Late Emeritus Prof. Tetsuo Kanno

In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, the founding President of the Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons (ACNS) and one of the most respectful, humble, outstanding and leading neurosurgeons in the world. Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno died peacefully on 6th August 2021 at 5.12 am Japan Standard Time, at 81 years old due to heart ailment. Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno was my superior, my mentor, exemplary role model to many young neurosurgeons, a visionary leader and loyal friend. His philosophy and teachings have left an indelible impression on many of us for years to come. Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno’s accomplishments, legacy, and perseverance in the field of neurosurgery inspired many of us. His philosophy regarding life and neurosurgery have been guiding many of us in our daily practices. There are so many within our society, and beyond, who will consider themselves privileged to be counted among his students, friends and colleagues. He will always be in our hearts." Our sympathy and prayers go out to his family members, and all those who were close to him.


Professor Yoko Kato
President, Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Chair, Education and Training Committee of the WFNS
First Chair, WFNS Women in Neurosurgery (WIN)
Executive Board Member, WFNS Foundation
Professor, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Fujita Health University, Japan

Tributes to late Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno

My dear Yoko,

What a bad news. Tetsuo was a great person and a close friend. I knew him since so many decades. I always admired him when he dedicated years and years in promoting neurosurgery in developing countries, especially in Asianplaces. I was with him in Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia and other places and his scientifically but very didactic and comprehensive to all the attendants.

After the meetings he frequently spent time with colleagues and students in order to explain and clarify several points of his previous talks. He also help some institutions or departments to get cheap material and instruments. I remember with great emotion the discussions we had about shunts and endoscopic material in the treatment of hydrocephalus.

The neurosurgical world has lost a great person and we will never forget his dynamism and efforts to promote neurosurgery all around the world.

Where you are, Tetsuo, take care.

Your friend for ever

Maurice Choux

Dear Kato:

I am shocked at the sad news of the passing away of Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, a giant Neurosurgeon who devoted his whole life to the education and development of neurosurgery in Asia and world at large.

Professor Tetsuo Kanno contributed greatly when he initiated ACNS in name of UNYNA in 1993 in TOYOAKE. I listened his lecture then and many times afterwards. He enchanted audience with his charisma and profound knowledge. I was honored being able to receive him several time in shanghai and in my hospital. These memories together with his legacy shall be long remembered and never perish! we shared deep sorrow with Kano' family and Japanese Neurosurgical society, and hope his soul rest in heaven in peace.

Professor Tetsuo Kanno will be remembered by Chinese Neurosurgeons forever!

Please convey my deepest condolence to his family!


Weiguo ZHAO,
Professor of Neurosurgery
Ruijin Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University
Shanghai 200025

Dear Yoko,

It is very very sad to know Prof. Kanno passing away. A couple of days ago, He is a very nice mentor, to young doctor. I invited him to China for lectures which was very impressive to his fine skills. Wish him a peace in heaven.

Best regards,

Jie Tang, MD
Department of Neurosurgery
Xuanwu Hospital
Capital Medical University
No. 45 Changchun St. Xicheng District,
Beijing, 100053, P R China

Good evening Prof Yoko Kato,

On behalf of Cambodian Society of Neurosurgery, we would join the deeply condolence with Fujita team of Japan and his family . He will rest in peace and we will follow the way while his guidance to developed the neurosurgery and friendship around the world .

Best regards,

Iv Vycheth
President elected of CSNS

My deep condolences.

During the several times that I had visited Fujita, I had known him as a very kind and warm hearted person.

Rest in peace, dear Prof Kanno.



Dear Prof. Kato,

I am extremely shocked and saddened to hear the untimely passing away of Prof Tetsuo Kanno.

“Tears will dry,
Wounds may heal,
The void is eternal,
The fragrance lingers on…”

Today we bid adieu to Prof Tetsuo Kanno, the founding father of Indo-Japan neurosurgical brotherhood. The legendary neurosurgeon, the passionate teacher, the compassionate healer and the devout scholar left us for his heavenly abode, but his fragrant memories will linger on. A wise man once said, that a vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. Prof Kanno was a real a visionary whose dreams and actions have changed our lives, the lives of innumerable neurosurgeons the world over and the lives of our patients. In an era when the brain was a dreaded surgical terrain, Prof Kanno established the renowned neurosurgical department at Fujita Health University at Toyoake. He has been a pioneer and trendsetter in world neurosurgical leadership setting up the Asian Congress of Neurosurgeons and serving as the WFNS honorary president. Under his headship, Fujita University nourished a culture of basic neurosciences research and subspecialisations since the early 70s. He paved the way for many young Indian neurosurgeons to visit Japan on Fujita fellowships and learn from the masters. Just as Buddhism that originated in India found its way to Japan, neurosurgical finesse and exquisite craftsmanship which originated in Japan found its way to India, through Prof.Kanno and his mentorship.

