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In memoriam of Prof. Yoshihiro Mano, a Founding Father of IDAN
The DAN family was deeply saddened by the passing of Prof. Yoshihiro Mano, M.D, Ph.D., last February 15, 2014.
Prof. Mano was greatly respected in the diving community, and considered an authority in diving and hyperbaric medicine, both in Japan and all over the world.

A graduate from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Prof. Mano contributed to create the Civil Alert Network (CAN), which later became DAN Japan. As Executive Director and ambassador of DAN Japan, Prof. Mano put relentless efforts in the realisation, representation and affirmation of DAN in his area. He was one of the founding fathers of International DAN, created in 1991.


As chairman of the Japanese Hyperbaric Medical Society (JHMS), he played a major role in the creation of an ultra-modern hyperbaric medicine treatment facility.

He performed research and applied studies in decompression sickness, oxygen toxicity, dysbaric osteonecrosis, breath-hold diving physiology and medicine, clinical application of hyperbaric oxygen, commercial diving and tunneling.

Prof. Mano obtained numerous recognitions throughout his life, such as the Oceaneering International Award, granted by the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) in 1998.

Hiro was not only an esteemed colleague for me - says Prof. Alessandro Marroni, President of DAN Europe - but a close and very good friend, and I have not enough words to express my sorrow. He will live forever in my heart and in my thoughts, as well as in the history of Hyperbaric and Diving medicine, and although he will be deeply missed, he will not be forgotten.

Dr. John Lippman, Executive Director of DAN Asia Pacific, says: It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Hiro. He was such a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. Once, with a cheeky glint in his eye, he described himself to me as a bit of a "rebel" in Japan. With his great intellect, passion, drive and wonderful sense of humour, he managed to achieve things that would have been impossible for most others. His contributions to hyperbaric and occupational medicine were substantial, and his establishment of DAN Japan a great achievement. What a broad character he was - continues Dr. Lippman -, his clinical and academic work, his dive instructor activities, his diving show on National television and his personal and professional relationship with some of the royal family. Hiro always had a lot going on! He was a warm, funny and sincere person who was always good company. I always enjoyed catching up with him at the IDAN meetings. Hiro leaves behind a great legacy in multiple arenas and I will always feel a great loss of a mentor and friend.

 

Prof. Peter Bennet, founder of International DAN together with Prof. Marroni and Prof. Mano, recounts: I met Hiro Mano as a young physician in the Tokyo School of Medicine and Dentistry while I was still working with the RN Scientific Service in England. He was very interested in decompression sickness and soon became the Japanese expert working with commercial divers and Tunnel workers and came regularly to our UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting.
We became good friends over so many years and he was a generous host to my many visits to Japan, where he taught me much of the Japanese culture and their diving medical research over the years. In later years, he developed a strong interest in hyperbaric oxygen therapy with a new chamber in the hospital and close to retirement, the development of the hyperoxic nanobubble. I have always been very grateful how in 1990 he agreed to join his recreational diver safety and hotline organization in Japan with the USA’s Divers Alert Network I had formed in 1980 together with Alessandro Marroni to form International DAN in Europe.
A great friend of Prince Tomohito and his wife in Japan, he taught them both to dive. In 1990, the Prince together with the Japanese Federation of Sub Aquatic Activities initiated a special Prince Tomohito Prize for accomplishments and inspiration in recreational diving.
I will miss Hiro very, very much. We had many delightful meals together in many parts of Japan and enjoyed the hot springs together. He was always trying to ensure at each visit that we would eat some fugu (loaded with tetrodotoxin). However, he could eat about 7 livers with high levels of toxin (1,200 times deadlier than cyanide) and I marvel still how he could do it!
He was very instrumental in recent years in helping with the Undersea Medical Society to continue to develop joint meetings between Japanese and International Scientists in diving medical research. In previous years this had been achieved by the so called UJNR panel, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in the USA and JAMSTEC in Japan. This continued for 30 years to be replaced again due to the hard work of Hiro in 2006 for a panel on US/Japan Diving, Physiology, Technology and Aerospace Medicine.
Hiro Mano was a very, very special friend and colleague dedicated to diving medicine in Japan. I was to meet him in Japan this April and I will miss him more than words can say.