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The Ties that Bond

Page history last edited by happylosheng@gmail.com 15 years, 1 month ago







Th 作品簡介The Ties that Bind

                               text by Nobuyuki Yaegashi






    自從日本於1996年撤銷原先訂於1907年的 漢生防治法之後,我開始密切注意這個議題,並且開始著手進行調查和報導。我赫然發現療養院中那些慘無人道的行徑,由於漢生療養院的封閉,這些清是人權的行為在當時並不為大眾所知,但時至今日,我覺得有必要將真相公諸於世。












    我曾為了採訪,造訪過位於韓國和台灣的兩個療養院。一名韓國的原告,Kang Usok告訴我 :「我從早到晚被迫做各種搬磚的粗活。有一次我工作到一半,一位長官無緣無故用木棍打我的膝蓋,等到傷口發炎感染了,他們竟然完全不給我麻醉就直接用鋸子割斷我的腿。我至今仍然無法擺脫那鋸子在我腿上來回劃過的恐怖聲音。」







About Nobuyuki Yaegashi


Th  The Ties that Bind

                               text by Nobuyuki Yaegashi 

 Former patients of Hansen's diseaseleprosyin KoreaTaiwan and Japan have suffered not only physical injury from forced quarantine and labor, but their very lives have also been irreparably scarredSuch patientsonce they were diagnosed with the diseasehad no choice but to cut family tiesdisappear completely from societyand live out the rest of their lives behind sanitarium walls.


  I started covering the issue of former Hansen's disease patients after Japan's“Leprosy Prevention Law" of 1907 was repealed in 1996. Through my research, I learned that horrible instances of human rights abuses had been taking place in those closed-off sanitariums. These factsI thoughtneeded to be made known to the public


 After the law was annulled and lawsuits started being fi1ed against the government of Japan for compensationformer Hansen's disease patientsone by onestarted disclosing their names and faces to the media and allowing their pictures to be taken during the trials


 During  Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula1910−1945and Japan's colonization of Taiwan1895−1945),many Korean and Taiwanese citizens were confined against their will to Japanese−run sanitariums in their own countries


 In 2004some of those former Taiwanese and Korean patients came forth and filed suits against the Japanese governmentdemanding the same compensation for their maltreatment as former Hansen's disease patients in Japan.


 I visited two sanitariums in Korea and Taiwan for interviews. One Korean plaintiffKang Usoktold me“From morning till nightI was forced to make bricks and do construction workWhile I was working in a brick factoryan officer hit my knee with a wooden block for no reasonWhen the injury became inflamedthey cut my leg off with a saw before I got the proper anesthesiaI still cannot get that sound of the saw out of my ears


 In 2006 the Leprosy Compensation Law was amendedallowing former Hansen's disease patients in KoreaTaiwan and Japan to receive the same compensation


 After many years of being cut off from their societiesthese former patients in three countries have started to create new bonds by fighting together for a common cause of justice and human dignity.



Born in Changchun, China, in 1943, I worked for many years as a staff photographer for the Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper. After going independent in 2003, my coverage has included Hansen’s disease, emergency medical care and truancy among schoolchildren. In May 2006 I published a book on Hansen’s disease patients entitled “Bonds-Japan, Korea and Taiwan: Scars of a Leprosy Law”.

I received the Tokyo photojournalist Association Project Award in 1987 and Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards Special Prize by Jury in 2006.



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