Heroes like Prof Kanno, never die. They may leave their mortal bodies, but continue to live in our hearts. Their spark lives on, through us and the work we do. They live on through the countless lives they have saved. The generations that follow will continue to be inspired by the stories of his grit and determination. My family, my old Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences Neurosurgery Department and the Indian Neurosurgical Community join me in comforting you and all my dear Japanese colleagues in these moments of grief. May the Creator give the near and dear of Prof Kanno and all of us, the courage to live on despite this void, that can never be filled.

Rest in peace Prof Kanno. The torch you lit will keep on burning. . Prof Kanno shall forever live in our hearts. Heartfelt condolences and prayers

Prof Suresh Nair
Trivandrum, India

My Condolences.

May his Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.



A long journey started in the year 2003 visiting Fujita university for a fellowship programme. The intense training in neurosurgery and academics was a small part of it. Professor Tetsuo Kanno came across as an inspiring teacher, caring guardian and loving mentor-all in one. Our teaching and training curriculum was immaculately planned, stay added with personalized indulgence and our free time was filled with fun filled activities. No other institution thousands of miles away from home offers as much. How can I ever forget my fishing training experience from him? After that, my performance in my institute changed as I tried to incorporate a part of similar values. He attended most of the conferences we organized, sometimes squeezing few hours of stay in India just to do the honours. He surprized me with his easy going yet disciplined persona.

His physical demise is an extreme personal loss to me and the fraternity of neurosurgery; but I strongly believe that he lives in all of us. I am truly grateful to the God almighty for giving me the pleasure of his gracious mentorship and company. Rest in peace Sir and shower your blessings!

Prof. Virendra Deo Sinha
Senior Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
S.M.S. Medical College, Jaipur (INDIA)

It is with great sorrow to receive the sad news of passing away of one of the most humble great Neurosurgeon. Professor Kanno was complete university in himself, his personal characters, and teaching abilities as well as talented neurosurgeon. I had the honor to meet him in Japan, Egypt as well as several international meetings. His highly renowned students are now world leaders in neurosurgery. This in itself reflects his unprecedented qualities in all aspects of human and professional attitudes. His loss is felt by all those who knew him, his students, his colleagues and the whole world of neurosurgeons

Mohamed El-Fiki
Professor of Neurosurgery
University of Alexandria

Dear Friends,

No words can describe his extraordinary role for us. Prayers for his family. The knowledge he provides will continue to be felt by the community, because the young neurosurgeon he had educated now holds important positions in serving the community.

We lost Prof Tetsuo Kanno, but his signature in our hearts will continue to echo

Abdul Hafid Bajamal
President of Indonesian Neurosurgical Society

Dear Yoko and friends,

Prof Kano was an amazing leader,
awesome friend and teacher
brilliant visionary,
the unstoppable machine,
a coach,
a team player
and a strategist.

What he did to help Neurosurgery in Pakistan and specially in third world countries was unimaginable. Although I never worked with him but knowing him via Late Prof Raja, who always spoke about Prof Kano's ability to create an environment for learning.

Prof Kanno.. thank you
You will always be remembered

Salman Sharif
Co Chair Spine Committee WFNS
President World Spinal Column Society

Dear respected members and colleagues.

With deep sorrow and sadness, I would like to convey my sincere condolences to you, Prof. Kanno’ family and the neurosurgical family around the globe. Prof. Testo has been a great friend, national and international mentor, he broke all geographic boundaries to promote teaching and clinical neurosurgical practice worldwide and in specific in less privileged region and all asiatic countries. No text can describe prof Kanno the legendary mentor, and more his gentle human qualities and honesty. His philosophy and altruistic nature and human approach will continue to be the corner stone of the ACNS and other organization by holding the torch for educational and teaching of young neurosurgical generations to come. Prof. Kanno will never be forgotten and he will stay on our minds and in our hearts. God bless his soul and embrace him with his angels.

