Time is Medicine

by Eiko Hiruma

ISBN978-4-7631-3851-4 C0030

158 pages / October 2020 / 1,300 yen (w/o tax)

A prescription of kindness from the world’s oldest practicing pharmacist.


“I do only what I can…I’m just a pharmacist after all!” These are the humble words of 96-year-old Eiko Hiruma, who is the same age as her family’s pharmacy built on a corner in the historic shitamachi downtown area of Tokyo in 1923. 


She has been serving patients tirelessly for 75 years come rain or shine, heatwave or snowstorm. Patients say just seeing her brightens up their day, and they receive strength with every handshake she greets them with.


Eiko adds an extra dose of kindness to their prescriptions.


With no special decorations or any major authority, Eiko Hiruma has taken care to give out small doses of kindness to each and every person she meets. (From the introduction)

From the table of contents

  • Don’t use the words “I’m tired”
  • Start your day off right
  • New things are born of good habits
  • Good and bad “givens”
  • Is being nosy the source of your troubles?
  • Don’t think about the meaning of life
  • We are all in this together


Eiko Hiruma

Eiko Hiruma is a pharmacist born in Tokyo in 1923. She graduated from Meiji Pharmaceutical University in 1944. Taking after her father, she decided to become a pharmacist, and joined their family-owned pharmacy established in 1923. Father and daughter began serving patients hand-in-hand, undeterred by turmoil in Tokyo after World War II. Hiruma Pharmacy has been operating for 75 years. At age 95, Eiko broke the Guinness World Records title for oldest practising pharmacist. She continues to prescribe medicine and offer guidance to patients in her area, where she is lovingly regarded as a sort of “healing Buddha.” Her grandson, Kojiro, currently works alongside her.