Hōjō Tamio

Hōjō is famous for writing fictionalized accounts of the experience of Hansen’s Disease and life under quarantine during the latter half of the 1930s. Such works were based upon his experience of the illness and quarantine at a public hospital in Tokyo (opened in 1909), at the time known as Zensei Byōin (Zensei Hospital, today Tama Zenshō-en), where he lived from 1935 until his death in 1937. At the time he was diagnosed, Hansen’s Disease was an incurable, highly stigmatized, and feared illness. Quarantine was often for life.

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