International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Osamu Kazami

    Status Advocate
    Country Japan


    Osamu Kazami (alias) (1932 - ) was a Japanese writer and artist who was an inmate at the Japanese National Sanatorium Hoshizuka Keiai-en.

    He was born in Nagasaki, and was diagnosed with leprosy in 1943. He was first admitted to Kikuchi Keifu-en in 1952 but moved to Hoshizuka Keiai-en in 1962.

    Kazami produced numerous literary works and essays. He contributed to ‘Kazan Chitai’, the magazine edited by fellow patient Hiroshi Shima, and many of his works also appeared in regular journals and newspapers. He has won literary awards, including the Southern Japan Literary Award and the Kyushu Art Festival Literary Award. He is also an artist of oil paintings and has profound knowledge of local Satsuma pottery works.

    His work has been described as follows:

    “Kazami’s works do not talk loudly about discrimination, isolation nor the damages those have caused. There is no direct voice of anger or grudges, but what we find is his piercing gaze on society and contradiction.”

    Kazami wrote: “People may think I have been unfortunate, just because I have leprosy. It full of agony no doubt, but now I feel I have quite enjoyed my life in my own way as I look back. To put it more precisely, I think I am now reaching the stage of such frame of mind.”

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