Kazuichi Konyama
  • 87 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 8, 1928
  • Place of birth:
    Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
  • Date of passing: Jun 21, 2016
  • Place of passing:
Let the memory of Kazuichi be with us forever
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Kazuichi Konyama, 87, born on August 8, 1928 and passed away on June 21, 2016. We will remember him forever.

The funeral wake and farewell service for Dr. Konyama will be held on June 23 and June 24,2016. Detail are as follows.

Date: 23 June, 2018, Time begin:1800

Location: Sayama Sosail Center

1-25-2 Fujimi, Sayama-shi, Saitama 350-1306 Japan

TEL +81-4-2999-4411, FAX +81-4-2927-9411

Date: 24 June, 2016, Time: 09:15 - 10:30

Location: Sayama Sosai Center

1-25-2 Fujimi, Sayama-shi, Saitama 350-1306 Japan

TEL +81-4-2999-4411,FAX +81-4-2927-9411

A farewell event under the auspices of  Department  of Ophthalmology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine will be held on another day.Prof Akira Murakami will inform detail later. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Silvio Paolo Mariotti on 15th December 2016

"Konyama sensei was an example of dedication, knowledge, humbleness and soft guidance. I have been honored to have had the opportunity to know him and work with him, having benefited from his deep knowledge of eye care and human nature. the time spent with Konyama sensei will remain forever in my memories, and he is greatly missed in this first Christmas without him. He's and will remain in my thoughts."

This tribute was added by Pithak Kitcharoen on 1st October 2016

"I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Dr. Konyama's family. He taught me so many things since I was his first resident in Ophthalmology from the countryside of Thailand. He was the first and the greatest in Preventive Ophthalmology in Thailand. With tremendous memories I will be remembering Dr. Konyama in my prayers. - Dr. Pithak Kitcharoen, Medical Director of St. Peter Eye Hospital, Chiangmai, Thailand."

This tribute was added by somsak chunharas on 8th August 2016

"ajarn Konyama krub

we in Thailand surely missed your advices and wisdom at this stage of challenges and debates on outreached cataract services under UHC. but your efforts put forward for Thailand will be a reference point for us to do better and convince others to help steer it in the best direction for Thai people krub.
hope we have good news for u in the next anniversary of your birth.

somsak chunharas"

This tribute was added by Abu Raihan on 27th July 2016

"Twenty three years back, in Dhaka, I first met Prof. Konyama attending the APAO Congress. I was an ophthalmology resident. His personality inspired me to become a public health ophthalmologist. I still have picture with him taken in 1993. It might not be known to him how many lives he had touched and changed just by his presence. I met him several times afterwards. A great man, and we are fortunate to have him in our time. The world will miss him, his wisdom, kindness, support but his vision will be carried over. We love you very much Prof. Konyama.

Abu Raihan, MD, MPH
Asia Program Director, Orbis"

This tribute was added by Noela Prasad on 27th July 2016

"The ripples of his influence reached far and wide. Prof. had a lifelong commitment to the prevention of blindness and taught by his own example. We, his many students, are charged with carrying forward his commitment. Thank you Dr. Konyama-San, rest in peace."

This tribute was added by RUBENS BELFORT on 27th July 2016

"Also in Brazil Dr Konyama left his mark as a champion in prevention of blindness and inovation eye care.
He will also be remembered here as a humble and friendly leader.
We extend deepest sympathy to his family and friends."
You all should be proud of him."

This tribute was added by James La Nauze on 25th July 2016

"Dr Konyama had this presence about him that gave one confidence to pursue our goals. I remember the resistance we faced in introducing IOL surgery on a mass scale but Konyama could see the big picture and quietly encouraged us to challenge the dominant paradigm. His legacy is that the amount of preventable blindness is reducing and the systems and teachings that he espoused underpin much of that achievement. Vale"

This tribute was added by Mavi Rondaris on 9th July 2016

"Dear Korat colleagues,

This is a sad time for all of us.  In behalf of the KORAT graduates from the Philippines, we mourn the passing of a great influential man in community ophthalmology.  Prof. Konyama had a very open mind, was passionate and truly a worker for the prevention of blindness.  He inspired me during the very little time I was exposed to him and his teachings.  He challenged me then to create changes in the Philippines.  And I continue to live his words thru small works here back home.  Prof. Konyama, rest in peace.  Our prayers are with you and for the family.


