International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Toshio Iha

    Status Advocate
    Country Japan


    Toshio Iha (1943- ) is a Japanese author and activist who was a resident at the National Sanatorium Okinawa Airaku-en.

    Iha was born in Okinawa; after being diagnosed with leprosy, he was admitted to Okinawa Airaku-en at 14. He was a sensitive youth with a deep interest in literature. When he was 15 and a patient in Aisei-en, he was personally given encouragement by the Nobel Laureate in Literature Yasunari Kawabata.

    After much effort and ups and downs, Iha left the sanatorium. He now has a family and is a writer, lecturer, and activist who speaks on the issue of justice for those at Okinawa. He has published several books, some of which have won prizes.

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