Disability Invisible Disabilities Japan Manga

Manga ‘Do you know the ‘help mark’?’ highlights issues facing people with invisible disabilities in Japan

The manga "Do you know the help mark?", that depicts a scary event with a "help mark", has become a hot topic on social media.

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from Yahoo Japan! via Otonanswer

June 20 2021

A woman has ahelp mark because she has a disability that is not apparent. Thanks to that, she often got help from the people around me, but one day she felt scared … “I’m really scared,” “Isn’t it offensive?” “Thank you for picking up the help mark.”

The manga ‘Do you know the ‘help mark’?’ was drawn by Ayakazu (pen name) (50), a part-time restaurant worker and housewife. She publishes episodes of her comic on her Instagram and blog “Ayakazu Land,” . She is also serializing a manga in “Sukupara Club”.

Q. When did you start drawing manga?

Ayakazu: “I started Instagram in 2018. At first, I was drawing manga about my daily life with my cat and twin childcare (currently a high school student). In 2020, my part-time job was closed due to Corona. Now that I’ve been at home for a long time, I drew a creative manga that I’ve always wanted to try, and the number of followers has increased at once. Thanks to that, I’ve been receiving official blogs and writing requests, and I’m up to the present. “

Q. What made you decide to make this episode into a manga?

Ayakazu “I asked my followers to draw their experiences, and the first one I adopted was this experience. I wanted as many people as possible to know about it, so I decided to draw it.”

Q. Did you know about help marks before writing manga?

Ayakazu “I was ashamed to say that I didn’t know. I had seen it somehow, but I didn’t know the meaning.”

Q. How would you like to deal with people who have a help mark?

Ayakazu: “In some cases, I may hesitate to talk to people in need, but if there are people with help marks, I will watch over them, and if I am in trouble, I will talk to them. Is done.

Q. What do you want to convey through this manga?

Ayakazu “The help mark informs people who seem healthy but actually have a chronic disease or internal disability, who are using artificial legs or artificial joints, people who are in the early stages of pregnancy, etc. need assistance and consideration. This is a mark for you. Give up your seat on the train or bus, call out if you are in trouble, and try to be considerate. It’s almost a quote from the official website, but I think that’s exactly what it is.”

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