This tribute was added by Larry Schwab on 27th June 2016

"Dear friends and colleagues, Dr Konyama will remain iconic as a pioneer in public health ophthalmology.  He inspired us with his lifelong commitment to sight restoration and prevention of blindness through his gentle and persistent manner.  Konyama-san will be fondly remembered by all of us whose lives he touched with dignity, grace and knowledge,  We extend deepest sympathy to his family and friends."

This tribute was added by Ramachandra Pararajasegaram on 27th June 2016

"The 21st of June 2016 was one of my saddest days ever.
I  had the privilege of meeting and working with Konyama-san, as a national counterpart, in1977, when I was assigned to serve as a WHO short term consultant to Thailand for one month. Our careers had a close parallel progression ever since then and he was a true friend, guide, and inspiration to me as much as to innumerable co- workers and students from around the world.The many tributes published above and elsewhere is testimony to his commitment and contribution to the sustained development of comprehensive universal eye health coverage around the world and as the champion of eye health as an integral part of  primary health care at all levels of the health care system.
"Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us,
Foot prints on the sands of time*****"Longfellow."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 27th June 2016

"Dear Akira and Prut,

I feel so sad for the loss of my teacher Aejan Konyama.
Please accept my condolences to his family, colleagues and friends on behalf of his Mongolian students and Korat Alumnis.

I also echo the messages from Hugh and All.

I feel myself so much fortunate to be his STUDENT for four decades of my life, started with Clinical Ophthalmology at Ramathibodi hospital of Thailand,
followed by Preventive Ophthalmology, Eye care management and Health system development afterwards. That is I am doing in my country what I have learnt.

Prof. Konyama will always be in our heart. He may rest in PEACE.

With best regards,
Prof. J. Baasankhuu
Department of Ophthalmology
Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences"

This tribute was added by Paisan Ruamviboonsuk on 24th June 2016

"From Paisan Ruamviboonsuk, MD., President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand

Dr. Konyama tirelessly contributed to countless projects of prevention of blindness in Thailand and in various countries in Asia. His most important role, except from being a consultant to WHO, probably be the role of a mentor who led ophthalmic personnel in Asia-Pacific region to realize that, no matter how smart we are, we cannot solve the problem of blindness as an individual. We need to get together, have more colleagues, and solve this problem as teams or networks.

With workshops and seminars for international ophthalmic attendees, Dr. Konyama effectively produced hundreds, if not thousands, of followers from his classes. His students passionately conducted their own projects of prevention of blindness in their home countries and this had kept on growing.

His training course "Korat Course" in "Institute of Public Health in Ophthalmology" in Nakorn Ratchasima province, northeast of Thailand, is the world-famous and he taught in this course until his age was more than 70. He would continue to teach if his health was not deteriorated by his age.

I believe his students will follow his footsteps; there will be more and more of his students and students. His passionate legacy will live on.

May his soul rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 23rd June 2016

"Tribute to Dr .Konyama from Dr.Mariam Ismail, Korat alumna and former head of Ophthalmology service in MOH Malaysia

We sadly mourn the demise of our dear and beloved teacher in PBL, Prof. K. Konyama. He had through his tireless efforts since early 1980s made a great impact on Malaysian Prevention of Blindness programmes.

All Korat PBL Course Alumni will fondly recall his teachings in programme planning, amongst which i would like to share  are:

"Plan the Plan"
"Where are we now?
Where do want go?
How do we get there?"
He  had stressed again and again that evaluation has to be incorporated at the outset unless you plan to fail. That had jumstarted the establishment of  our National Eye Database that we now use to monitor our services including quality assurance in service delivery

"Needs vs Demand" need to be considered in program planning as resources are not limitless

Sustainibilty must be top priority when planning

He advocated Affordable IOL/Glasses and not free IOL/Glasses as it is not free, someone is paying for it.

