Japanese Grecophile wants to save the Tree of Hippocrates

Octogenarian is a fanatic lover of Greece

Coming from an ancient culture themselves, Japanese people show an admiration for ancient Greek history and an attraction to the Greek culture in general. The extent of this respect was exhibited in a Japanese man’s desire to save the plain tree that according to tradition was planted by the father of western medicine Hippocrates. 81-year-old Okana Tetsuya, who got involved in olive oil import at the “young” age of 79 and loves everything Greek started a campaign to save the tree, which is located on the island of Kos and draws thousands of tourists every year. The businessman visited the island of Kos accompanied by his wife and met with local government official Nikos Theodoridis to explore ways to advance his plan. The Japanese Grecophile had expressed interest to preserve the tree two years ago and had sent a team of experts to the island who had drawn up a paper on the right course of action. The study has been passed on to the competent Ministry of Agriculture and is pending approval.

According to tradition the plane tree was planted by Hippocrates 24 centuries ago. Under its shadow the great teacher instructed his students. The tree’s perimeter reaches 12 meters and its hollow trunk is reminiscent of a cave. The surrounding area is a stone paved square leading to the castle’s bridge. Two springs from the Ottoman times lie near the tree bearing an Arabic inscription that informs the passer by that their water is the water of Hippocrates.


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