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  • [Event Report] Museum Talk 2022/On the Poets of the New Face of Hansen's Disease Literature, ``The Sprouts of Life'' (6th Online)
Top event information event list [Event Report] Museum Talk 2022 / On the Poets of the New Face of Hansen's Disease Literature, ``The Sprouts of Life'' (6th Online)


[Event Report] Museum Talk 2022 /
On "The Poets of the New Face of Hansen's Disease Literature, 'Sprouts of Life'" (6th Online)

Concerning "New aspects of Hansen's Disease literature: The poets of 'Inochi no Sprouts'"You can see the record of the day on YouTube.

Lecturer Tetsuya Kimura (Curator, The National Hansen's Disease Museum)

This is a project related to the special exhibition "The New Faces of Hansen's Disease Literature: The Poets of Life's Sprouts". The curator in charge will touch on the poetry works and materials while explaining the personalities of the authors and the historical background in which the works were created.
In 1953, in the midst of the struggle against the Leprosy Prevention Law, Mitsuo Oe's "Inochi no Sprouts" (Sanichi Shobo) was the first joint collection of poetry in which 73 people from eight Leprosy sanatorium participated. This year, the 70th anniversary of its publication, we will introduce a new form of postwar literature that seeks hope, solidarity, and revitalization toward the outside world while facing the absurdity of the segregation policy.

Outline of the event

    ・ March 3, 2023 (Friday) 19: 00-20: 30 (planned) Zoom delivery
    Advance application system ・ Capacity 100 people (first-come, first-served basis)

    ・ Reception starts at 18:45 on the day of the event

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Event report on “The Poets of the New Faces of Hansen's Disease Literature, 'Sprouts of Life'”

Lecturer Tetsuya Kimura (Curator, Tetsuya Kimura The National Hansen's Disease Museum)

The online gallery talk we delivered in the evening, titled "A new aspect of Hansen's Disease literature: Poets of the 'bud of life'", was able to be held with a capacity of 100 people.
On the day of the event, he explained the origins of the joint poetry anthology "Life's Sprouts" while walking around the exhibition room with pre-recorded video, followed by "Hometown/Family," "Isolation Wall," "Body Image," and "Gender." Each poem was introduced under the theme of "an objection to 'leprosy'". Next, after the publication of Inochi no Sprouts, the poets of the sanatorium who participated in it developed a national organization of poetry activities, the liberal arts college lectures held at the sanatoria, and the music band "Aoi Tori Gakudan". He touched on its formation, the movement to bridge the Oku-Nagashima Bridge, and the lawsuit for compensation for Hansen's Disease.
Following the commentary, the live show introduced valuable handwritten letters and photographic materials that the poets addressed to Mitsuo Oe. In addition, we received so many questions that we could not answer within the time limit, as if to show the high level of interest in these materials, which will be unveiled to the public for the first time, and the world of poetry.
An archived version (with full subtitles) with answers to your questions is also available. We will publish it on The National Hansen's Disease Museum YouTube channel, so please take a look at it.

From the questionnaire

  • I realized that the poetry of the seed of life is filled with the thoughts of Leprosy recovered persons. Also, I feel a strong power in people who are trying to start something, such as a poetry meeting or publishing a collection of poems.
  • I was able to spend a very fulfilling time with the explanation of things that I could not know only at the exhibition this time. Mr. Kimura's explanations were clear and weighty, and I was reminded of the importance of using words to explain things.
  • I thought that poetry has ideas, beliefs, and a flexible and strong heart that can leap from reality.
  • It was a fresh surprise for me to learn that Mitsuo Oe's influence on the poets at the sanatorium was not limited to his poetry, but also led to activities that transcended walls. Also, I was able to understand the significance of literary activities inside the walls.
  • I wanted to deepen my understanding of Hansen's Disease, so I decided to participate. I was able to learn a lot of things, such as what kind of events led to the spread of literary activities, and how people with Hansen's Disease felt when they read poetry.
  • Writing a biography is actually a living proof, and I think that it is the very existence of the person along with the work. I think that the fact that "sex" is taken up in the theme also has an identity, so I think it has an important meaning.
  • By exhibiting works with pseudonyms, photos, and episodes, I was able to feel the “real voices of people who have actually been there.” Thanks to that, I was made to think about how these problems are connected to the present and how they should be connected to the future (not limited to Hansen's Disease).
  • When I was researching Hiroshi Shima, an author from my hometown, an acquaintance of mine introduced me to this event. It's far away and it's difficult to actually go to the museum, so I'm very grateful to be able to show you around the exhibition like this.
  • If there is an event like this one, I would like to attend it again. If there are documents left, it will lead to knowing the situation at that time. The voice of each living person remains in the form of a work. The background is also important. The existence of a person who became a bridge. The introduction of valuable materials and the way of speaking was very easy to listen to.
  • I've been thinking about visiting for a long time, but I was disappointed that it didn't come true. Thank you very much for the very easy-to-understand talk and polite explanation. I wanted to visit more and more and see the exhibition first hand and get a collection of poems.

… We have received many other answers. Thank you very much.

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Contact Us

国立ハンセン病資料館 ミュージアムトーク担当 mt@nhdm.jp

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