Clinically inclined we were then..we could not answer his question on what is the function of a tertiary eye care centre. He would with a serious expression say "Declare Blindness!" As a VR trained person it did certainly changed my outlook since.

He had stressed that training of mid level healthcare personnel is of utmost importance in PBL programmes as "An Ophthalmologist is an expensive Commodity" and should not be seen out there screening.

His last contribution to us was promoting "Community Eye Care and Healthy Eye Cities" We are not there yet but there are already efforts seen to move in that direction.

Dear Konyama-san with the Almighty's assistance we will continue to strive to live up to your expectations and continue the legacy you left behind.

May you rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 22nd June 2016

"Dear Friends,

It is sad to learn of the passing away of Dr Konyama who has contributed tremendously to the Lions in this region on sight conservation. He will always be remembered and an example to emulate.
May he rest in peace!

Paul Fan
Past Int. Director
Lions Club Int."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 22nd June 2016

"Dear all,

I am so sorry for the huge loss in public health in Opthalmology.

Dr. Konyama inspired me in multiple ways. He was the man of action, the man of passion, and the man who connects people.

( I will also leave a message on the website. Great idea!)

Ryo Kawasaki, MD, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Public Health
Yamagata University Graduate School of Medical Science
2-2-2 Iida-Nishi, Yamagata-Shi, Yamagata"

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 22nd June 2016

"Dear Dr. Akira,

I also echo Hugh Taylor’s comments.
Dr. Konyama was a giant, and a very humble one at that.
He has left a truly lasting legacy in Asia, at WHO, at IAPB, and with the NGOs.
I remember developing training materials for WHO PBL in the 1980’s and they had to work for societies around the world.
Dr. Konyama always came up with wonderful ideas and suggestions, often so simple I wondered why they weren’t obvious.
I learned so much from him in so many ways.
A legend has truly passed, but he left this world a far better place than when he came into it.
We are all so fortunate to have known him.

Victoria M. Sheffield

President & CEO
International Eye Foundation (IEF)
IEF is in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, USA"

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 22nd June 2016

"From Dr. Zuraidah Mustari, Past Chairperson of Malaysian MOH Prevention of Blindness Committee

Very very sad to hear the demise of our great teacher.

Dr.Konyama was at the 2009 MOH-University  Coinjoint Ophthalmologist as the keynote speaker held in Kota Baru, Kelantan. His words "plan the plan. No plan means you plan to fail" has been the key message in prevention of blindness. I am sure any Korat members will recall his word of wisdom.

Dr.Konyama  has alway stressed that screening is not the role of ophthalmologist but other health care personnel. Hence the importance to integrate primary eye care into primary health care by providing training and plan the directions. He insists ophthalmologist should not be on the fields screening.

He encouraged regional cooperation in prevention of blindness.

He is a great teacher, motivator and inspirator to all involved in prevention of blindness.

His loss is greatly felt. His teachings will be remembered by all that has crossed his path.

Condolences to his family."

This tribute was added by Prut Hanutsaha on 21st June 2016

"It was a very sad news to hear that Professor Konyama has passed away. He brought me into the world of public health ophthalmology. He showed me that we could do good deeds that help a lot of people. He will always be in my mind."

This tribute was added by Ryo Kawasaki on 21st June 2016

"I am so sorry for the huge loss in public health in Opthalmology.

Dr. Konyama inspired me in multiple ways.

He was the man of action, the man of passion, and the man who connects people."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"From Elias Hussein, Malaysia

So sad to hear that Pik Pin. He lived a really full life and succeed in touching millions. Although i never had the privilege of ever undergoing a Korat course i was lucky enough to have met and hear him speak  many many times. He was always an inspiration and will always be one of my"

This tribute was added by Hiko Tamashiro on 21st June 2016

"Dear All

I sent the following message to Professor Murakami this morning:

Dear Professo Akira Murakami,

I would like to extend my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Dr Konyama's famility. He was my senior and a good friend when I joined WHO in 1985. At that time, he was actively working at PBL (WHO Programme for the Prevention of Blindness) in the Division of Communicable Diseases (CDS) where I was assigned to the Director's Office. I have a plenty of good memories of him at the office, in the field and especially at the cozy corners of cafe shops in Geneva while together having had fond of drinks of wine!