Imad N. Kanaan & family

Dear Everyone –

Prof Kanno made (and the legacy he leaves continues to make) an unmatched contribution to neurosurgical education not only in Asia but worldwide.

Moreover, one of the most heartfelt talks I have ever heard was his presentation in Mumbai 15 years ago regarding his life and thoughts since childhood. I was fortunate to have had a number of warm conversations with him over several decades.

It is most appropriate, I believe, to let him speak for himself: attached below is a report Prof Kanno wrote for the WFNS Newsletter May 2017.


Russell Andrews

My sincere condolences

A great neurosurgery mentor and senior statesman of our specialty who touched many lives

Prof. Roy Thomas Daniel

Dear friends,

sad news. Big personalities are always passing away too early, no matter at what age

prof. MUDr. Vladimír Beneš, DrSc.
Ústav klinických neurooborů

Dear Professor Kato, To the Japanese Association of Neurosurgeons, Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is with profound sadness that we hear about the passing away of Professor Tetsuo Kanno, a talented Neurosurgeon, a great teacher, a fantastic and humble person, a very generous gentleman. He came in several occasions to share his knowledge in many African countries. He will stay forever in our hearts.

May His Soul rests in Eternal Peace.

Kazadi Kalangu.

Dear Prof. Kato,

Professor Kano is a great internationalist and has made great contributions to the development of international neurosurgery. Especially in the training of young neurosurgeons, he devoted a lot of effort. Many of us were concerned and helped by Professor Kano in our youth. In our mind, he is always noble and great.

May he rest in peace.

Sincerely yours,

Qing LAN

Dear colleagues and friends from the ACNS,

Dear Prof. Kato,

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Prof. Kanno. I would like to express my sincere and deepest condolences that I kindly ask you to transmit to Prof. Kanno’s family and all colleagues from the ACNS.

The neurosurgical community has lost a remarkable colleague, experienced scientist and professional.

He will remain a source of inspiration for all of us.

May he rest in peace.

On behalf of Serbian Neurosurgical Society and Southeast Europe Neurosurgical Society


Lukas Rasulic

Prof Kanno was a great educator pioneering in the vision of further education and training of Young Asian Neurosurgeons.

He is a great mentor, marvellous teacher and one of the greatest and outstanding neurosurgeons in recent history of neurosurgery.

His passing is a great loss to the world in Neurosurgical sciences.

Chee -Pin Chee

Dear my tutor, Prof. Kato:

I am saddened to hear the passing away of Prof. Kanno. I was helped by Prof. Kanno when I was training in Fujita in 2006,which affect my lifelong career as a neurosurgeon. May Prof. Kanno rest in peace!
Sincerely yours


My Dear Prof. Kato:

I am extremely shocked and tears coming out when I hear the untimely passing away of Prof Tetsuo Kanno. No words can express my sadness because we lost him. No Prof. Kanno, No ACNS. He build our spirit family and group. As a young Neurosurgeon we come together under his mentoring and cares, we grow up under his guiding.

I was glad to attend 2017 3rd winter seminar of cerebrovascular disease, and listened Prof. Kanno’s lesson. That was my best memory!

He is leaving but he is always in our HEART! We will continue to grow our ACNS under his philosophy and deep blessings, we will continue to advance our neurosurgical career and the well-being of mankind.

Please convey my deepest condolences to his family!

Yours truly,

Zhihua Chen
Shanghai, China

Dear Prof Yako Kato and all colleagues


Please accept our condolence and we

Pray for soul of Prof. Tetsau Kanno.

Rest in Peace

Dr. Pirzad
Afghanistan Neurosurgical Society

It is so sad to loose Professor Tetsuo Kanno.

He was a such a gentle giant ready to solve challenges that hinder the development of Neurosurgery.

We remember him for how he supported the advancement of Neurosurgery so much in Africa. We will always remember the dedicated support to over 40 African young Neurosurgeons for the WFNS meeting in Nagoya in 2007.

His legacy lives on.

Dr Aaron Musara
Medical Director
The Neurosciences Centre,
Westend Clinic Extension, Harare, Zimbabwe

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In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021
In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor Tetsuo Kanno, PhD, 1940–2021