Japan honors Dr. Takei for promoting modern dentistry

| October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

HONOREE Dr. Henry Takei and his wife June last month at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Japan.

Dr. Henry Takei was honored last month at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Japan for bringing cutting-edge periodontic dentistry to Japan.

The Hancock Park resident was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, for also promoting academic exchange between Japan and the U.S.

Many of Takei’s UCLA clinical professors and colleagues attended the Oct. 15 ceremony at the consular residence on Hudson Avenue in Hancock Park.

“It is my honor to welcome many UCLA faculty members as well as celebrate the many accomplishments of Dr. Takei. Mr. Takei is a formidable figure within his profession,” Consul General Akira Muto said in the opening remarks.

Born to a Japanese American family, Takei grew up in internment camps during World War II. He would later travel to Japan as part of a medical journey but also as a cultural and personal one. “I wanted in some way to give back to the land of my ancestors,” he told the audience.

What started as small study groups has grown to a national symposium with the help and support of his colleagues, his mentors and his friends on both sides of the Pacific.

“These collaborations allowed me to succeed. Education is a fundamental right and requires constant upgrade… I’m very grateful to each and every one of you,” Takei said.

“He is passionate about his teaching, his patients, his students. He’s an amazing mentor. He does this for other people, not for himself,” said Dr. Paul Krebsbach, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry.

Takei has won many awards in his long career at UCLA, including being named Outstanding Professor eight times.

And, added Krebs-bach, he treats people with great respect and kindness from the highest offices of government to the night crew.

He also likes to tell jokes.

“It doesn’t matter that he has more than 50 years of service to UCLA, or that he’s a world renowned master technician. He loves to teach a new student [how to do a root canal] and say, ‘We’re going to get to the root of the problem,’” Krebsbach said.

As a clinical professor at the Section of Periodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry, Takei collaborated with Meikai University and Asahi University, and they established a Cultural Student Exchange Program.

A total of 385 students and lecturers have participated since its beginnings in 1993.

Since 1973, Takei has lectured at several educational institutes and universities in Japan. These lectures have provided leading-edge education to thousands of dentists throughout Japan and have contributed to the development of the field of periodontics, especially in periodontology and implant therapy.

Takei also is an editor of “Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology,” and he wrote “Periodontics and Implant Therapy,” published in Japan, which is considered a must-read for young dentists.

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