Prejudice Towards People with Disabilities

31 Jul

I recently spoke with Yuki Arai, a writer and a researcher of disability in the arts.  We talked about two of his books: One is about the art studio in the psychiatric hospital in Tokyo, and the other about Hiroshi Yokota, a leading figure in the Japanese disability movement in the 1970’s. We talked about the role of arts in healing and prejudice towards people with disabilities in Japan.

Arai is deeply concerned about the recent trend that gives people permission to discriminate against others.  It seems that we’re seeing this trend worldwide.

Two years ago a man killed 19 people and wounded twenty-six others at a care home for people with disabilities in Kanagawa prefecture.  It shocked the nation where crime rates are so low. But what was perhaps more shocking was the reactions followed by the incident.  In social media some people voiced empathy not for the victims but for the perpetrator who claimed that those with severe disabilities had no purpose to live.

“Why aren’t we more angry about this?”  said Arai.  “Mr. Yokota would have been very angry if he was alive.”

Yokota was born with cerebral palsy with speech impairment.  He is often considered as a “radical activist,” but Arai says that Yokota’s main message was simple: People with disabilities want to live, too.

You can listen to the episode here.

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Prejudice Towards People with Disabilities”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 障害者も生きたい 荒井裕樹氏インタビュー – 佐藤由美子 - July 31, 2018

    […] ※英語要約はこちら。 […]

  2. What’s the difference between “anger” and “hate”? | Discover Japan - August 7, 2018

    […] friend, Yuki Arai, is a professor of Japanese literature in Tokyo.  When we spoke the other day, he said, […]

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: