International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    ターコイズの 目のいびつはも 恵なり 果てなき太古の ろまんを見たり

    2001, National Sanatorium Suruga, Japan. More details
    Even the distorted turquoise blue eye
    Is a blessing
    My thoughts wander into the spirit of time immemorial

    Through all ages and civilization there was a culture where handicap was considered a blessing, expressed as “spirit of time immemorial”. For example, in Japan, the gods that appear in the Kojiki (Japan’s oldest record) such as Izanami, the child of Izanagi, was handicapped and called Hilko or Ebisu in Japanese mythology. Fukusuke (bringer of good luck) and Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of good fortune) were also handicapped.
    The same belief existed in the ancient western world. I remember being told by a designer at the exhibition of tablecloths that I visited long ago that the asymmetrical pattern is expressing disability and not an accidental mistake. The one eye of the woman in the painting is distorted but I also have a disfigured eye from leprosy. The color turquoise expresses silence.
    The handicapped and the non-handicapped are coexisting side by side to express that all people are equal in value.
    Other works by this artist
    Title Oriental
    Title(Original language) オリエンタル
    Year 2001
    Country Japan
    Location National Sanatorium Suruga
    Genre Painting
    Owner Hiroko Kato
    Copyright Hiroko Kato