International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Koichi Kondo

    Status Advocate
    Country Japan


    Koichi Kondo (1927-2009) was an author, poet, and musician who was an inmate at the Japanese National Sanatorium Nagashima Aisei-en.

    From 1953 to 1975, Kondo was the leader of Blue Bird Band, a harmonica-based music band composed largely of blind persons. Kondo himself lost his eyesight, but mastered Braille and composed music using Braille. He created for his own use a special set of six harmonicas combined around a central cylinder. The Blue Bird Band provided great encouragement to other inmates. In 1975, the band performed at a music hall in central Tokyo. Kondo was awarded the Wellesley Bailey Award by The Leprosy Mission (TLM) in 2008.

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