Blue Bird Band
Japan, 1953-1976 Profile
A harmonica band formed in 1953, started by blind and visually impaired residents of Nagashima Aiseien. They performed concerts inside and outside the sanatorium, and their performances gave their lives a new meaning. In addition to the prejudice and discrimination they faced because they had Hansen’s disease, the fact that they were able to perform so well despite their severe physical aftereffects made the concerts very moving.
The band’s leader, Mr. Koichi Kondo, was named a Wellesley Bailey Award recipient in 2007.