A tribute to my Sensei

Jane C Burns

University of California San Diego, Dept of Pediatrics
Professor and Director, Kawasaki Disease Research Center
Former IKDS President

Dr. Kawasaki was the enduring inspiration for the last 4 decades of my career and he will be missed. My deeper understanding of his huge contribution came during the 18 months that Drs. Shike and Shimizu worked with me on the English language translation of his epic first paper describing 50 patients with the condition that later bore his name. His powers of observation and description were unparalleled. How incredible to realize that the case definition that he devised has hardly changed over the last half-century! He was a keen observer but also a genuinely kind and fun-loving man. I believe that his initial reluctance to accept that his disease could cause serious cardiac damage and even death arose from his deep love of children.He enjoyed meeting families all over the world and was quick to flash that endearing smile, always with a twinkle in his eye. I remember walking with him at an international meeting in Athens where we could only take a few steps before some attendee rushed up to take their photo with him. He always had a smile and I think truly enjoyed his international Rock Star status. His enduring contribution will be the encouragement and inspiration that he gave to all of us who continue to try to solve the mysteries of KD. Dr. K will be remembered for his clarity of vision and his courage to buck the tide of the academic establishment who doubted his discovery. For me, he will always be my cherished friend and sensei.

Dr. Kawasaki in photos

Jane and Sensei in front of his home, Asakusa, 1998
Dr. K, Reiko-san, Sato-san, Drs. Kushner, Matsubara, and Burns
Jane and Sensei in Hawaii

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