Toyo Shibata started her career as a poet at the age of 92 and her first book of poetry to be published, when she was nearing 100 years old, sold more than 1.5 million copies in Japan.
くじけないで (Kujikenaide, or "Don't Lose Heart") proved to be an inspiration to huge numbers of Japanese people. Here is a sample, translated into English:
“Don’t lose heart.
Oh, please don’t sigh that you are unhappy.
The sunshine and the breeze will not favour anyone.
Dreams can be dreamed equally.
I have seen hard times but I am glad that I am alive.
Don’t you ever lose heart, either.”
Toyo Shibata died today, 20 January 2013, at the age of 101. I was saddened to hear of her death, but her message is staying with me... くじけないで.