Shizuoka nursing home and school for the disabled started by actress celebrates 50th anniversary

Written with extracts translated from the Tokyo Shimbun

April 4th 2018

“Nemunogi Gakuen” (Kakegawa-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture), a nursing home for children with disabilities established by actress Miyako Miyagi (91) for children with physical disabilities, celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sunday. Miyagi who survived criticisms of her actions and kept close to the children for half a century. “I wanted to create a place where both healthy people and non-healthy people can gather”.

When you pass by the cherry blossom mountain road, the building with a red roof and white wall showed up. Currently, there are seven and seven men and women aged four to seventy eight years with physical disabilities and intellectual disabilities living in the facility “Namunoki village”.

In the village there are museums and facilities for disabled people “Nemunogi Gakuen” and special support schools, thirty-three of whom attend school.

“Even if you can not read the letters, you can read the score, it’s strange.” Says a girl. There are classes such as national language and arithmetic, but at school we focus on education that cultivates sensibility such as music and paintings.

Miyagi as a child played the role of someone with cerebral palsy in 1960. She learned that the place of education for children with disabilities is not maintained and filled with sadness and anger. “I’d like to make these students have a pleasant study.” I looked the land and procured funds. “Selling act” was sneering around, but I could not give up.

There was a strong prejudice against people with disabilities, during the era when sterilization surgery was done to people with disabilities under the former eugenics protection law. The law concerning child welfare and welfare for persons with disabilities was not in place, and they worked on the Ministry of Health and Welfare (then) and Shizuoka prefecture, and the establishment was approved with a special case. In 68 years, “nursing home school for the nursing home” was opened in Hamaoka Town (present Omaezaki city) in the same prefecture. It moved to Kakegawa City in 1997.

Says Miyagi, in 50 years, I tried to get out of management every time I feel helpless as “I am not doing anything”. But I could not do it. “Children loved me and I also loved children.”

At school there is a constant voice that “child, Mother” and child call Miyagi. Every time I talk about “Hai”, when I disappear, when I disappear, my sigh leaks “I am painful, I am tired.” I can not win over my age, but recently I have moved a wheelchair a lot and lots of time to lie down.

Still Miyagi’s dream will be not shaken. In order to create a place where both healthy people and disabled people can spend, we are planning to construct a park in Nemunagi village. “I already have not lived so much, but I still think that I must live so hard as I still have it.”Her mother’s eyes with seventy-three children were facing straight ahead.

Hiromichi Shimizu · Saitama Univ. Professor Emeritus Professor (Saitama Univ. Of Education) At the time of the establishment of Nominoki Gakuen, children who are unable to attend school because they are physically handicapped are obliged to leave school from the administration and obstruct themselves at home There was only it. It is pioneering and innovative to create such a place for children to learn without institution. The influence given to the education for disabled children after that is great. In addition, classes that respect expressive activities such as painting and music can be said to be the essence of education in the sense that they acquire freedom through expressing themselves.

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