He will long be remembered by all and keep smiling eyes on us all with a glass of wine in his hand.

Konyama sensei, Arigato Gozaimashita. Oyasuminasai.

Hiko Tamashiro
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
e-mail: tamashiro@med.hokudai.ac.jp

PS: I could not send it all persons because of too many addresses on the box!

This tribute was added by Daksha Patel on 21st June 2016

"Dr. Konyama will be remembered fondly and with gratitude by us and our ICEH Alumni. He always generously shared with the students even when it was a short trip through London. Our gains came from his passion, experiences and commitment for the prevention of blindness.  


This tribute was added by Thulasiraj Ravilla on 21st June 2016

"Indeed it is a great loss of another soul who was deeply passionate about ending blindness and had been staunch promoter of primary eye care. He and Dr. V shared a special bond and some of it rubbed off on me as well and I always enjoyed his company. He has served well and has had a fulfilling life.

With Warm Regards, Thulsi"

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"I am creating this tribute for Dr.Konyama as i am sure there are many people who crossed Ajahn (teacher) Konyama's path will have lasting memory of what he has said, advised and taught us, either as Korat fellow, or as ophthalmologist trying to work on a National Prevention of Blindness Program. Dr.Konyama helped Malaysia draft its NPBL program back in the '70s and came back many times to assist in Malaysian National Eye Survey, primary eye care program,  community eye care and introduce us the eye health city. He was always there for us, for guidance and advise. we owed him a lot. Many Malaysian ophthalmologists have attended and benefited greatly from the Korat courses. Ajahn, you will always in our heart."

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"To friends and colleagues of Kaonyama-san

I certainly also echo the messages from Hugh and Al. I can identify as a person who gained greatly from Konyama who generously shared his skills and knowledge. I then enjoyed working with him in projects such as at Korat. We have learnt and owe much to him in the progress made to which he has contributed.


Professor Jill Keeffe OAM, PhD
L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
University of Melbourne Department of Ophthalmology (Honorary Appointmnent)

Postal address: P O Box 758, Seymour, 3661, Australia"

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"Of course I echo Hugh’s thoughtful comments. Konyama-san was deeply committed to preserving sight and preventing blindness, and a wonderful human being who was always great fun to be with. I will miss him mightily.

Al Sommer"

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"Dear Akira,
Thank you for letting us all know this very sad news. We are all saddened by this.
As I wrote to Dr Ono, Dear Konyama-san was such a good friend and colleague. We had so many good times together, whether at Hopkins when he was a student, at Manilla, Geneva, Korat, Hanoi and so many other cities and towns, around the world. His leadership and vision coupled with his quiet mentorship and encouragement set him apart. Who can forget his “healthy eye city” decades before people started to talk about universal eye and health care.
We have lost a great friend and champion for eye care. We are all the poorer for his passing but the richer for having known and learnt from him.
Please pass on my condolences to his family and friends.
Best wishes,

This tribute was added by Pik Pin GOH on 21st June 2016

"Dear colleagues,

It is my sad duty to tell you that Dr. Kazuichi Konyama, a pioneer in establishing the field of prevention of blindness in developing countries, passed away on June 21, 2016, at the age of 87.
During his illness, Dr. Konyama was very fortunate to have the loving care of his son. Until the day before his death, he had a clear sensorium.

Dr. Konyama made a tremendous effort for blindness prevention for many years. He had spent the greater part of his life preventing blindness and educating young doctors, nurses and other health professionals in developing countries through the activities of WHO, Lions clubs and IAPB. He was real gentleman and like master Yoda in Ophthalmology. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues in the world.

We will inform you of the details of the funeral service later.
We pray that his soul may rest in peace.


Akira Murakami, M.D., Ph.D.
WHO Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness
Professor and Chairman
Department of Ophthalmology
Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine"

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