FOR almost a century, the island of Nagashima in Okayama was closed off to the rest of Japan but it had been the home of 2,000 lepers since its establishment in the 1930s.
Once sent to the leper colony, the patients were considered legally dead and they were completely cut off from society. They were sterilized and not allowed to have any children despite Hansen's Disease not being genetically inherited.
Today, the former patients are now in their 80s but they preferred to stay on the island, having no more known family members.
We are given a special opportunity to meet the former Hansen's Disease patients in Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium. We are thinking of visiting them in Okayama (Nagashima Island) on May 31st, Tuesday. This date is still tentative as we have to submit our formal request to visit.
For now, we would like to know who is interested in going. We would like you to comment on this post or inform Saki before April 23rd.
The fare from Osaka to Nagashima Island is about ¥12,000 roundtrip. Please contact Saki for more information.
We are planning to do a concert for the patients while they are having snacks. The details of the program is still in the works.
"As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give."
- Matthew 10:8