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Rei Morishita from Japan: Environmentalist, poet, essayist. Everything, various things will be taken up. Originally, it was a blog about disasters, and expanded to say romance, for example, is a kind of disaster because it is a problem of one’s survival.

Tamio Hojo's "The First Night of Life": The Wail of Hansen's Disease Patient

Tamio Hojo's "The First Night of Life": The Wail of Hansen's Disease Patient

Leprosy is a disease in which a pathogenic bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae infiltrates various parts of the body, including the skin, and devours the body. Until the middle of the Showa era, it was an "incurable" disease. And, despite the invention of the silver bullet (Promin), the government has taken measures to completely isolate the sick from the abomination and forcibly collect them in a "sanatorium".


This kind of prejudice was great in the 1960s and 1970s when I was in elementary school. The teacher in charge said, "A disease that is scarier than cancer, it is leprosy." "One day, a patient in a sanatorium ran away from the facility because he wanted freedom. Since this disease is transmitted through the skin, the train fishing that this patient touched. You can also get infected from leather. " "It's scary," I engraved in my heart. I thought it was a long time ago that the education was very biased. (This disease is not very infectious.)

Recently, when the name of leprosy itself is discriminatory, the name " Hansen's Disease " is common, and it seems that people who have leprosy have filed proceedings for damages or rehabilitation to the country.

By the way, the novel "The First Night of Life". Takao Oda will also visit one of the patients with Hansen's disease, the "sanatorium". He repeatedly thinks about committing suicide on the way. He travels through vast farmlands to a large sanatorium on the floor. I was briefly told about this facility, and it was his first night, but the guide was assigned to a caring man named Sagaragi, who was careful about other patients, Oda Is impressed. Thinking that he is a young man with one eye shining well. However, I see a variety of patients, including a man whose face has become jerky due to pus due to leprosy, and a man whose nerves are affected by bacteria and sobbing all night.

Oda is taught by Sagaragi that these leprosy patients are no longer humans, but life itself. Sagaragi also confesses to Oda, and the shining one eye is his artificial eye, and in fact he was writing a novel in his notebook just before he lost his eyesight. The competition for "life", whether the eyesight is lost or the novel is completed.

This novel is an experience in which the main character first entered the Hansen's disease treatment center, and in front of the overwhelming power of the facility, his eyes were wide open about "life" that would not be lost even if he had Hansen's disease. The hero in himself lost his desire to commit suicide, and since it was the night when he received the first initiation to burn "life", he called it "first night" and the work itself "The First Night of Life". Furthermore, Yasunari Kawabata praised this work and presented this title to Tamio Hojo.

About Tamio Hojo (wikipedia)

Tamio Hojo ( 民雄 北條:September 22, 1914-December 5, 1937) is a novelist. While he was forced to live in isolation due to leprosy, he left behind his masterpiece "The First Night of Life" based on his own experience. He is his real name: Koji Shichijo (晃司 七條).
He was born in Seoul, the capital of Korea during the Japanese colonial rule (currently Seoul), and grew up in Shimoono-cho, Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture.
He became ill in 1933. The following year, in 1934, he was housed in Zenseien in Higashimurayama Village, Kitatama District, Tokyo Prefecture. He became interested in literature from an early stage, but began to create in earnest after hospitalization. Yasunari Kawabata noticed by "Old Man Maki" and he was called a master by Hojo.
In 1936, won the 2nd Bungakukai Award for "The First Night of Life". He left behind other works such as "The Family" and "The Conception of the House", but he died because of tuberculosis.
Due to prejudice and discrimination against Hansen's disease, his real name was not disclosed for a long time, but as a result of persuading his relatives to disclose his real name for 20 years, the approval of his relatives was obtained in June 2014,77 years after his death, his real name was finally released.

A word of the day: Still, he was a person who had no luck to die from tuberculosis, not from leprosy. The book I read this time is "Complete Works of Hansen's Disease Literature 1 Novel 1" (Kosei-sha)

In addition, the novelist Yasunari Kawabata (mentioned earlier),and the critic Hideo Kobayashi, struggled to Put out to the world "The First Night of Life", but "the god of the novel" Naoya Shiga feared Hansen's disease. He said he avoided even touching the publication for fear of getting sick .As expected, he was a third-class novelist. He was a stupid man.


The first night of life (Kadokawa Bunko)
• Author: Tamio Hojo
• Publisher / Manufacturer: Kadokawa Shoten
• Release Date: 1955/09
• Media: Bunko

Updated once a week on Wednesday or Thursday.

In Japanese, original










北条 民雄(ほうじょう たみお、旧字体:北條 民雄、1914年9月22日 - 1937年12月5日)は小説家。ハンセン病となり隔離生活を余儀なくされながら、自身の体験に基づく名作『いのちの初夜』などを遺した。本名:七條 晃司(しちじょう・こうじ)。

今日のひと言:それにしても、ハンセン氏病ではなく、結核でいのちを落すとは、つくづく運のない人でした。なお、今回読んだ本は「ハンセン病文学全集1 小説一」(皓星社) また、先にも挙げた小説家の川端康成とか、評論家の小林秀雄とかは、『いのちの初夜』を世に出すために奔走しましたが、「小説の神様志賀直哉は、ハンセン氏病が移るのを恐れ、刊行物を触るのさえ、忌避したと言います。さすが3流の小説家です。バカな男です。


いのちの初夜 (角川文庫)
• 作者: 北条民雄
• 出版社/メーカー: 角川書店
• 発売日: 1955/09
• メディア: 文庫


タグ:  ハンセン氏病  隔離施設  命の初夜  生きる意志