard fixture in school lunches, was magically turned into a bullet train, while a sake bottle looked just like a high-rise building. When I saw his work titled “Eyesight Fighter” in which contact lenses were used to represent hadoken fireball attacks, I strongly wanted to use his work for the poster of the 2024 Annual Meeting. The word hadoken, which I had not heard before, means a weapon like kamehameha, an energy beam released from the hands of Goku, a character in Dragon Ball, and the wave motion gun of the Space Battleship Yamato. At first, we didn’t know how to contact him as his website and the address of his atelier were not public. Therefore, first we had to find a way of contacting him. Finally, after much difficulty, the work we ordered was completed at the last minute, just before the beginning of the 2023 JOS Annual Meeting when the work was scheduled to be unveiled.

You can easily find the original work that impressed me so deeply by searching for the words “Tatsuya Tanaka” and “Eyesight Fighter” online. While the fighters in this work are making the most of “the power of contact lenses” amid fireball attacks in the battle, as ophthalmologists, we are fighting for the patients’ vision with all our might. Hence the theme of this meeting is Fight for their SIGHT with all our MIGHT.

Now, we are ready to meet in person at Tokyo International Forum and discuss how we can successfully treat all ophthalmic diseases, or how we can fight for their sight with all our might. We look forward to your participation in the 2024 Annual Meeting, whether in person or online.

I feel honored to serve as President of the 2024 JOS Annual Meeting, and to work with Vice-President, Dr. Seiji Nagata, President of the Nagano Ophthalmologists Association, and Chair of the Program Committee, Dr. Nobuyuki Shoji, Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Kitasato University. The program will be updated from time to time so please check the website of the JOS Annual Meeting for the latest information. In hosting this Annual Meeting, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the directors, auditors, councilors, and members of JOS, as well as members of the Japan Ophthalmologists Association. My deep gratitude also goes to staff of the JOS Secretariat, members of the Nagano Ophthalmologists Association, alumni of the Department of Ophthalmology at Shinshu University School of Medicine (Takufukai), and many sponsoring companies.

© 2023- The 128th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society.