Departure

Mr. Hirotsugu Saito has passed away at the age of 73 years. The following is my memorial address. As a respectful tribute to him, I humbly repeat the full text here.

It was a gentle New Year痴 Eve, the final day of 2010. The skies had been bright since morning, the sunshine had been dazzling, and the sunset had been unbelievably beautiful. Stars glittered in the evening sky. Dearest Mr. Hiroshi Saito departed for the netherworld at 11:39 that evening.

A truly great man has left us. It is an immeasurable loss for our industry, and I am full of sorrow.

Mr. Saito was hospitalized in the fall of 2008, but after leaving hospital he resumed his work energetically and made a wonderful recovery. On October 14 of last year he served as chair of the Audio Excellence Award Selection Committee, a position he had held for 28 years, and as always fulfilled his duties with perfection.

The friendship between Mr. Saito and me continued for more than 40 years. I remember our discussions at the time of the inaugural issue of the Audio Accessory quarterly magazine just as if they took place yesterday. Day after day, and night after night, we added the names of products to be covered on sheets of vellum paper attached to the wall, engaged in repeated discussions, and eventually put the inaugural issue together. We certainly would not have succeeded in that endeavor without Mr. Saito. To this day, as a leading audio magazine, Audio Accessory is continuing to contribute to the development of the industry.

Mr. Saito was a high-frequency expert, so his viewpoints regarding both hardware and software were always pioneering, forward-looking, and substantive. Around 1980 he foresaw the cassette-audio age and, as a frontrunner of digital audio, predicted the coming of the CD era. I believe that Mr. Saito痴 spectacular track record had a lot to do with these developments. His stance was unchanging to the end, and his contribution to the audiovisual industry was immense.

The motto of the Yagyu family is 溺ake use of even brushing encounters.・Mr. Saito痴 relations with people, and his relations with hardware and software technology and product development, were indeed mature.

He was a cheerful, optimistic, and generous character, and he was always surrounded by many people, engaging in lively discussions with them and beaming with joy. Mr. Saito痴 house was just like Natsume Soseki痴 Sanbou salon, a magnet for his followers. In particular, Mr. Saito had a special affection for the young engineers who will be leading the next generation.

Mr. Saito treasured his family bonds as well. Recently he was infatuated by his grandchild and would always be gazing at the photo data that he had stored on his equipment.

More than anything else, Mr. Saito loved a lively atmosphere. His attitude to life, like the sun痴 rays, has settled on our minds, and I am sure he will be fondly remembered and spoken about as a shining light for us all.

I am sincerely happy to have been able to encounter Mr. Saito and continue our friendship for so many years, and I am deeply grateful to him. Mr. Saito, thank you so much.